New exhibit at Transit Museum celebrates Metro-North’s 40th anniversary

July 6, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — An exhibit about the MTA’s Metro-North commuter railroad, “Metro-North at 40: The Oldest Young Railroad,” is now on display at the Grand Central Gallery of the Brooklyn-based New York Transit Museum.

Metro-North is one of two commuter railroads under the MTA umbrella. The other is the Long Island Rail Road, whose Brooklyn flagship is the striking, modernistic Atlantic Terminal at Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.

Since the extension of LIRR service to Grand Central, Atlantic Terminal is mainly served by a fast, high-frequency shuttle to and from Jamaica. Both commuter railroads share very similar electric-powered train cars, although their diesel cars are quite different.

Both the LIRR and Metro-North lines were originally owned by private railroad companies. In the case of the LIRR, the MTA took over its lines from the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1966, although the LIRR traces its history all the way back to the Brooklyn and Jamaica Railroad in 1832.

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The Metro-North lines were previously operated by the New York Central; the New York, New Haven and Hartford; and the Erie Lackawanna. These lines remained under private ownership longer than the LIRR, and the MTA created Metro-North only in 1983.

“Forty years ago, Metro-North was formed amidst a sea of uncertainty but secure in the knowledge that New York needed reliable regional rail service” says New York Transit Museum Director Concetta Bencivenga. “Metro-North at 40 explores the incredible legacy of the railroads that were brought together and the people who made it happen; and begins to explore what Metro-North’s next chapter might look like.”

“As the five Metro-North presidents before me could attest, the journey to where we are now was not an easy one, but most definitely a rich and colorful one. This exhibit is a snapshot – actually many snapshots – of an institution whose determined employees lifted it from humble beginnings to one that consistently receives high marks in safety and customer satisfaction.” says MTA Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi.

Visitors to the New York Transit Museum’s Grand Central Gallery can view early plans for rapid transit, railroad maps, authentic station signage, photography from the Transit Museum’s vast collections, and artifacts including the Metro-North’s 1980s mission statement and flipboard panels replaced by digital technology in the 2000s.

The Transit Museum’s main campus is within the underground former Court Street subway station, whose above-ground entrance is at 99 Schermerhorn St., Downtown Brooklyn.

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