Starting Tuesday, residents of the storm-battered Rockaway Peninsula will get a free subway shuttle known as the H train. To connect Beach 67 Street to Beach 90, the train will incorporate a piece of rarely-used track known as the Hammels Wye.
Currently, A train service to Queens terminates at Howard Beach. According to a press release issued by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the tracks over Jamaica Bay were "almost completely destroyed by the storm." Residents have been using shuttle buses to connect to mainland Queens as well as navigate the peninsula.
There are no estimates yet as to when full A train service will be back up and running.
(Note: according to the MTA, the appellation "H" is unrelated to Hammels. Shuttle service began on the Rockaways in 1956; by 1962, it was called the "HH." )
To get subway service out to the Rockaways, the MTA loaded subway cars onto flatbed trucks in Ozone Park, Queens, drove them over the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge, and lifted them back on the rails at the Rockaway Park-Beach 116 station. That work can be seen in the below video.
The H still exists on the rolls of the MTA -- as captured in the 2008 photo below.
An H train, spotted in 2008 (photo by SaikoSakura via flickr)
Kate Hinds is an Associate Producer for WNYC News. She also reports for WNYC and Transportation Nation, a public radio reporting project that combines the work of multiple newsrooms to provide coverage of how we build, rebuild and get around the nation.
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR and Public Radio
International, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.