MTA unveils schedule for vintage nostalgia holiday trains

NEW YORK CITY – It’s another sure sign of the holidays in the city — the return of the vintage trains!

From Thanksgiving weekend through the Sunday before Christmas, straphangers will be able to descend into subway stations along the M line and take the local train back in time.

The holiday nostalgia fleet features eight subway cars from the 1930s.

The so-called Shoppers Special train is made up of R1/9-style cars, also known as city cars, which served as the foundation for the modern subway train. The cars, which ran on the lettered lines, are teeming with atmosphere. Have a seat on the rattan chairs, read the newspaper under incandescent bulb lighting, stay cool under the big ceiling fans, and get a  read on your final destination from the roll signs.

The trains will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 27, Dec. 4, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18,  running between Second Avenue in Manhattan and Queens Plaza. The last of these cars left service in 1977, and were the type that would have given Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn the inspiration for the iconic New York anthem, “Take the A Train.”

“We owe a great deal to these City Cars, because they were durable work horses that remained in our fleet for 40 years. They are the foundation of every subway car we have designed since, and they continue to serve as a reminder of our past and how far we have come in design and customer comfort,” said Wynton Habersham, NYC Transit’s Senior Vice President of Subways, in  a news release. “Our customers love riding these vintage classics every year, and we love showing them off.”

Nostalgia buses will return in December, but the route and schedule are still being determined. Last year, these buses ran on the M42 line along 42nd Street in Manhattan.

For more information on the holiday nostalgia fleet, click here.