MTA Press Releases

Press Release
March 23, 2009
The Route of the Dashing Commuter: The Long Island Rail Road at 175

April 14, 2009 – September 13, 2009

New York Transit Museum, Brooklyn Heights

Special media preview of exhibit: Monday, April 13, 2009, at 10:30 a.m.

Please RSVP to (718) 694-4915 or e-mail

***Additional information on media preview event to follow...

To commemorate the Long Island Rail Road's 175th anniversary, the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn Heights is presenting a new exhibition April 14, 2009 – September 13, 2009, entitled, "The Route of the Dashing Commuter: The Long Island Rail Road at 175." The exhibition will examine the transition of Long Island from an idyllic farming community to one of the nation's premiere suburbs, with some of the Northeast's most beautiful beaches, and easy access to jobs in New York's hub. Using vintage photographs, maps, illustrations and objects on loan from the Museum's and private collections, the exhibit unfolds a fascinating story of the railroad and how it continues to contribute to the development of Long Island. In addition to the historical aspects of the Rail Road, the exhibition will look at the current East Side Access tunnel construction project, bringing Long Island commuters into Grand Central Terminal and bringing the Long Island Rail Road into the future.

Dashing Dan
Dashing Dan
Among the iconic images that portray The Route of the Dashing Commuter, Dashing Dan (c. 1950s) and later Dashing Dottie (c. 1963), best capture the hurried but stylish Long Island Rail Road commuters on the go. Fanciful and whimsical, The Route of the Dashing Commuter customer service campaign was launched in the 1950s aimed at increasing the railroad's ridership. Several names for the "Dashing Dottie" character representing women in the workforce were considered including 'Sprinting Sally' and 'Rushing Rosie.' The 'Dashing Dan' logo also appeared in a 1964 newsletter ("Dashing Dan's Diary"); as a drink in bar cars; as decals on the side of trains; and on several souvenir items.

"When we were first chartered in 1834, it is doubtful our founders envisioned what we would become 175 years later – the largest commuter railroad in North America, serving 87.4 million customers on more than 700 miles of track stretching from Penn Station to Montauk, and many communities in between. This great enterprise – kept strong by our proud workforce of 6,800 - has served as an economic engine for Long Island and for the entire New York Metropolitan region, getting customers safely and quickly to and from work, leisure activities and other destinations, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The decade to come will see continued efforts to modernize our operation as we get ready for the largest expansion of our service in recent times. The East Side Access project will provide LIRR customers with a one-seat ride to Grand Central Terminal, a key service improvement benefiting travelers for the next 175 years to come! The Transit Museum's exhibit celebrates our rich history and illustrates the exciting changes ahead. We encourage all to make a trip to Brooklyn to see where it all began." said LIRR President Helena Williams.

Initially planned as a rail and steam boat connection between Brooklyn and Boston, the Long Island Rail Road has adapted to the ever changing needs of its customers and survived competition, takeovers, hard times and bankruptcy. The LIRR, whose official 175th anniversary date is April 24, 2009, is also the oldest railroad in the United States still operating under its original name and the busiest commuter railroad in North America. The railroad is comprised of 11 different branches, stretching from Montauk – on the eastern tip of Long Island -- to Penn Station in the heart of Manhattan, approximately 120 miles away. Along the way, the LIRR serves 124 stations in Nassau and Suffolk counties, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

To better serve their customers, the Long Island Rail Road is currently embarking on a massive expansion project known as East Side Access, allowing LIRR trains access to the East Side of Manhattan via new tunnels and a transit hub to be built under Grand Central Terminal. For a closer look at the LIRRs East Side Access project currently under construction. The exhibition The Future Beneath Us: 8 Great Projects Under New York, on view through July 5, 2009 at the Transit Museum's Grand Central Gallery Annex presents amazing photographs of the construction site, architectural renderings and scale models and videos. Admission to the Gallery Annex is free.

Special events offered in celebtratin of the 175th Anniversary of the Long Island Rail Road

The Long Island Rail Road is making its 175th milestone with Customer Appreciation Days. For more informatin on this and future Long Island Rail Road 175th Anniversary special events sponsored by the railroad, log onto


April 4, 2009, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ARTS FOR TRANSIT PRESENTS: "A VIEW OF KOREA ALONG THE LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD." The tour begins with a presentation at Flushing Town Hall and an artist-lead tour of Jean Shin's Celadon Remnants, a recent mosaic installation at the Broadway station of the Long Island Rail Road. Shin's work portrays the rich culture of the Korean diaspora, represented by the vibrant local Korean-American community. The tour will stop for tasty eats along the way (not included in tour fee). A MetroCard will be required for bus travel. Tickets: $20; Museum members $15. Children (5-17) $10.


Saturday, April 18, 2009, at 2 p.m. "BELOVED VINTAGE POSTCARDS OF THE LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD." Railroad historian David Morrison presents a collection of historic postcards that shows the breadth and variety of stations along the Long Island Rail Road. As the author of a book on the topic, Morrison discusses these historic station buildings, many of which are still intact, thanks to the efforts of local presevation groups. Free with paid Museum Admission. $5 Adults; $3 children (3-17) and seniors (62+).


Saturday, April 25, 2009 celebrate the LIRR's 175th Anniversary at a symposium co-presented by The Sunrise Trail Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, the Railroad Museum of Long Island and the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum. The event takes place in Hicksville Long Island. For additional information log onto or call David Morrison at 516 935-3145

The New York Transit Museum is located in a decommissioned subway station at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerjorn Street in Brooklyn Heights. Admission is $5 for adults; $3 for children (3-17) and seniors (62+), Seniors are admitted free on Wednesdays.

The New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store is located in Grand Central Terminal (next to the Station Master's office) on the 42nd Street / Vanderbilt Side of the Terminal.

For additional information call (718) 694-1600 or log onto