Next Stop, 1924. Vintage Trains Roll Down Broadway Line
By DNAinfo Staff on September 4, 2011 5:14pm
By Meghan Keneally and Patrick Wall
MIDTOWN — The "Boardwalk Empire" expanded to include a stretch of Manhattan this weekend as vintage trains rumbled from Times Square to 96th Street in hopes of strumming up attention for the beginning of the HBO show’s second season.
A fully-restored Lo-V (Low Voltage) train traveled on the 2/3 express track along the route about every twenty minutes starting at noon through to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Train buffs and curiosity seekers alike will be able to partake in ride will continue every weekend in September, leading up to the show’s season premiere on Sept. 25.
The Prohibition-era train, with cars dating to 1917, has exposed light bulbs, ceiling fans and even straps for passengers to hang onto.
There were also fake vintage advertisements featuring shops and references from the HBO show, starring Steven Buscemi, who stars as Nucky Thompson in the Prohibition-era Atlantic City drama.
Train workers stood at many of the doors helping to keep them open for slow-moving passengers, and a whistle blew as it rolled out of each station.
Several riders made multiple trips on the train in hopes of catching the perfect photo.
"I think it's fascinating they try to preserve the history," said Jiuan-Jiuan Chiou who was visiting New York from Taiwan on Saturday. "It's good for a new generation to experience what [the trains] used to be."
James Robinson, 40, of the Upper West Side, was planning to go to the zoo, but his son, Dexter, 4, loved the train so much that they kept riding it on Saturday.
"We got on and there was a very different-looking train," Robinson said of the throwback. His son said he liked the train because "it doesn't have a number" and "it's express."
One truly vintage aspect of the train was the lack of air conditioning, which was very noticeable on this particularly warm weekend.
“It must have been a rough ride back in the day — no air conditioning and very loud," said Vernis Graham, 52, from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
HBO is paying the MTA $150,000 to run the trains, according to NY1.