My earliest recollections of riding trains was going to visit
my grandparents. Our route would go from one end of the system
in the northern part of The Bronx to the other in the Crown Heights
section of Brooklyn by elevated subway.
I would stare out of the front window of the #4 Woodlawn Train
(which still passes Yankee Stadium) watching the tracks and signals,
trying to figure out our route by the placement of the switches
and color of the
lights seen ahead. My original toy train collection included only
freight sets. I decided to add passenger service when I got older
and could afford to buy toy trains on my own. I had always hoped
that one day, someone would make a subway car, reminiscent of
my youth. MTH had had the forethought to reach into the dark recesses
of my mind and has previously introduced various NYC Subway cars;
Palisades Amusement Park cars; and now the Jahn’s Ice Cream
Parlor store; to my potential layout? (Mikey, how about Freedomland
I have been extremely disappointed that Lionel only made Multiple
Units and trolley cars, but never Subway cars. Considering that
much of Lionel’s customer base was and still is in the Northeast,
this decision always puzzled me.
Seems that both MTH and K-Line feel somewhat differently, luckily
I took the above pictures at Chambers Street in NYC, the once
temporary terminus of the NYC Subways IRT 1 and 9, subway lines,
just slightly north of the World Trade Centers.
This particular train was working on replacing the damaged tunnel
walls and ceilings from the steel beams that had pierced it from
the collapsing Twin Towers above. The roadbed on the recently
re-opened train tracks now continues towards the South Ferry station,
adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry.
How delighted I was when I attended the 2002 Toy Fair and I pre-ordered
the MTH 30-2273-1 MTA Worktrain in the special "2002 Toy
Fair Brochure" catalogue.
Interesting enough, this set came in a plain generic box with
only a label inside.
This set comes with a NYC MTA NW2 diesel engine; subway car;
tankcar and searchlight car.
Not to be outdone in this apparent NYC MTA craze, K-Line came
out with complimentary items such as the NYC Transit Double Dome
tank car #K-635-8015; NYC Transit Ore car with 4 road numbers
#K-671-8011; and NYC Transit Crane & Boom 2-PAC #K-681-8011A
(K-681-8011 & K-682-8013).
To further up the ante, MTH countered with another work train
subway car #30-2273-4, as well as in the “seen at York”
MTH 2003 Volume 2 catalogue containing an MTA Engineering car
30-79037 and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Gondola Car
w/Junk Load #30-7255.
Thanks go out to the visionary marketers at both MTH and K-Line
to finally see the light at the end of this particular NYC tunnel.
P.S. Speaking of York…
…what good would York be without me finding yet another
Mission accomplished thanks to John Trotta in the former Purple
Hall RIP and his customized business. E-Train feature editor Jim
Herron and I bought numbers 1 & 2 of 2.