“Nostalgia Special” Brings Fans to Opening Day Game at the Stadium

A day at the ballpark is fun but why should the good times start only when your team hits the field or the hot dog guy comes around?   About 90 minutes prior to Monday’s Yankees Opening Day game against the Blue Jays, MTA New York City Transit sent a special “Nostalgia Special” non-stop from Grand Central-42 St to 161 St-Yankee Stadium.  The ride up to the Bronx got fans to the stadium gates in plenty of time for the first pitch at 1:05 p.m.

The four-car Nostalgia Special left from the uptown express platform at 11:30 a.m., Monday April 6, and ran as a “Super Express” to 161 St.  What the 1917 Lo-V (low voltage) cars lack in modern amenities they more than make up for in character and historic significance.  These cars ran in service for more than five decades before they were retired in the late 1960s.  With their rattan seats, paddle fans and incandescent lightbulbs, they serve as a splendid illustration of just how far rapid-transit car design and technology have advanced over the past 100 years. 

The Lo-Vs were named for a newly-developed control that didn’t rely directly on the 625 volts DC produced by the third rail to operate.  The control used a stepped-down voltage relayed from a series of batteries, fed from the third rail.  The “new technology” set up simplified control wiring and significantly reduced the possibility of accidental electrocution to train operators when they coupled the cars in the yards.

The IRT Lo-V cars pre-date roll signs and a significant portion of their operating lives were spent running before the numbered lines had numbers.  Back then, the IRT trains were named – Jerome Avenue Express, Pelham Local, the Flatbush Express, Broadway Local, to name a few.  The names corresponded to the routes or terminals and were printed on wooden boards situated in window-mounted destination sign boxes.   

“The MTA offers multiple ways to get fans to the Stadium.  All are quick, efficient and reliable but the Lo-Vs on Opening Day offer something different, taking customers back to a time that they have either experienced or heard about,” said Joe Leader, Senior Vice President, Department of Subways.  

Veteran subway customers who used the system prior to 1969 bear fond memories of these vintage subway cars.   Some of them are usually tucked away at the New York Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn, where they have honored positions as static displays.   They reflect a time before automated voice announcements, air conditioning or bright fluorescent lighting. 

Of course, you can always catch more vintage trains on display there. Customers who miss the train can visit the Museum, which is one of the city's leading cultural institutions and the largest museum in the United States devoted to urban public transportation history. For more information, click here.

As a reminder, during the season, fans can always take the B SubwayD Subway or 4 Subway train to 161St-Yankee Stadium ([B] during rush hours only).  After the game, trains are queued along the center track of the Jerome and Concourse Lines at the end of games and then called into 161St-Yankee Stadium and filled one by one until the last Manhattan-bound customers are on their way.

Yankee Stadium is also served by the Bx6 and Bx13 local buses.  The Bx1, Bx2, and BxM4 stop at 161st Street and the Grand Concourse, a short three-block walk to the stadium.  Additionally, Metro-North Railroad will offer plenty of direct, fast and convenient "Train to the Game" service on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven Lines as well as frequent shuttle service from Grand Central Terminal/Harlem-125 St Stations throughout the season.  Post-game direct trains are timed to depart 20- to 45-minutes after the last out.