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Parade of Trains at Brighton Beach
Saturday, September 28 | 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
One event on September 29, 2019 at 11:00 am
The Transit Museum’s vintage train cars are headed on a special trip to the end of the line – the BMT Brighton line, that is! Ride the rails in historic style on Saturday and Sunday, September 28th and 29th, by hopping on and off a selection of the Transit Museum’s vintage fleet at the Brighton Beach station B/Q platforms.
Please Note: Parade of Trains is free with a swipe of your MetroCard! Shuttle rides will run continuously to and from the Brighton Beach station express platforms from 11am to 4pm. Brighton Beach will serve as the sole terminus for all shuttle rides. Vintage trains will be traveling in both directions, making a short round trip to Ocean Parkway and a longer round trip to Kings Highway. Passengers will only be able to get on and off the trains at the Brighton Beach station.
Vintage train cars to be featured at this year’s Parade of Trains include:
- BRT Brooklyn Union Elevated Cars (1903 – 1969): These cars, the oldest in the Transit Museum’s vintage fleet, were ordered in 1903 and 1907 by the BRT for its subsidiary, the Brooklyn Union Elevated Railroad. Typical of the first motorized cars ordered after the BRT electrified its elevated lines in 1900, the car design featured a lightweight wooden body mounted on steel underframes. Known informally as “gate cars,” passengers entered and exited through open-air vestibules at the front and back of each car and a conductor manually opened and closed metal gates and rang a ceiling-mounted bell when passengers were safely on board to signal the motorman to proceed.
- BRT / BMT Standards (1914 – 1969): Modeled after Boston Elevated Railway cars, the Standards measure 67 feet long and 10 feet wide and contain 78 seats with an additional 14 drop-down auxiliary seats. The standing capacity of 182 people helped address the chronic overcrowding of the early subway years. The Standards introduced destination roll signs, larger windows, and brighter lighting. They were designed more along the lines of a suburban railroad car, with a maximum seating philosophy, and even included drop seats for off-peak use.
- IND R1/9s: The cars that inspired Billy Strayhorn’s “Take the A Train,” R1s went into service on the Eighth Avenue line (A,C,E) as part of the new city-owned Independent Subway (IND) in 1932. Over one thousand nearly identical subway cars were delivered between 1930 and 1940 under the designations R1, R4, R6, R7 and R9. These cars were modern for their time, fitting in very well with the IND’s Depression-era Art Deco aesthetic, and feature rattan seats, paddle ceiling fans, incandescent light bulbs, and roll signs for passenger information – all pre-WWII subway staples. R1/9 cars were retired from service in 1977, but they set the standard for more, wider and faster opening doors and a reduction in seating capacity to better accommodate rush hour crowds.
- R-33 / R-38: This train features two different types of vintage cars built by the St. Louis Car Company in the 1960s, including R-33 cars (1962 – 2004) and R-38 cars (1966 – 2009). Informally known as “bluebirds,” the R-33 cars were painted in a powder blue and off-white color scheme, but were later repainted as “redbirds.” The R38s were the second car order to be built with stainless steel exteriors. At this year’s Parade of Trains, a newly restored set of R-33 bluebirds will run alongside a pair of stainless steel R-38 cars for the first time in history.
Car equipment subject to change.
Photo: Parade of Trains, 2018; Courtesy of Ron Yee.