11:57 PM / Thursday September 21, 2023

28 Oct 2012

ALL ABOARD! National Constitution Center and SEPTA unveil speakeasy Silverliner V train car

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October 28, 2012 Category: Local Posted by:

The National Constitution Center and SEPTA today debuted the brand new Speakeasy Silverliner during a press conference held on Track 0 at Philadelphia’s Suburban Station. Celebrating the world premiere American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibition now on display at the National Constitution Center, this is the first time a SEPTA Silverliner train car has been wrapped – inside and out – for a media campaign.


National Constitution Center Interim President and CEO Vince Stango, SEPTA Director of Public Affairs Richard Maloney, and City Representative Melanie Johnson spoke during the event, which also featured a special performance by Society Hill Dance Academy. The custom train car, which is part of the new Silverliner V fleet, was designed by Philadelphia advertising agency Holton Sentivan + Gury, and will be in service on different SEPTA regional rail lines throughout the run of the Center’s American Spirits exhibition. The media campaign also will feature a social media contest.


“Working with SEPTA and Holton Sentivan + Gury has allowed us to create a captivating and immersive experience that immediately demands your attention and conveys our excitement about this world premiere exhibition to commuters across the region,” said National Constitution Center Interim President and CEO Vince Stango. “We hope that everyone who rides on the National Constitution Center Speakeasy Silverliner will participate in our social media contest and be inspired to visit the American Spirits while it is in Philadelphia.”


“I encourage regional residents to rediscover Philadelphia by taking SEPTA to reach the many world class attractions and museums located in the Philadelphia region,” said SEPTA General Manager Joe Casey. “This campaign allows our riders to step back in time just by stepping into the Speakeasy Silverliner car. We invite everyone to ride SEPTA and then visit the National Constitution Center.”


The new Silverliner features vibrant graphics on special wallpaper-like plastic wrap, applied 3D elements, and other floor-to-ceiling visual enhancements designed to make SEPTA riders feel like they are fully immersed in a 1920s speakeasy. Upon boarding the Silverliner, commuters will be greeted by life-size graphics of colorful Prohibition-era characters including flappers, musicians, Al Capone, and even a bartender pouring martinis.


The train car features a faux tin ceiling similar to the real-life ceilings found at the turn of the century framed by faux 1920s crown molding. The car walls are adorned by Victorian “wallpaper” covered in hanging pictures and other decor of the era. Several windows in the car are wrapped to look like a wooden liquor cabinet with its doors open and bottle contents on display. Other windows look out onto iconic scenes from the era including police officers, bootleggers, and temperance lobbyists.


Travelers who find themselves aboard the Speakeasy Silverliner are encouraged to take a photo on the train and post it to Twitter using the hashtag #NCCSpeakeasy or to Facebook tagging both the National Constitution Center and SEPTA for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the American Spirits exhibition. In addition, SEPTA pass holders will receive $2 off the regular admission price at the Center’s box office. The Center also is taking advantage of 120 digital screens aboard SEPTA trains to advertise throughout the duration of the exhibition.


From October 19, 2012 through April 28, 2013, the era of flappers and suffragists, bootleggers and temperance lobbyists, and real-life legends like Al Capone and Carry Nation will come vividly to life in the National Constitution Center’s world-premiere exhibition American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. Spanning from the dawn of the temperance movement, through the Roaring ’20s, to the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment, this first comprehensive exhibition about Prohibition will explore America’s most colorful and complex constitutional hiccup.


American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition is created by the National Constitution Center and curated by Daniel Okrent, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. Following its debut at the Center, the exhibition will embark on a nationwide tour.


Admission to American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition is $17.50 for adults, $16 for seniors and students, and $11 for children ages 4-12. Active military personnel and children ages 3 and under are free. Group rates also are available. Admission to the Center’s main exhibition, The Story of We the People, including the award-winning theatrical production Freedom Rising, is included. For ticket information, call 215.409.6700 or visit


American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

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