THE HOLIDAY NOSTALGIA TRAIN

All aboard the holiday nostalgia train! Step into this certain subway car in New York and you’ll be stepping back in time. We take you inside.

Aired on December 14, 2018 & January 1, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

> ALL ABOARD THE HOLIDAY NOSTALGIA TRAIN.

IF YOU'RE CRAVING AN OLD-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK, HEAD UNDERGROUND FOR HOLIDAY MAGIC.

EVERY SUNDAY THIS MONTH THE MTA IS RUNNING A SPECIAL FLEET OF VINTAGE CARS ON FROM THE 1930s AND EVERYONE IS INVITED TO TAKE A TRIP BACK INTO TIME.

WE BOARDED A TRAIN WITH NEW YORK TRANSIT MUSEUM EDUCATOR JAMES GIOVAN AS ONE OF THE OLDEST SUBWAY CARS IN THE CITY PULLS INTO THE NEWEST TRAIN STATION IN THE BIG APPLE, THE SECOND AVENUE Q.

JAMES TOLD US ABOUT THAT YEAR'S SPECIAL ROUTE WHILE SHOWING US OTHER TRANSIT TREASURES AT THE NEW YORK TRANSIT MUSEUM IN DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN.

MY NAMES IS JAMES GIOVAN, I'M AN EDUCATOR AT THE TRANSIT MUSEUM.

EVER SINCE I WAS A YOUNG PERSON I'VE BEEN PASSIONATE ABOUT TRAINS.

I CAN REMEMBER LOTS OF FOND MEMORIES AS A CHILD OF GOING PLACES ON THE SUBWAY WITH W MY FAMILY.

IT WAS MEANT TO BE FOR ME.

I LOVE THIS MUSEUM SO MUCH I KNEW THAT I WANTED TO HAVE A ROLE HERE.

THE CARS THAT YOU CAN RIDE ON ARE HOLIDAY RIDES FROM THE 1930s AND THEY WERE CARS THAT WERE THE PREMIER CARS FOR OUR THIRD AND FINAL SUBWAY COMPANY IN NEW YORK CITY.

THAT COMPANY WAS CALLED THE IND, OR THE INDEPENDENT SYSTEM.

PEOPLE LOVED TO DRESS UP FOR OUR VINTAGE TRAIN RIDES.

ONE OF THE REASONS IS IT'S AN INCREDIBLE BACKDROP FOR A GREAT PHOTO OPPORTUNITY.

THIS TRAIN CAR WAS BUILT IN THE LATE 1920s.

THESE SEATS WERE FOUND ON ALL OF OUR EARLIER SUBWAY CARS FROM THE BEGINNING.

THEY WERE LOVED AND HATED ALIKE BY NEW YORKERS BECAUSE THEY WERE COMFORTABLE BUT THEY COULD BREAK VERY EASILY.

THIS TRAIN IS THREE CARS CONNECTED TOGETHER.

YOU CAN WALK THROUGH THEM WITHOUT GOING OUTSIDE.

THIS CAR ALSO FEATURES INCANDESCENT LIGHTBULBS WHICH WERE LEFT EXPOSED BECAUSE AT THE TIME THEY WERE CONSIDERED AN INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY.

THIS CAR HAS CEILING FANS THAT COULD GIVE YOU A NICE BREEZE IN THE SUMMERTIME.

WITH OUR VINTAGE TRAINS, WE HAVE AN INCREDIBLE CREW OF VETERAN TRANSIT EMPLOYEES SPECIALLY TRAINED TO OPERATE OUR VINTAGE TRAINS.

A LOT OF THE WORK THAT GOES INTO KEEPING THESE TRAINING RUNNING IS DONE THROUGH VOLUNTEER WORK AND WE'RE SO GRATEFUL TO HAVE THAT TEAM OF DEDICATED PEOPLE.

RIGHT NOW WE ARE INSIDE OF A DECOMMISSIONED SUBWAY STATION.

THIS STATION WAS MEANT TO BE PART OF A BIGGER SUBWAY LINE THAT NEVER GOT BUILT.

THIS STATION WAS USED TO SET UP A TEMPORARY EXHIBIT THAT OPENED ON THE FOURTH OF JULY IN 1976.

THE EXHIBIT WAS MEANT TO CLOSE ON LABOR DAY.

WHEN THAT CLOSING DAY CAME AROUND IT NEVER CLOSED BECAUSE IT WAS SO POPULAR WE REALIZED THIS SHOULD BE A PERMANENT INSTITUTION.

ONE OF MY FAVORITES IS OUR OLDEST TRAIN CAR IN THE MUSEUM.

IT'S NOT ACTUALLY A SUBWAY TRAIN.

IT'S AN ELEVATED TRAIN THAT RAN ABOVE THE GROUND AND THAT TRAIN CAR IS MADE OUT OF WOOD, IT HAS A MUCH DIFFERENT SEATING STYLE AND IT FEELS MORE LIKE BEING ON A RAILROAD TRAIN CAR THAN A SUBWAY CAR.

WE STILL LIKE TO CALL PEOPLE WHO RIDE THE SUBWAY IN NEW YORK CITY STRAP HANGERS BECAUSE OUR OLDEST TRAINS HAD THE STRAPS YOU WOULD HANG FROM.

ON THIS TRAIN AND EVERY TRAIN IN OUR MUSEUM, WE'RE LOOKING AT REAL ADVERTISEMENTS FROM THE TIME PERIOD THE TRAIN WAS IN SER SERVICE.

THESE ARE ADS THAT ARE PART OF OUR MUSEUM ARCHIVES.

THEY WERE RESTORED AND PLACED INTO THESE CARS SO YOU COULD GET A GLIMPSE AT THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES BEING ADVERTISED BACK THEN.

I THINK IN MANY WAYS RIDESING THE SUBWAY WAS MORE SIMPLE AND MORE RELIABLE EXPERIENCE.

A LOT OF OUR OLDER CARS ARE MUCH MORE SIMPLISTIC IN DESIGN AND THE PARTS WERE MORE SIMPLE.

I THINK PEOPLE ARE ATTRACTED TO NOSTALGIA BECAUSE THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT LOOKING BACKWARDS TO SEE HOW THINGS ARE DIFFERENT, YOU CAN GET A SENSE OF APPRECIATION FOR THINGS WE HAVE NOW BUT YOU CAN GET AN APPRECIATION FOR HOW THINGS WERE DIFFERENT IN THE PAST.

♪ I CAN GIVE YOU ANYTHING, I CAN GIVE YOU ANYTHING BUT LOVE ♪

YOU CAN CATCH THE HOLIDAY NOSTALGIA TRAIN EVERY SUNDAY THROUGH CHRISTMAS EVE.

UNTIL THEN, VISIT OUR WEB SITE AT METROFOCUS.ORG TO FIND OUT WHERE YOU CAN CATCH A RIDE INTO HOLIDAYS PASSED.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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