Reach the beach: Vintage subway trains will ride to the Rockaways and Coney Island this summer

May 30, 2024

All photos courtesy of the New York Transit Museum.

Beach and boardwalk-bound New Yorkers can ride to the shore in vintage style this summer. The New York Transit Museum announced two “nostalgia rides” in July and August that will bring beachgoers to Coney Island and the Rockaways via R-19 train cars from the 1930s. Tickets, which cost $60 for adults, go on sale Friday, May 31.

A vintage subway advertisement.

To the delight of public transit buffs, throughout the year, the museum rolls out a fleet of decommissioned subway trains for special trips around the city. Retro rides include treks to Yankee Stadium, Brighton Beach, and all of Manhattan during the beloved holiday nostalgia rides around Christmas. The trains feature old-fashioned seating, strap hangers, and advertisements.

This summer, the Coney Island Nostalgia Ride takes place on Saturday, July 20. A vintage 1930s R 1-9 will depart from 96th Street-Second Avenue Station in Manhattan at 10 a.m. and travel to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue. The trip takes about two hours.

Riders can stay and enjoy the boardwalk, beach, and amusement park and then make the return trip to Manhattan at 4 p.m.

On Sunday, August 11, the museum’s vintage train will travel from 96th Street-Second Avenue at 10 a.m. to Rockaway Park-Beach 116th Street in Queens. After a dip in the ocean and an ice cream cone, you can take the 3 p.m. train back to Manhattan with the museum, or stay longer to soak up the sunshine. The ride to the Rockaways can take between 60 to 90 minutes.

Tickets for non-members cost $60 for adults and $40 for children. Member rates are $50 for adults and $30 for children. Learn more here.


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  1. M

    Get ready for trains to be a Mess & graffitied……… just my opinion