Tag Archives: New York Transit Museum

Holiday Train Show @ Grand Central

annually => November – February

Choo! Choo!  Trains everywhere!

Like trains?  Well, if you coming to New York City during the Winter Holidays you can enjoy Vintage Train rides and a host of miniature train shows like the annual Train Show presented by the New York Transit Museum at Grand Central Station in the Museum  Gallery, Annex and Store

Although New York City Subways was not the first laid down, it is very popular among its citizens both young and old and tourist  from all around the world.

It is after all the fastest and cheapest  mode of  transportation between boroughs for more than a million people daily with a history both fascinating,  thrilling and experiences that are unique!

The  New York Transit Museum does a great job of keeping the history alive with seasonal  train rides using train cars from as early as the 70’s  but one of the greatest thrills is their miniature annual  presentation  of the model railroad exhibition featuring the  Metro-North, New York Central, and subway trains departing from a miniature Grand Central Terminal on a 34’-long, two-level “O” gauge layout and  Lionel trains traveling through a two-level, 34-foot-long miniature New York City and countryside scene. Vintage trains from the museum’s collection, including New York Central models, travel all the way to the diorama’s North Pole.

The Museum’s store also offers great gifts for your holiday shopping  where you can recreate your  own miniature world with  trains or buy a train monopoly game or shop online from the comfort of your home.

The exhibition is free, so if you are a big child or  have children take their imagination  to a place found to be therapeutic for all,  especially those who are  autistic or ADHD.  There is an inner peace awaiting you amidst the Husserl and bustle of the Metro.

This year’s Holiday Train Show display will feature a 34-foot-long “O gauge” model train layout with Lionel’s model Metro-North, New York Central, and vintage subway trains running on eight separate loops of track, against a backdrop featuring graphics celebrating the Museum’s 40th anniversary by artist Julia Rothman. Vintage “O gauge” and “N gauge” model trains and a selection of Transit Museum Collection ½” scale trolley models made by Dr. George Rahilly will also be on view.

Jamaica Bay

Before the Summer goers busted out onto Jamaica Bay myself and my family decided to take the long train ride from Flatbush via the A train to see how summer-ready the beach was after Hurricane Sandy had ‘walloped’ it four years earlier in 2012.

Up these stairs, down those many stairs and we thought we were finally there only to discover that workers were still filling in sand like road pavers on most of the beach. All the steps were covered in sand! The workers were kind enough to leave us to go all the way up to the closed barriers then shout out at us that it was closed.

At least one of them was kind enough to redirect us to the entrance via 60th Street, where the new residential development was.  As we walked along the beach the ecological impact was not so visible except for the many broken shells covering the sand. There were even some surfers and runners who took advantage of the scarcity of people as we did.

It seemed to be a tight race to bring back the cities famous Jamaica Bay in time for summer but we have confidence in the people.



We had a great day playing in the sand but I wished I had brought me a grill instead of bananas to warm ourselves up in the early Spring sunshine. On our way out we began planning our next trip to NYC Transit Museum to see the underground impact of Hurricane Sandy and the responsive efforts of the MTA during this devastation.


Did you Know?


The bay contains numerous marshy islands. It was known as Grassy Bay as late as the 1940s. Jamaica Bay is located adjacent to the confluence of the New York Bight and New York Bay, and is at the turning point of the primarily east-west oriented coastline of southern New England and Long Island and the north-south oriented coastline of the mid-Atlantic coast. The name derives from the nearby town of Jamaica, which in turn derives from “YAMECO”, a corruption of a word in the Lenape language spoken by the Native Americans who lived in the area at the time of first European contact. The “y” sound in English is spelled with a “j” in Dutch, the first Europeans to write about the area. This resulted in the eventual English pronunciation of “Jamaica” when read and repeated orally.


Dogs are allowed to run without leash on Jamaica Bay?

Dog Friendly Areas


Jamaica Bay Swim wear exist at JC Penny


Things to do



Other Important Links

Hurricane Sandy in Jamaica Bay

Hurricane Sandy’s Effects 

Hurricane Sandy Photos


New York Transit Museum

Bringing Back The City: Mass Transit Responds To Crisis – Ongoing through 2017

A new exhibit offering a unique perspective on the vital, often unseen, work of New York’s transit employees. Using the events of 9/11, the 2003 Northeast Blackout, Hurricane Sandy and other severe weather events as examples, the exhibition reveals the critical role that mass transit personnel play in preparing for and responding to natural and man-made disasters.  Through a vibrant display of objects, photographs, media, and personal accounts, the exhibition highlights the technical and professional skills needed to restore public transportation service and get New Yorkers moving again after crisis strikes.  Explore the exhibit online>> 


Special thank you to Rory Gallagher to contribute this amazing remix from Orbital.

Music by:

SoundCloud [Phil Hartnoll]

Do your kids love trains & buses?

Is it only city kids who are obsessed with trains and buses? They never seem to tire of it. You can play over and over again ‘the wheels on the bus’ in any version of any language and they sing along or become fixated.

What is it about trains and buses that get kids so excited? Why are train sets such a popular toy among boys and on the increase among girls as well? Is it the ‘motion and predictability’ similar to the daily routines of their lives that gives them a sense of security, safety and control over their surroundings?

According to an article in NYTimes it even helps kids with Autism.

So, if you love your kids you would not miss this FREE event hosted by New York Transit Museum this weekend.

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