MTA Marks 75 Years of A Train Service

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As previewed in today’s New York Times, the MTA this morning held a ceremony commemorating the 75th birthday of the A line, originally known as the IND 8 Ave, which made its first run on September 10, 1932.

After a two-man jazz combo played Billy Strayhorn’s "Take the A Train" for the media types clustered at Inwood’s 207th Street Station, and MTA Director Lee Sander issued some brief remarks (which may have been of some consequence — I admit to leaving my notepad at home, having made the two-block trip primarily to see the cool train), the fun began. Reporters and camera crews piled onto a shortened train consisting of vintage, fully operational cars for the trip south to Chambers St., marking the full length of the A line’s original route, and picking up confused commuters along the way.

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The 1932 R1 cars were a little louder than some of today’s, but you can’t beat those cushy seats.

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Ceiling fans (!) and open windows made for a surprisingly comfortable ride.

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Lucky Inwoodites settle in for the trip.

Photos: Brad Aaron

  • Fran Taylor

    “Tske the A Train” was written by Billy Strayhorn, not Duke Ellington.

  • Brad Aaron

    So it was. Thanks.

  • Anyone who rides the A Train ever get the conductor that says “enjoy your A experience”…

  • Brad Aaron

    Yep. The “A Experience” guy is hilarious.

  • How did I miss this?! I take the A everyday to work. Wish I could’ve gone on this cool train.

  • Eddie N.

    I remember the trains with padded seats and ceiling fans well. Cool, they weren’t, though a little cushioning under the haunches was more comfortable.

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