MTA/Patrick Cashin

Seven months later, the A train is running to the Rockaways.

The New York City subway system recovered with impressive speed, all things considered, after Superstorm Sandy inundated the network's underground tunnels last October, causing billions of dollars in damage. Within two weeks, much of the severed system was intact again. But the last piece of the subway map wiped out by the storm – 3.7 miles of the A train to the Rockaways – didn't finally come back online until noon yesterday. Today, morning commuters were able to board the line for the first time in seven months.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has spent more than $75 million restoring service to the Rockaways, and another $9 million running temporary bus and shuttle service while parts of the line were closed. These 3.7 miles between Howard Beach and the Broad Channel stations were the most exposed stretch of the entire system, according to the MTA, with destructive saltwater during Sandy "crashing over and under the tracks, twisting steel rails, destroying the electrical and signal infrastructure and washing out hundreds of feet of track support."

MTA map modified by Mark Byrnes. The closed stretch of the A train is highlighted.

Yesterday the line was ceremoniously reopened by a Vintage subway train made up of cars from the 1930s:

All photos courtesy of Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Patrick Cashin.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. an aerial photo of urban traffic at night
    Transportation

    The Surprisingly High-Stakes Fight Over a Traffic-Taming ‘Digital Twin’

    Why are some mobility experts spooked by this plan to develop a data standard that would allow cities to build a real-time traffic control system?

  2. a photo of the First Pasadena State Bank building, designed by Texas modernist architects MacKie and Kamrath. It will be demolished on July 21.
    Design

    The Lonely Death of a South Texas Skyscraper

    The First Pasadena State Bank, a 12-story modernist tower inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, has dominated this small town near Houston since 1962.

  3. A NASA rendering of a moon base with lunar rover from 1986.
    Life

    We Were Promised Moon Cities

    It’s been 50 years since Apollo 11 put humans on the surface of the moon. Why didn’t we stay and build a more permanent lunar base? Lots of reasons.

  4. Environment

    Where to Find Relief in the Big East Coast Heat Wave

    Maps of urban heat islands show where residents can find pockets of cooler air in Boston, Philadelphia, Richmond, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.

  5. A photo of anti-gentrification graffiti in Washington, D.C.
    Equity

    The Hidden Winners in Neighborhood Gentrification

    A new study claims the effects of neighborhood change on original lower-income residents are largely positive, despite fears of spiking rents and displacement.

×