2007-07-20 / Front Page

Pre-WW II Trains Give Residents Chance To Ride Into Past

First Excursion to Take Place On July 22
By Miriam Rosenberg

Rockaway residents can take a ride into transit history, as vintage pre- World War II subway cars make two trips to Rockaway Park this summer.

Straphangers can sit in the wicker seats and enjoy the breeze of a ceiling fan, which cooled subway cars back then, as they ride from the 42 Street and 8 Avenue 'A' line stop in Manhattan to Rockaway Park, for the 70th anniversary celebration of the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge on July 22.

The R-1/9 cars are usually on display in the Transit Museum. Three times a year the museum invites the public to take nostalgia transit rides. This year the museum has picked these cars, which were built in the 1930's and 1940's.

"We are offering the experience to ride on the subway cars that rode on the line at the time," said Roxanne Robertson, the director of special projects at the Transit Museum, about the excursions.

Although there are no formal plans for a historian to be on the train, which leaves Manhattan at 2 p.m., Robertson said that normally there is someone on board who can give you more than enough background on old cars.

On September 8, the public will be given a combination tour of the museum and ride on the cars as the Transit Museum celebrates 75 years since the opening of the first section of the IND subway line, which took place on September 10, 1932.

After boarding the cars, riders will embark on a journey from midtown to Court Street in Brooklyn, where they will receive a guided tour of New York City's Transit Museum. Following the tour, passengers will ride the vintage cars to Rockaway Park and then continue on to finish up at the end of the line - the 207 Street Station in the Bronx.

Robertson said that, during the ride, passengers would be hearing stories of historic importance about the anniversary.

The cars will also be visiting Coney Island. For reservations, call 718-694- 1867. There are 400 seats available for each ride. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for museum members and $10 for children 3 to 17 years of age.

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