For the first time in 2 years, subway enthusiasts and lovers of all things vintage alike can hop aboard the New York Transit Museum’s fleet of vintage subway cars for a series of Holiday Nostalgia Rides. This annual tradition, which had been on pause due to COVID-19, is finally back on the rails starting this weekend. In honor of the exhibit Reign of the Redbirds, the Holiday Nostalgia Train will feature the Train of Many Colors and travel along a new route this year.

Inside a vintage subway car at the New York Transit Museum
Photo by Justin Lui, Courtesy of the New York Transit Museum

R-33, R-33WF and R-36 cars from the Musem’s vintage fleet have been selected to make up this year’s Train of Many Colors. All of the cars featured were manufactured in the 1960s. The “Tartar Red” and “Gunn Red” redbirds, Kale Green “Green Machines”, blue-and-silver “Platinum Mist” and striking two-tone robin’s egg blue and cream “Bluebird” paint schemes give the train its festive name and a festive look. The diversity of the cars exemplifies how the subway changed throughout different eras of its history.

These annual vintage subway rides allow commuters to feel what it was like to travel on the subway at a different time. Aboard the cars, you’ll see many vintage features such as subway ads from the era, rattan seat covers, different signage, and more.

Vintage subway signange on the side of a Holiday Nostalgia Ride car
Holiday Nostalgia Train from 2018, Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

When the trains aren’t riding the rails for this special outing, they’re parked at the authentic 1936 subway station which houses the New York Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn. The fleet in the museum is made up of more than 20 different train cars. 

No special tickets are needed to take part in these vintage subway rides, just the swipe of your MetroCard or an OMNY tap. The train rides will run on Sunday, November 27th, and December 4th, 11th, and 18th. The Train of Many Colors will be operating on the 1 line, making all local stops between the Chambers St and 137th St – City College St stations. The rides will be available from 10 AM to 5:30 PM. You can check the Transit Museum website for a full schedule of Holiday Nostalgia Ride stops so you don’t miss this delightful, and oh-so-New-York, holiday tradition!

Next, check out 11 Vintage Subay Amenities That Should Be Brought Back