My Favorite Subway Conductor


While most of us take the subway every day, how many of us know anything about the people who conduct the trains? When I asked my friends who their favorite subway conductors were, most of their responses were things like “That guy on the A who sings the names of the stations” or “One time I had a conductor on the N who not only announced the stops but said which tourist attractions were near each one.”

Well, I have a favorite driver – his name is Eric Booker, and he conducts the 7 train. However, Eric’s not terribly famous for his day job. Under his nickname, “Badlands,” he’s one of the country’s foremost champions in a very unusual sport – competitive eating. Booker holds records in events from hamentaschen to burritos to peas. He’s one of the IFOCE (International Federation of Competitive Eating)’s biggest celebrities and makes regular appearances at the best-known eating competition of all, the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Contest, held every Fourth of July on Coney Island.

When he’s not eating or conducting the 7 train, “Badlands” is also an aspiring rapper. You can check out one of his songs (which is about Krystal hamburgers, obviously) here.

14 Responses to “My Favorite Subway Conductor”

  1. Well yeah, most of us only know them by what they do when they’re announcing the stations. I like the guy who says “The Loooong Island Railroad,” at Penn Station. Sadly, Charlie and his pre-recorded friends are slowly making them obsolete.

  2. Working Class says:

    Is this guy your favorite Conductor or Driver? You say both things but we all know that a “operator” drives the train and a conductor opens the doors. Two seperate jobs.

    • Kid Twist says:

      That’s one of my pet peeves: People don’t understand that operators (formerly motormen) dirve the train while conductors open and close the doors and make announcments. It’s especially bad when reporters mess this up because then I don’t know for sure what they’re talking about.

      • Working Class says:

        Yes it is a pet peeve of mine also. They are completely different jobs in the TA. In freight railroading it’s usually a dual title.

  3. Jason says:

    Years ago when i lived off the Queens Boulevard lines, there was this conductor that announced the “Northern Boulevard” station in such an old-timey, truly classic way that every time i pass that station or drive past, i always remember that guy’s tone of voice. It was almost like he was singing the word Northern and that cut off the word boulevard.

    i hope that made sense 🙂

  4. Scott E says:

    This guy on the #2 train has always been my favorite – but, alas, he no longer makes these announcements. I don’t even know if he’s still a conductor.

    “And remember, no matter what your destination, happiness is the way.”

  5. Evan says:

    I like the guy on the 7 train who always cuts off the very end of whatever sentence he says. He purposely trails off at the very end. It’s just funny how he says it.

  6. Joseph White says:

    our local florist can provide superb service when it comes to rare flowers~:,

  7. my mother is a florist and she really loves Pink and White roses “

  8. WAA says:

    Wow, I didn’t know a subway train could be “conducted”. What exactly does that mean?
    And you don’t “drive” a train. The last i checked they don’t have steering wheels. The correct terminology is “operate” or “run”.


  1. […] you take the 7 train, you may be one of the lucky passengers who gets to ride under the direction of a competitive eater. [2nd Ave […]

  2. […] they also have great pieces on the people who ride the subway and those who make it go – like this one on favorite […]

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