4. The Adorable Book Train
The stunning Rose Reading Room inside the New York Public Library underwent a major restoration from 2014 to 2016. The intricate plaster work of the ceiling was restored, the mural was recreated and the lights got an upgrade. The historic room also got a new mode of book transportation, a “book train.” Before the advent of the book train, books from the tracks were transported via a conveyor belts system and dumbwaiter for oversized books.
The electrically powered train is made up of twenty-four individual cars which can carry up to thirty pounds each. The swinging design of the train’s carts allows them to move in multiple directions and remain upright while switching from horizontal to vertical positions. The train runs on 950 feet of track over the course of eleven levels. It travels at seventy-five feet per minute, which means it takes just five minutes for a book to travel from the stacks below to the Rose Reading Room. You can see the book train in action and experience a ride on it from the point of view of a book in a video here, on the New York Public Library’s YouTube page.