Not Packed on the tRacks

      2 Comments on Not Packed on the tRacks

Guest blogger Katie Spoleti

Public Relations Nation occasionally posts a guest blog written by a Hofstra student. Katie Spoleti is a journalism major and a senior in the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University. 

There’s nothing like New York City during the holidays. Despite the state’s most recognized monuments like the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty which can be seen year-round, most tourists come to see other, more temporary attractions.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and ice-skating rink, Radio City Music Hall, and the holiday shops at Bryant Park are some of the well-known must-sees for which people from all around the world travel to the “Big Apple.” Even though the tree looks the same every year, thousands of families still make it a point to take the trip and view the 94-foot fluorescent symbol of Christmas cheer.

Over the weekend, I came across a lesser known holiday tradition which, for me, evoked the same spirit of the season with less than half the number of people. The Holiday Nostalgia Train, made up of subway cars that were in service from 1932 until 1977, runs every Sunday from November 25-December 30th to bring its passengers back in time. Complete with ceiling fans, padded seats, incandescent light bulbs and even vintage ad posters, the train makes its way between Queens and Lower Manhattan five times daily.

I never knew about this holiday tradition until a photographer I met in Penn Station told me to accompany him and his students along for the ride. With each train car representing a different time period in the early 1900s, the passengers dressed to reflect the years. Seeing men sporting fedoras and women in bonnets and long wool coats really made me feel like I was in an era where things were simpler, classier and (for lack of a better word) cooler.

Since I had such a great time riding the train, afterward I went to the internet to see what other people had to say about their experiences. To my surprise, I found very minimal articles as well as general information about the Holiday Train tradition. This made me think…

Does an event or attraction always have to be vastly promoted for it to be a success? Would something like this old time train ride be as special if there were lines out of the subway entrance to ride it? Your thoughts?

2 thoughts on “Not Packed on the tRacks

  1. Jessica Mohen

    I believe that part of the allure of holiday NYC attractions is the hype surrounding the activities. The holiday spirit is palpable when attending the sites. Everyone is decorated with warm sweaters, scarves, coats, and cheer. If the Holiday Nostalgia Train had more promotion and recognition, the whole environment would seem more exciting. The hype adds to the experience.

  2. Marielle McCartin

    Wow I never heard of the holiday train. I think that would be really awesome to experience and would love to check it out next time I am in the city. I believe that an event will have much more publicity if it is largely promoted, but during the holidays it is easy to stumble upon many different attractions spreading holiday cheer. Maybe the holiday train ride does need more publicity so that more people have the chance to experience it.


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