There Will Be a Boardwalk Empire Subway Train

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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.

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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.

[JDoll / @thisisjendoll]

Go to Runnin' Scared for all our latest news coverage.

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18 comments
truckrentals
truckrentals

BEAT THAT NEGATIVE THOUGHT IN TO POSITIVE,, MAKE YOUR DAY LIFE MOVING INTO POSITIVE..

truckrental
truckrental

  to be expected .. hope that you do it all for good ,, for the community as well.

Faundance5
Faundance5

This was a very exciting ride.  Sort of like a "Midnight In Paris" experience without the period authors. 

Rachel Moses
Rachel Moses

This is THE coolest marketing campaign ... I saw this car in 96th st station thinking it was a garbage truck - but in the middle of the day? When i asked if it was the express train bc i saw people exiting, they said to come on board and they made an announcement explaining it was a promotion for boardwalk empire! It was awesome!!! the seats and interior reminded me of a theater  mta personnel was abundant on board and there was even a guy - not sure if he was part of it or just reminiscing in his old age about times back then and subways were $.15... must have been nice.

K L O Y
K L O Y

Can't wait to tag it!

Walter Albert
Walter Albert

there is no train or subway in Atlantic city now or then,

Charlesbraik
Charlesbraik

When I moved to n.y. in 1972 they were still using these cars on the LL line {14 st}

Lionel Bachmann
Lionel Bachmann

Wow, HBO is going all out for promoting their show. I must say, I like the originality of the marketing. A good way to bring a "real-life" feel to their show.

Alex Zorach
Alex Zorach

I think this is a pretty cool idea.  I love when historic trains are put into service.  Here in Philly, SEPTA restored a trolley line (Girard ave) using the old historic cars.  It's pretty retro when you ride on that line...SEPTA did it in large part because it was more cost-effective than getting new trolley cars.  If it's done purely for cost, surely it could be done more often. This is a cute and creative way to advertise too...win-win. =) What would be fun now is if other advertisers could then create vintage-era ads for modern products, and put them up in the car as well, and keep it running a bit longer.

RobB1963
RobB1963

I hope some Flickr folks are there taking a bunch of photos. I would love to see more shots of the cars..

Dave
Dave

Any idea what firm did the work for this?

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HotBananaPeels
HotBananaPeels

Sure it's not 72nd instead of 76th? 2/3 doesn't stop at 76th normally. Not to be nit-picky but it might confuse some tourists.

Or maybe I've been too drunk to ever really notice where it stops.

Cat V
Cat V

Yeah it doesn't stop at W 76th normally because there's no stop there.  Not to be nit-picky.

Jdoll
Jdoll

typo -- fixed, thanks!

Jen Doll
Jen Doll

Hey Joe, Complimentary cards will be given out around the Times Square and 72nd street stations on the 24th and 25th.

joe
joe

Hey: Im excited  I love old trains. Tell me the time and stop where  I can get a free metrocard. Please advise. Thanks

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