The long-term exhibit will engage visitors in a compelling and participatory exploration of electricity’s role in powering the metropolitan region’s subways and commuter rails.
Part science, part history, ElectriCity: Powering New York’s Rails will occupy approximately 2,000 square feet on the mezzanine level of the museum. It will be a centerpiece of the visitor experience.
“Our goal is to make the science of electricity accessible to everyone. By connecting to the quintessential New York experience—riding a subway—people who never gave a second thought to the third rail or how a subway motor works, will stand on subway platforms with a new understanding,” said Gabrielle Shubert, director of the Transit Museum.
Funded in part by a ConEdison grant, the exhibit weaves together historic objects from the museum’s extensive collection with carefully crafted, science-based interactives that are suitable and appealing to both children and adults.
It also incorporates design services by the Liberty Science Center, one of the nation’s leading science museums. ElectriCity is also the center’s first exhibit in New York City.
ElectriCity: Powering New York’s Rails will incorporate authentic artifacts from the Museum’s collections ranging from mammoth switches and circuit breakers to a giant subway control board panel (circa 1932) that illustrates how the flow of electricity to the third rail was monitored and how the subway’s power grid was managed.
It will feature historical photographs that show construction and daily tasks involved in operating the subway, as well as architectural and engineering drawings that illustrate power-house and substation design, third rail track diagrams, and power to rail connections.
The exhibit is set up for five-year run, from November 2011, through the end of 2016.
The New York Transit Museum is located at Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street, Downtown Brooklyn. For more information, call (718) 694-1600 or visit mta.info/mta/museum