Rockaway Beach Subway: Just In Time For Summer, the Subway to Rockaway Beach Is Back


Before you begin reading this post, let me suggest some background music:

For the first time since Hurricane Sandy, the A train to the Rockaways (a stretch of beach in Queens popular among surfers) is back, a full month before the deadline.

The A line was the most damaged line of New York’s subway system after Sandy, and it took the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) almost seven months to restore it. They first removed more than 3,000 tons of debris washed in with the water, and then they replaced over 1500 feet of subway tracks and countless miles of wiring. With the end of the reconstruction two days ago, the subway is finally whole again.

While all this work was under way, the only public transportation between the city and the Rockaways required a special shuttle service (that was often overcrowded and unreliable), or the revival of the decades-dead H train. The lengthy and inconvenient trek was annoying for people wanting to go to the beach – and infuriating for Rockaway residents who worked in the city.

Hopefully, such a long and drawn-out recovery process doesn’t happen again. The MTA is building a steel sea wall from Jamaica Bay to the Rockaways to protect the subway from future hurricane damage. The wall extends from 33 feet below ground level to two feet above the highest storm surge during Sandy.

Seven months after the disastrous Hurricane Sandy, after many Americans have already forgotten about what a destructive storm it was, “everything is finally coming back together” for New York City.