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Page 7

     The date of Transit Day followed, by a month, the fiftieth anniversary of two events in City history: The opening of the first Dual Contract services and rapid transit for Queens through the Steinway tunnels. And to represent those great events what would be better than some of the elder statesmen from the days of the Dual Contracts -- the BMT 67' Standards and the IRT Lo-V's.

     The pursuit of the ideal BMT Standard presented something of a problem. The only cars which could possibly have been in service at the time of the opening of the Sea Beach-Fourth Avenue services had gone to the torch sometime earlier, or were shells of their old selves in work service. As a matter of fact, similar cars built by American Car & Foundry and in their original condition, with standee poles and drop seats, proved to be at a very great premium, as those which hadn't gone for scrap or work service were substantially modified between 1959 and 1961. The search was growing more hopeless as car after car proved to be altered beyond immediate redemption. And then, at long last, in a corner of Coney Island Yard, cars #2390, 2391 and 2392 turned up -- somewhat neglected, but otherwise in original condition.

1939 World's Fair BMT Standard

     After the Times article, an ominous silence shrouded the scene and it appeared that the idea would be allowed a Rip van Winkle siesta while the scrapper's torch knocked off the old equipment like duckpins. And then a strange thing happened: Three BMT Standards, five IRT Lo-V's and an inshopped "Q" disappeared from sight.

Transit Day

July 22nd, 1965, had been designated as Transit Day at the World's Fair. Such days were not new to the Fair, nor, for that matter, were the celebrations. To the able men of the TA's Public Relations Department, the celebration promised an opportunity to do more than just suffer the public with another of the weary hooplas which, after full coverage in the Daily News centerfold, would pass into the morgues of the newspapers. Instead, they would present the public with a slice of transit history -- and make a very real start on their museum while they were at it.

Invitation to Ride. For the 1939 Fair, BMT Standards were equipped with brackets containing lights to illuminate orange and blue signs announcing "World's Fair" in large letters, and "train connection" (the fact that riders would have to transfer) in much smaller type.
     The BMT Triplex did them one better, with orange and blue roll signs and, with typical BMT flair, a Trylon and Peripshere on the route sign (see cover).

Museum Q #1622 at Corona Yard 1965

Transit Day Afternoon. After the ceremonies, Q-type 1622 rests in Corona Yard, while the museum Lo-V can be seen behind it at upper right. Interestingly, the "Q" car now in the Transit Museum is 1612C, not the unit above. 1622's three cars were fated to go into the shops for yet another metamorphosis to be restored to their near-original appearance as BU gate cars 1273, 1404 and 1407.

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Updated Saturday, December 02, 2000

©1966 Silver Leaf Rapid Transit. ©2000 The Composing Stack Inc. All right reserved