New York City’s secret subway line with antique cars is back in service — here’s what it’s like to ride it
The New York City subway system is one of the most fascinating curiosities in a city full of mysteries. Miles of underground track shrouded in darkness, littered with abandoned stations and secret passageways — it’s a common object of desire for the urban explorers among us.
And, occasionally, New York City acknowledges the delightful mystery surrounding its 24-hour transportation system. The annual “Holiday Nostalgia” train line, seen above, is a perfect example of this.
The train line, consisting of eight vintage New York subway cars from several different eras, runs for a few weekends each year — from the Sunday after Thanksgiving to the end of the year, only on Sundays. It costs the same $2.75 as any subway ride.
So what’d we do? We got on the train and took a ride, of course! This is what it’s like.
I got on at the Second Avenue stop in Manhattan — when I snapped these photos in 2016, the train ran between the Second Avenue stop in Manhattan and the Queens Plaza stop in Queens.
In 2018, the holiday train is running on the F line starting at the 2nd Av station, and via the A/C/D line from the 125th St station. It makes a handful of stops at major stations along the way — like Columbus Circle and Herald Square — “as an ode to the holiday shopping season,”
As you can see from 2016’s schedule, the train ran throughout the day starting at 10 a.m. and concluding at about 5 p.m. It’s similar in 2018, but there are a few changes.
The schedule is slightly different for 2018. According to the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the train “will depart from 2nd Avenue on the F line in Lower Manhattan and run along 6th Avenue in Manhattan to 47th-50th/Rockefeller Center before heading up the Central Park West line, where the train will stop at 59th St – Columbus Circle before making its way up to 125th St on the A/C/D lines in Harlem.”
Even though we arrived at 12:30, there were already a bunch of people waiting — some were clearly tourists; others were clearly New Yorkers.