MANHATTAN, N.Y. — A subway car that’s more than a century old will once again rumble through Manhattan, but this time it will carry essential transit workers who braved the COVID pandemic to keep the city running.
Brooklyn Union Elevated Car Number 1273 will serve as a float honoring MTA workers during the Hometown Heroes ticker-tape parade through the Canyon of Heroes on Wednesday, according to the MTA and New York Transit Museum.
New York Transit Museum Director Concetta Bencivenga said it was an honor to have the subway car participate in the city’s parade for essential workers.
“We’re honored to provide Car 1273 for [the] parade up the Canyon of Heroes. While the car is an irreplaceable part of New York City’s transportation history, then as now, it is the men and women of New York City Transit who ensure that millions of people arrive safely at their destination and face the challenges of their day,” Bencivenga said.
The transit workers will be riding in vintage style, as the 118-year-old BU subway car features rattan seats, old-school “straphangers,” and other elements of its original time period.
Built by the Laconia Car Company in 1902, Car 1273 operated as a motor car along Brooklyn’s elevated lines from 1903 to 1938. It also ran as a Q car on the Astoria and Flushing lines in Queens from 1939 to 1949, and transported crowds to the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows.
It was restored to its original appearance in 1979 in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the opening of the subway system.