Brooklyn Capers–A Trip to the Transit Museum


If you have never been there or, if the last time you were there was when your children raced wildly from one car to another, as Mary Lou’s did, you owe it to yourself to see it again. Arriving in the heart of downtown Brooklyn,I was once again amazed at how big and important a city Brooklyn was and is–a major metropolitan center, even by New York standards.

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And there was the museum–right in front of me—a familiar subway entrance but with a difference.

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This is the Court Street Station–“decommissioned but still working”–and the happy look of the genuine subway stop continues throughout,

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including a token booth,

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token and change takers,

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and turnstiles that you don’t have to jump, says Ed.

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On the first floor down, you will find an informative set of exhibits and photographs from the beginnings of the hair-raising excavations

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through an extremely detailed hands-on description of how electricity works and how it makes the trains work. Wonderful for a budding Edison or even us. We also see some real buses (or parts of buses) perfect for imagining and a petit Grand Street Line car from the Brooklyn Rapid Transit.

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One floor down, you come to the big trains–real ones on a live third rail–parked in a real subway station.There must be 20 cars there from the earliest

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with its green and yellow striped cane seats and the famous straps inside old dark red car

to the most recent.

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For those who love locomotives, you will find them there

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and if you enjoy looking at the ephemera of the period–ads, notices and such–it is a fascinating look back.

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What a grand idea for a museum. By the way, if you still own and wear French cuffs, you can buy subway token links for them or other fine jewelry reminding us of pre-electronic card days.

Wednesdays are free for seniors 62+ but if you can’t come on a Wednesday, it’s still only $5 for seniors.

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