Celebrate the Holidays at Home with us!

Every holiday season, the New York Transit Museum celebrates the magic of New York City with two beloved annual traditions, our Holiday Nostalgia Rides and Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal. This year, all Museum locations are temporarily closed. So, we’re bringing our historic vintage trains and model trains to you, right at home, with a Virtual Holiday Nostalgia Train and Virtual Holiday Train Show! 

VIRTUAL Holiday Nostalgia Train

Continue the holiday tradition with a virtual step back in time! In our new Virtual Holiday Nostalgia Train experience, you can see our historic 1930s R1/9 cars take a trip from the beginning to the end of the line. Take a virtual seat on our vintage fleet, see behind-the-scenes footage of the historic train at the MTA’s 207th Street Yard, and celebrate the magic of the holidays with us. 


About the Holiday Nostalgia Train:

When the IND subway — the first subway company operated by the City of New York — opened in 1932, it had a mission to move more people more quickly than its private competitors, the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) and the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT). Over 1,000 nearly identical subway cars were delivered between 1930 and 1940 under contracts, R1, R4, R6, R7, and R9. The cars were modern for their time, fitting in very well with the IND’s Depression-Era Art Deco aesthetic, and each could hold nearly 300 passengers. Upon delivery, they featured rattan seats, paddle ceiling fans (installed before the age of air conditioning), incandescent light bulbs, roll signs, and period advertisements. These cars, which inspired Billy Strayhorn’s “Take the A Train”, went into service on the Eighth Avenue line (today’s A, C, E) in 1932 and ran until 1977. Today, they are preserved as part of the New York Transit Museum’s collection.

VIRTUAL Holiday Train Show

Nothing says holiday enchantment quite like model Lionel trains departing from a miniature replica of Grand Central Terminal on their way to the North Pole! In our two-part Virtual Holiday Train Show, you can see behind-the-scenes footage of how the annual exhibit is built and a time lapse of the annual exhibit from the point of view of one of our miniature model trains! 

Part 1:

Featuring Metro-North, Polar Express, and vintage New York City Subway train sets, our annual Holiday Train Show layout consists of a 34’ long, two-level, “O” gauge display. How does it all come together? Go behind-the-scenes with us to see how our Holiday Train Show is constructed each year.

Part 2:

Departing from a miniature replica of Grand Central Terminal, the Transit Museum’s collection of model trains dazzle the eyes of children and adults alike at our annual Holiday Train Show. Take a trip through the annual exhibit’s beloved layout – from the point of view of one of our vintage NYC Subway model trains!

Shop Transit Gifts for Everyone on Your List!

Give the special straphanger in your life a little bit of New York City Transit joy and support the New York Transit Museum! From Christmas ornaments and Hanukkah cards to subway socks, toy trains and transit masks, there’s something for everyone on your list at the nytransitmuseumstore.com

Please Note: All New York Transit Museum locations remain temporarily closed and all programs and events at this time are hosted online. Visit nytransitmuseum.org/programs to view upcoming digital events, and start your holiday shopping online at nytransitmuseumstore.com.