Last week, I introduced the View from Underground, a weekly posting of a photo or scene from the subway. This Tuesday’s View is, in honor of Sept. 11, a look back at impact that tragic day had on the subway.
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, as events at the World Trade Center unfolded, the subways were thrown into disarray. As Randy Kennedy in The Times detailed on the 12th of September, subway service was suspended throughout the city indefinitely, and no one knew what the future would hold in Lower Manhattan.
The MTA would be up and running after a few days, but service had to be radically altered. The Cortlandt Street station on the West Side IRT was utterly destroyed as these dramatic pictures at NYCSubway.org illustrate. Nearly every line running into and out of Lower Manhattan had to be rerouted, and to address these changes, the MTA released the map excerpted above on Sept. 19, 2001, eight days later.
The service changes were extensive, and a capsule summary from the NYCSubway.org page of the various MTA map iterations succinctly shows the rerouting. The following description combines the details from the emergency black and white map released on Sept. 17 and the map shown above released two days later:
2 & 3 local and 1 express on West Side IRT; many other lower Manhattan diversions; no West Side IRT below Franklin St. and no Broadway BMT below Canal St; no 8th Ave. IND below Canal St.; Wall St. closed on East Side IRT; N and R to Brooklyn replaced by M and J respectively via Nassau Loop; W local only in Queens; 9 and Z skip-stop service suspended… [Sept. 19:] Revision of 1&2 local to Brooklyn and 3 express to 14th Street
Even today, things aren’t quite yet back to normal. As I mentioned, Cortlandt St. remains closed; the work on the Fulton St. transportation hub, spurred on by the events of 9/11, has led to numerous service changes. The reconstruction of the South Ferry station also came out of the 9/11 recovery initiatives.
It’s taken a long time, but the subways have nearly emerged from the tragic and destructive events of Sept. 11. This map can remind us of the chaos and confusion that reigned in New York six years ago.