Free H Shuttle Provides Rockaway Service

With the prospect of Rockaway Line service being disabled for the next several months due to the destructive force of Hurricane Sandy, the MTA took the unprecedented action of moving subway cars by flatbed truck onto the Rockaway Peninsula and setting up a temporary shuttle service.

Beginning at 4 a.m., Tuesday, November 20, the fare free H Shuttle will run between the Far Rockaway-Mott Ave. station and Beach 90th Street making all intermediate stops. Service will operate on both tracks between Far Rockaway and Hammels Wye, and then on a single track into and out of the Beach 90th St. station. The rarely used Hammels Wye is the point where a single track connects the Rockaway Line where it divides to serve Rockaway Park and Far Rockaway.

Four car trains will operate every 15 minutes, between 4 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. from Far Rockaway and between 4:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. from Beach 90th Street. As a reminder, the Howard Beach-Far Rockaway shuttle bus will continue to run 24/7.

The 60-foot, 80,000 pound R32-type subway cars were loaded onto flatbed trucks in Ozone Park, Queens and trucked across the Cross Bay Boulevard Bridge and placed back on the rails at Rockaway Park. Once there, they were prepared for operation. In all, 20 cars were transported over four nights last week. Photographs of the transfer operation are available by clicking here and raw video suitable for broadcast is available here.

"The reconstruction of the Rockaway Line between Howard Beach and the South Channel Bridge will be a tremendous undertaking, requiring months of planning and labor," said NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast. "While media attention has been focused on the flood damage to our under river tubes, we also suffered severe damage along our outdoor lines. The Rockaway Line was especially hard hit and will require additional time to repair. We have a big job ahead of us."

The restoration of A service to Howard Beach allowed for the creation of a bus shuttle to the Far Rockaway-Mott Ave. station, where customers may transfer to the H shuttle.

For more information on restoration efforts along the Rockaways, click here.