118-year-old subway car brought out of retirement for New York parade

An 118-year-old subway car in New York is being brought out of retirement temporarily to help celebrate transit employees and other frontline workers who served during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The New York Transit Museum said Car 1273, which was in service for 66 years and then spent 45 years in the museum’s collection, was towed out of the facility by a diesel engine Monday.

The car will be loaded onto a flatbed truck to serve as a float in Wednesday’s Hometown Heroes parade, which celebrates COVID-19 frontline workers.

“Transit workers show up,” Transit Museum Director Concetta Bencivenga told WABC-TV. “They just do, right? They show up for 9/11, they show up for Sandy, they show up, certainly, through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“And so when we were approached, they said, ‘Hey, Concetta, would you consider letting this train go out?’ You know, it’s literally the least we can do.”

Bencivenga said the car was modernized in 1938 to carry people to the following year’s World’s Fair.

“That car survived both world wars,” Bencivenga said. “It was in service during the first pandemic in the early 1900s. And so, it just feels really appropriate and fitting to bring out the big gun for our colleagues that really did keep the city moving.”