Monday, November 26, 2018

NYC Holiday Train (2018)

Last year we rode the New York City Holiday Train, also known at the "nostalgia
train." We had a blast! There were bands, and lots of people dressed up in period attire taking and posing for pictures. This year Don and I returned for more of the same. Unfortunately we were disappointed.

Sure the 1930's vintage cars were in use, but where were the bands? Where were the people dressed up? Where was the ambiance we had last year? Where were the trains from other years? (We clearly remember a train from the 1970's and at least one other era.)

Turns out one of the weekends has been dubbed "Rogue" weekend. It is a not-so-secret secret as to which weekend, but on one of the six Sunday afternoons the cosplay community turns out in full force, as do their friends, and unsuspecting people like us. That is the weekend the train is super crowded. I also learned on December 15 the New York Transit Museum is hosting a swing dance party (tickets are only $30 and go on sale on November 28). If that wasn't the day of Ashley's Christmas Concert, I'd go. Making a note for next year.

HERE is an article from NBC about yesterday's ride. The one picture of people dressed up was of two of the four people we saw dressed up.

This year we aimed to get there for the first train (10 AM from 2nd Avenue on the F line). We made it there by 9:50, allowing us some time to walk around the train and through the train. Last year we started a couple of hours later and the train was super crowded. By being there early, the train was super quiet. 

While we didn't get out of the day what we hoped, I did enjoy seeing the look of glee on people's faces when they stepped back into time. One mom was gushing to her two-year old about how excited she was to make that train. The two-year old (in case you were wondering), really didn't care. The mom, though, was thrilled. Because the train left five minutes after the time it was supposed to, she was able to catch it.

This year's route was longer than the one it took last year. This year it started at the 2nd Avenue station, and continued for 22 minutes to 125th Street, where it then skipped 135th street and ended at 145th Street, even though the signs posted said it would end at 125th Street. Again, the reason we decided to get on the train where it started instead of hoping to catch it at 42nd Street like we did last year.

The SCOOP: the New York Transit Museum runs vintage 1930's R1-9 trains mixed in with regular train service. They stop at:

  • 2nd Avenue (F line)
  • Broadway-Lafayette Street / Bleeker Street
  • West 4th Street - Washington Square
  • 34th Street - Herald Square
  • 42nd Street - Bryant Park
  • 47th-50th Street -- Rockefeller Center (A/C/D lines)
  • 7th Avenue
  • 59th Street - Columbus Circle
  • 125th Street (A/C/D lines)
Savvy New York Subway riders recognize this is not a typical route (starts on the F line, ends on the A/C/D lines), and also see the route bypasses a number of stations in Central Park. It runs on the S line, as in SPECIAL.

I love the advertising inside the trains.

Having had to time my trip back from Paris in time
to make sure I was at the AirBnB before the
Metro stopped running, this is still true today.

From here we took the subway to Jay Street and visited the New York Transit Museum.

PS: Rumor has it the "Rogue" day will be December 9. promises, and don't tell anyone I told you.

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