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A Great Big City

August 24 in History: These Tiny Trains Make Riding the LIRR Look Like Fun

LIRR schedule
LIRR schedule via The Morning Herald, August 24, 1837

Looking over the arrival and departure times in this 179-year-old train schedule could make you expect the LIRR to be the kind of fun ride you'd find circling a miniature golf course.

The modern reality of riding the LIRR may be a fight against delays, track construction, and the all-too-intimate odor of urine, but the Morning Herald from August 24, 1837 shows whimsical icons that put the "railroad" back in LIRR. The cheerful choo-choos are chugging along, hopefully sticking to the three-times-a-day schedule.

Printed only one year after the first train ran on the LIRR, the schedule is celebrating the new extension to Hicksville, Long Island, which had begun operation in 1837.

The trains of the time didn't look too much different than the newspaper depicted, as this 1800s lithograph shows, but they would make quite a splash if the LIRR ever decides to run a 179-year-old nostalgia train!

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