No Brighton Service From 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, And Nostalgia Train Returns Weekends In September

The exterior view of a 1932 R9 subway train. Source: NY Daily News

THE COMMUTE: In preparation for the return of Brighton Express service after a two-year absence, there will be no Brighton Service next weekend.

From the MTA website:
“No Q trains between Prospect Park and Stillwell Av
D, F, N trains, B68 and free shuttle buses provide alternate service
Weekend, 10 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Sep 9 – 12
Q trains run between Prospect Park and 57 St-7 Av.
B68 and free shuttle buses provide express and local service between Prospect Park and Stillwell Av.
Express buses run between Brighton Beach and Prospect Park, stopping at Sheepshead Bay, Neck Rd, Avenue U, Kings Hwy, the Flatbush Av #2 Station and Prospect Park.
Local buses run between Prospect Park and Kings Hwy, making all Q station stops.
B68 bus service is available between Brighton Beach and Stillwell Av (additional service will be provided overnight).
Manhattan-bound customers between Brighton Beach and Stillwell Av:
For faster service to Manhattan, take the B68 to Stillwell Av and transfer to the D, F or N trains.”

The work performed during the past two years included rebuilding the Avenues H, J, M, U and Neck Road stations, which were over 100 years old. New wider stairways were among the improvements. As the final phase is being completed new turnstiles are being installed on the northbound platform at Avenues J and M stations. Other than the installation of windscreens, benches, and new turnstiles and “token” booths, these stations have essentially remained the same since they were built. The restoration of the historic station entrance at Avenue H will not be completed for some time yet.

The B and Q trains have been making the same stops during the renovation period with temporary platforms built at Avenue J and Kings Highway, which will now have to be removed. Brighton Express service should be restored before the end of the month. Due to a screw-up in with the rebuilding of the local tracks in the 1980s, which were made several inches too high, “temporary” wooden platforms were placed on top of the concrete ones at the local stations for the stations to be level with the trains which were in use for over 20 years.

Nostalgia Train

Remember the Nostalgia Train last Christmas, which ran on the Sixth Avenue line from Queens Plaza to Second Avenue? If you missed it, you have another chance this year, although the same cars will not be used. This time the IRT gets the honor. Five “Lo V” cars from 1917 will be used and trains will be stopping in the center of the platform. They are 15 years older than the R 1-9 cars, which operated last year. These cars have rattan seats, ceiling fans and only a single door with a wide rubber strip instead of the double doors used on the rest of the fleet. (The only other subway cars having single doors were the “D-type” triplexes, which operated on the Brighton line until the late 1960s.)

The Lo Vs (short for low voltage) were my all time favorite subway cars since they were the ones I grew up with. Back then, the cars had character with each car class having subtle differences. I just loved the sound the doors made when they opened and closed. Now all car doors sound alike.

Trains will operate all weekends in September on the express 2/3 track in Manhattan from noon to 6 p.m. stopping only at 96th, 72nd, and Times Square-42nd street stations, and riding is free once you paid your regular subway fare.

The event is sponsored by HBO who is paying the MTA $150,000 to promote its new series Broadway Empire. Instead of being outfitted with old subway ads, the cars will feature a custom branded interior featuring Boardwalk Empire-inspired period artwork.

During the final weekend, some HBO folks will be on the streets to distribute complimentary MetroCards in the vicinity of the Times Square-42nd and 72nd street stations.

More information can be found on the MTA website.

In other MTA news, the southbound platform of the Cortlandt Street station of the R train will be reopening today at 5PM. It had been closed since 9-11.

The Commute is a weekly feature highlighting news and information about the city’s mass transit system and transportation infrastructure. It is written by Allan Rosen, a Manhattan Beach resident and former Director of MTA/NYC Transit Bus Planning (1981).

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