Saturday, January 12, 2013

H Train to the Rockaways

The impact on the Rockaways of Super Storm Sandy was nothing short of devastating. One of the biggest disruptions caused by the storm was the cutting off of a direct subway connection from the peninsula to the rest of New York. The North Channel Bridge, which normally takes "A" trains from either end of the thin strip of land along the Atlantic Ocean, was washed away and still needs months of rehabilitation before Rockaway residents see their service restored.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority had to transport several trains by truck and barge to the line which runs along Rockaway Freeway in an attempt to connect residents in the Rockaway Park area to shuttle buses which connect to the new 'end of the line' near JFK Airport. Normally, trains run from either end of the line, over Jamaica Bay, to the main "A" line which travels to Brooklyn and Manhattan. Now, previously-disconnected neighbourhoods are joined together by the "H" train which runs back and forth, free of charge, between Beach 90th Street station and Far Rockaway station. It's interesting that the two ends of the line seem to have very different demographics which are now 'forced' to share space in Far Rockaway while transferring to or from the shuttle buses to the mainland, rather than take their separate trains to their separate termini.

Photos taken in the Rockaways, Queens, NY on January 8, 2013. 

Here is a link to a WNBC-TV report on the success of the "H" line and related relief efforts.

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