Choo choo!!! I just love trains especially the old locomotives but those aren’t common place anymore. NYC’s transit system never fails to impress me. Yeah, we’re aggravated all the time about service and grumpy when the cars are crammed but you can travel far and get around really easy without a car. It is the busiest rapid transit system in the US and the world. In 2015, there were 1.76 billion rides, 5.7 million daily rides on weekdays and a combined 5.9 million rides each weekend.
A few weekends ago, we got to take a Behind the Scenes Tour of the Coney Island Overhaul Shop & Tower with the Transit Museum. It was great seeing blue collar America and meeting the everyday people who enable us to get around. They aren’t appreciated enough. We don’t often think of the behind the scenes workers in our everyday lives. The MTA hires mechanics and specialists, and certified people to maintain our trains. They keep our city going.
On this tour we met, Mike the manager who will retire later this year. He came in on his day off to show us around. He gave us a tour of this yard and you could tell he enjoyed and is proud of what he does. He should be. He’s a part of what makes this city amazing. The transit complex at Coney Island, Brooklyn opened in 1926 covering 76 acres of land, 28 acres which are covered in buildings and tracks. The Overhaul Shop is responsible for all mechanical, electrical and structural repairs.
The Maintenance Shop handles the day to day maintenance and inspection of the B, D, F, M, N, Q, and Franklin Shuttle lines daily.
The Yard opened in 1926 and is capable of storing over 1800 rail cars. The car wash washes about 100 cars a week or 50,000 yearly.
The floors are made of a fiberglass resin. It use to be made of wood sandwiched between 2 sheets of steel.
Mike emphasized how a lot of materials and parts are ordered domestically, not everything is shipped from overseas.
I didn’t realize we were going to visit the tower. That was a nice surprise. The movie, The Money train, bought 3 cars from the yard. The guide pointed it out for a guest when we were at the top, it could be seen all the way in back on some tracks.
I get really lazy traveling around Brooklyn. Living in Chinatown in Manhattan, I could roll out of bed and go on my food walk – hit every store in Chinatown, Lower East Side and Little Italy I’m craving for. In Brooklyn I have to hop on a train or bus. This tour brought us to Gravesend and L & B Spumoni Gardens was nearby. A lot of people tell us to go there. They are known for their Sicilian slices which we didn’t eat. I got the shrimp, mussels and clams fra diavolo – it was really good. I loved it and will be going back. It felt good to sit in their restaurant. Looking around you see all families. It had a local feel to it. It’s a very endangered experience in Manhattan. The bus ride along 86th Street going home felt nice too. The mix of stores, not all chains, reminded me of Delancey Street when I was younger. Delancey when it wasn’t being built into the rich trendy ghetto the developers turned it into.