Home Subway History Video of the Day: Harry Nugent on the 1 train

Video of the Day: Harry Nugent on the 1 train

by Benjamin Kabak

On the same day I discussed intrusive MTA announcements, allow me to present Harry Nugent, one-time conductor on the 1 train.

Gothamist dug up this video over the weekend, and it provides an interesting counterpoint to the MTA’s automated announcements. They may be easier to hear, but there’s a certain charm to a conductor who’s willing to inject personality and information into the PA calls. It’s funny too how these complaints come full circle. We have automated announcements because the PA systems weren’t up to par, but now the PA systems with their pre-recorded messages are grating as well. You can’t win ’em all.

For more on Nugent, check out this 1993 article The Times ran to commemorate his retirement.

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digamma June 6, 2011 - 5:16 pm

You are right to complain about all the “please be patient” announcements, but the ones that name the stops are a massive improvement over the garbled mumbling you still get on the A train.

Phil June 6, 2011 - 5:42 pm

Old South Ferry! How I miss it. I like the conductors who have a sci-fi tint to their announcements, always cracks me up.

Anon June 6, 2011 - 6:14 pm

That youtuber has some good vids

Jimmy June 6, 2011 - 6:27 pm

This reminds me of the M14 driver. The M14 driver loves to crack up some jokes (, Although some ppl don’t like him).

Phil June 6, 2011 - 10:11 pm

Most mornings when I get to Atlantic Terminal and catch the 2/3 there are times when I hit the 3 with a sort of charismatic conductor. He’s always calling brooklyn the beautiful borough of brooklyn, forgot what he says about Manhattan its been a long day.

R2 June 7, 2011 - 9:04 am

This video makes my heart smile. Brings back memories. I rode the 1 from from 42nd to 79th during this time so I’ve had the distinct pleasure of riding with Mr. Nugent.

Eric June 7, 2011 - 9:40 am

There’s a conductor on the G who rolls the R in Broadway. Cracks me up every time.

Cameron June 7, 2011 - 9:51 am

Oh man I remember Harry Nugent! I rode on his 1 train a few times when I was a kid and I loved it! He made riding the 1 a pure and total delight and I became an even bigger fan of the 1 train thanks to him. He’s still the best conductor I’ve ever listened to in the subway. I wonder how he is today, if he’s still alive. Seeing a video like this reminds me of how good times were back in the day. I don’t mind the automated announcements but sometimes you need that real-time human interaction and this video is proof of this.

capt subway June 7, 2011 - 11:28 pm

I worked at NYC Transit for almost 37 years and for a couple of those years I was a Motorman (Train Operator) on the #1. All his Motorman hated Harry because they had to listen, non-stop, to his inanities for three round trips – about six hours – enough to turn you homicidal. And the thing Harry couldn’t understand is that maybe there were a lot of passengers out there who just wanted to suffer their daily subway commutes in silence – just read a book or magazine or just shut their eyes and snooze for a few minutes and not listen to non-stop rubbish.


marta apple June 8, 2011 - 2:55 pm

I’m inspired. I’ve started a campaign to honor memorable conductors and MTA everyday heroes on my blog.


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