Old Prospect Park Substation & the Malbone Street Switch – MEMBERS ONLY

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This is a members only or member pre-sale event. You must sign in to verify your eligibility.

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Sunday November 18

11:00 AM  –  1:00 PM

Old Prospect Park Substation was constructed at the turn of the 20th century to provide power for local trolleys, the Brighton Line, and today’s Franklin Avenue Shuttle Line. When a train traveling too fast through a tunnel just outside Prospect Park derailed on the evening of November 1, 1918, the force cut power to the third rail and de-energized the tracks. Not understanding the gravity of the situation, substation operators ordered the power to be restored immediately, causing an explosion and fires that further complicated the scene at the accident.

The substation remained in service as a manually-operated substation until the 1980s, when modernization increased the substation’s reliability and reduced operating expenditures. Join long-time Museum guide and historian Robert W. Lobenstein, former General Superintendent for Power Systems at New York City Transit, to tour what is now known as the Flatbush-Empire Substation and see the original rotary converters, the modern power controls alongside them, and the switch that restored power to the tracks at the site of the Malbone Street wreck.


Tours last approximately 2 hours from beginning to end, run rain or shine, and require walking, standing, and stair climbing. Shoes must be closed-toed and sturdy-soled; flip-flops and other backless shoes are prohibited. 

This tour provides access to a secure area normally off-limits to the general public. There may not be places to sit or amenities like climate control or restrooms. If you have any concerns, please email tours@nytransitmuseum.org or call 718-694-1867. For information on American Sign Language interpreters, Assisted Listening Devices, or other accessibility matters please visit nytransitmuseum.org/accessibility.

Children must be 10+ to attend and accompanied by an adult at all times.

To be admitted to these restricted sites, participants must provide a copy of a government-issued ID for a background check, and must sign a release immediately after purchasing tickets.

Photography and video recording are permitted. However, tripods, stands, selfie sticks, and external lights may not be used. All photographs taken are for personal use only and permission to photograph may be revoked at any time.

All ticket sales are final. Should you be unable to attend the tour on the date you reserved, the full price of unused tickets may be treated as a donation to the Transit Museum and is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. The Museum is not able to reschedule reservations to another tour date.


Please note: This tour is only available to members. To purchase tickets, existing members must sign in above to verify membership.

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