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Housed in a subway station that was fully operational before being designated a museum space in the 1970s, the New York Transit Museum is considered one of the most fascinating and consistently underrated museums by the city’s culture critics. Located around the corner from the present-day Court Street MTA station, it’s content is devoted entirely to the construction, evolution, and operation of the New York City’s public transportation network.

NYC Subway System Construction

From the digging of the first tunnel to the recent completion of the Hudson Yards Station, the NYC Subway System has a long and illustrious history. Plan a visit to learn about the construction and planning of the NYC subway tunnels and network, from the first breaking of ground through to present-day changes and expansions.

Evolutionary History

When the City Hall subway station opened in 1904, New York was already home to a diverse and dynamic population of 3.5 million people. Between 1904 and 1940, an additional four million souls relocated to The City That Never Sleeps. To keep up with the booming population and the growth of neighborhoods located further and further from Downtown, the subway system has updated and expanded more or less continuously. User-friendly graphs and nifty charts show visitors to the museum how the subway has evolved over time.

Disaster Management

Throughout its century-long history, New York’s subway system has encountered construction accidents, debilitating storms, and moments of terror. How does a network that millions of people count on for daily transport respond to such moments of crisis? An interactive exhibit provides visitors with the answers to this question, with detailed information regarding MTA’s response to events including 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy.

Model Trains

For public transportation nerds, children, and self-proclaimed goofballs, one highlight of the NYC Transit Museum is its vast collection of retired and model trains. Journey to the lowest floor, and you can set foot on trains that crawled through New York’s subway tunnels 50 and 100 years ago. Scaled-down models are also available for children to play and take photos with.

Easy to Get to

Immerse yourself in a trans-decade New York City transportation experience with a visit to the NYC Transit Museum. Check the website for information on hours of operation, special events, and current exhibitions. Just two blocks from NU Hotel Brooklyn, you can walk to the NYC Transit Museum in five minutes.

image @kenziedelaine