There Will Be a Boardwalk Empire Subway Train


Today in historical things that are kind of cool: You’ll see a 1920s (authentic, vintage) subway train running on the 2/3 track for all the weekends in September. The train was originally used for the IRT system, and began service in 1917. Now its rattan seats and Prohibition-era detailing (ceiling fans! drop sash windows!) will be paired with “Boardwalk Empire-inspired period artwork” because, after all, this is not just an old train, it is a promotional old train. Specifically, HBO is using it to remind people of season two of their Prohibition-era-detailed show, Boardwalk Empire, which premieres on Sunday, September 25. Ah, yes.

The MTA occasionally brings back adorable vintage subway trains for holiday time and such. And despite this being a promotional gambit, and therefore slightly less “innocent” in purpose, we do like legit old subway trains, and apparently “brand ambassadors” will be giving complimentary MetroCards away on the weekend of the show’s premiere. Free stuff. That makes up for “brand ambassadors.” Also, a vintage subway train is better than a whole train covered in wall-to-wall Target advertising…right?

For the record, Laura Young, director of corporate affairs at HBO, told us they’ve never used an authentic, time-period accurate train for other show promotions, though they did wrap and brand a train in which the interior was transformed to the period, for Deadwood.

Catch the train Saturdays and Sundays in September from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. — it will make stops at 96th, 72nd6th, and 42nd street. Catch the show wherever you watch HBO, if you do that sort of thing.