Parade of Trains 2022
The Parade of Trains is a yearly event that the New York Transit Museum hosts, where many vintage trains from the NYTM's collection head out to Brighton Beach, and are run up and down the Brighton Line. Needless to say, this piqued my interest, so I attended this year - the first time in three years the event happened due to the pandemic - and explored and rode on the various trains on display. Here, I'll post pictures of the trains, as well as a full ride to Kings Highway and back. Hope you enjoy!
I arrived right as the event started, and a set of BMT AB Standard cars were boarding. However I saw a set of R32s on the northbound platform, and the website had proclaimed "trains every fifteen minutes" so I headed over there, only to find the doors were closed. Then, about two minutes after I arrived, the R32 set blew its horn and left the station, with no one on it. An announcement soon played over the loudspeakers that they would have to do test runs of every train before allowing people onboard. Why they didn't do that before the event started is a mystery to me, but alas, soon a set of arnines also departed on a test run.
The R32 departing on its test run
Soon, we got an announcement over the loudspeaker that the R32s would be coming back to Brighton Beach shortly, then would layup on tracks south of the station. We were also informed that when the arnines came back, they would be the "next train to depart". It was about fifteen minutes after the first run had left by this point, so I assumed they were slightly off schedule, which would prove to be quite wrong! Anyway, I headed to the north end of the station to photograph the R32s arriving into the station, and got a cool picture of them curving into Brighton Beach
Aaaaand...the R32 pulling back in (I promise this post isn't only R32s)
The set of R10s and one R16 started up and pulled north, without an announcement, so I assumed that this was another test run. Soon enough, these sets left the station, with no one on them. Soon, the BMT AB Standard cars came back to the station, and everyone crowded around them to board. However, the conductors said that these trains were going out of service and that the arnines would be next to leave.
Newly-restored R10 no. 3189 was at the end of the R16/R10 set
The AB Standards arriving back in the station
With that info, everyone rushed to the northbound platform, where the announcement said the arnines were leaving from. Soon enough, they did arrive, and sat in the station for about ten minutes before there was another announcement. "Hello folks, we've had a vandalism incident with the arnines, please make your way over to Track 3 (the southbound platform), where we have our R10 and R16 set waiting for you." Ugh, of course someone vandalized a train. I swear, every single time the NYTM runs an event, someone vandalizes a train. Anyway, everyone rushed over to track 3, and finally boarded the R10 set, one hour after the previous set had left. Keep in mind, the website had promised trains every fifteen minutes.
The arnines pulling in
Anyway, I boarded the rear car of the set, recently-restored R10 no. 3189, and somehow managed to get the foamer window at the back of the train! The train was packed like sardines, but we soon pulled out of Brighton Beach station and switched tracks, with a little bit of third rail arcing.
An information card about the train
We soon passed some Brooklyn Rapid Transit BU-series cars, which are originally from 1903, and were the oldest cars on display, at 119 years old! We then crossed over the Belt Parkway, and slowly passed Sheepshead Bay station, which is oddly situated on a dogleg curve.
The BU-series cars
Sheepshead Bay station
We sped up a bit out of Sheepshead Bay, and passed an R68 set running on the Q train. We then passed Neck Road station, complete with another R68, where there were lots of people taking pictures. Fun fact about Neck Road - the original embankment built by the New York and Manhattan Beach Railroad still exists right here!
Modern(ish) trains? Nah, I'll stay on the ones from the 1940s
Neck Road station
We then passed Avenue U, which is comically close to Neck Road, and which had yet more people taking lots of pictures. We then passed the switches south of Kings Highway station, and pulled into the aforementioned station, where we waited for the driver to switch directions.
Avenue U station
Kings Highway station
Once the driver switched directions, we headed back down the line, heading the same way. We switched over just south of Kings Highway, and passed Avenue U station and a northbound R46 on the Q.
Switching to the southbound track
No, the side signs didn't work...
We passed by Neck Road station again, and saw the BU-series cars again, now heading northbound. We then entered Sheepshead Bay station, went around the dogleg curve, and saw another R46, this time on a southbound Q. We then crossed over the Belt Parkway and into Brighton Beach station, passing a set of arnines on the way in.
Neck Road, again
No, the side signs didn't work on this one either.
The arnines pulling out of Brighton Beach.