Home Queens Scenes from Sandy: The A line destruction in photos

Scenes from Sandy: The A line destruction in photos

by Benjamin Kabak

Washouts from Sandy have exposed old LIRR infrastructure (left) along the A train near the Rockaways.

A SAS tipster sent in some dramatic photos of the damage Hurricane Sandy caused to the A train line. These photos show the approach to the Broad Channel station, and in many photos, old Long Island Rail Road infrastructure has been exposed. As you’ll see, it’s going to take some work to restore these tracks, and service between the Rockaways and the rest of the subway system will likely be suspended for a while.

Tracks over water.

Old LIRR infrastructure underneath newer NYC Transit tracks.


New rolling stock for the A train includes a boat.

Debris on the tracks.

Warped tracks.

The long view.

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Andy November 8, 2012 - 10:54 am

In the second pic the tracks look like they recently got rehabbed b/c the 3rd rail board looks new.

Ray Spezz November 8, 2012 - 11:19 am

They did the week before the Storm

ed April 10, 2013 - 9:56 am

So with this being the only damage these ass clowns are going to take an ENTIRE YEAR to fix it? Morons should have been fixed by now …it’s been SIX MONTHS ALREADY.
INCOMPETENT FOOL’S. They don’t care because it’s mostly BLACK people it messes with. I’ll bet if it was on the North Shore it would have been fixed already.
ps-i’m white.

Ed June 11, 2018 - 8:40 pm

Fuck off asshole.

Skip Skipson November 8, 2012 - 12:17 pm

Wow with the pics. I guess in the next couple of weeks we’ll find out a timeline to rebuild that.

Reminds me these:

I know these are two different http://bkabak.wpengine.com/201.....0-million/

Nathanael November 8, 2012 - 2:24 pm

Reconnect Mott Av to LIRR Far Rockaway. You know there are going to be a lot of people doing that walk soon.

Larry Littlefield November 8, 2012 - 2:33 pm

I’d rather see it reconnected at Whitepot Junction.

Nathanael November 8, 2012 - 2:50 pm

Yeah, but that wouldn’t have helped when Broad Channel washed out. I’m thinking redundancy in a storm. If the Rockaways aren’t going to be completely evacuated (which, given that they are barrier islands, would actually make sense, but will never happen), it would be good to have a LAND-BASED route.

Nathanael November 8, 2012 - 2:50 pm

I should say “effectively barrier islands”, since of course it’s a peninsula.

Jim November 8, 2012 - 3:41 pm

Actually, historically speaking the “Rockaway Peninsula” didn’t include most of today’s peninsula –
instead from Edgemere west was in fact a barrier island).

petey November 9, 2012 - 10:30 am

great map, thanks for the link

Nathanael November 9, 2012 - 1:34 pm

Thank you very much for the link. I saved that. 🙂

Justin Samuels November 11, 2012 - 5:48 pm

I was living in Far Rockaway before Sandy. Well, I’m not there now. No light or heat in my building, and we may not have it for up to 7 more weeks. The Rockaways have become unlivable, and many people will LEAVE.

With that said, I agree with you on the train connection. Reconnect the Rockaway Line to the Far Rockaway branch. At least you’d be able to have regular train service to Jamaica, Penn Station, and Atlantic Avenue. I think this more or less kills any plans to reactivate the abandoned portion of the LIRR, from Ozone Park to the mainline LIRR or the Queens Boulevard line. That service will have to be replaced by more express buses.

ed April 10, 2013 - 9:38 am

They will NEVER connect the A train Line to the LIRR Line because IT WOULD MAKE TOO MUCH SENSE & Cut in on the MONOPOLY that the LIRR has in Long island & will enable them to continue RIPPING off rail riders like they have been for DECADES.
After all we all want those LIRR workers to get a PENSION & FREE MEDICAL CARE & FREE DISABILITY after a lifetime of ripping off Long Islanders & queens people.

Ed June 11, 2018 - 8:42 pm

You are proof that many people on this site are totally ignorant fucking morons. Fuck off bitchboy.

Andrew November 12, 2012 - 6:27 pm

And tear down the shopping center that separates them?

JMP November 8, 2012 - 3:03 pm

If the MTA isn’t going to be able to restore A train service to the Rockaways soon, they need an effective stopgap measure for people who live there, count on the A train, and have already purchased monthly MetroCards.

Are they going to run enough shuttle busses to get riders to the A train? How about cross honoring monthly cards on LIRR or express busses? At the very least, allow people with regular monthly MetroCards to ride the express busses without having to pay the full express bus fare on busses to and from the Rockaways. The residents of the Rockaways have enough extra expenses while dealing with storm recovery. It’s a bit much to ask them to pay more for their commutes at the same time.

Sandy Update: The L train lives again :: Second Ave. Sagas November 8, 2012 - 3:25 pm

[…] Manhattan has returned on every subway line, and the only areas still lacking in service are the A train to the Rockaways, the Montague St. Tunnel and the N train’s Sea Beach Line. Those three areas suffered […]

Someone November 8, 2012 - 6:15 pm

Well we are lucky that the NYCT does not use pantographs and overhead wires.

The Aftermath: Why the A Train Can’t Run to Rockaway, In Photos – insiderater.com November 9, 2012 - 11:38 am

[…] [Photo via Second Avenue Sagas] […]

For now, a ferry between Wall St. and the Rockaways :: Second Ave. Sagas November 9, 2012 - 2:29 pm

[…] we saw the images of the A train heading out to the Rockaways, and the pictures weren’t pretty. The subway, the […]

Boris November 9, 2012 - 5:13 pm

The line should not be restored. Many more people (e.g. all of Staten Island) survive just fine with a ferry and buses. Let’s not throw good money after bad.

Or, at the very least, set an example – don’t restore it until a state or federal grant specifically for that project.

Trish November 12, 2012 - 12:09 pm

You cannot say that because a lot of people from the Rockaways and Broad Channel who depend on the train to get to work and school. Not restoring the line will make a huge inconvience for everyone. Yeah Staten Island survives on just ferries and buses, but this is the Rockaways not Staten Island. I don’t mind being inconvienced until it is fixed, but inconvienced indefinitely will be an issue.

Andrew November 12, 2012 - 8:00 pm

Wouldn’t rebuilding the subway line be cheaper in the long term than relying on buses and ferries?

Caroline Bridgett November 27, 2012 - 11:50 am

Do you have any idea how ridiculous you and others sound. Have any of you ever been to the rockaways? The A line is the oldest, no updated trains. If someone were to cause you harm no intercom, no overhead announcements for delays, no 10 car seating and the trains are barely standing room only everyday after the first 3 stops in either direction, so low ridership is not an issue. For those of us that don’t live in Breezy Point, or Rockaway Park it is the only way in. You say take the ferry, obviously you have no idea. The ferry is only in the affluent areas of 108th street for those of us that live from beach 9th and up we would need to take two buses and a long walk to get to the ferry and then a train and walk once in the city. Total time, (I’ve done it) 3hrs. For the bus route that we now have it takes A shuttle train waitng and traveling time 30mins to a bus 1hr in traffic, to a train
45mins. into the City and the way home is even longer. Or you can do a express bus for $5.50 each way and that takes 2 hours and 15 mins. plus on the way home. Please don’t speak on what you don’t know when it comes to the suffering of others. Family life is non-existent as we are always on the road and being late to work or leaving early is not an option. Very insensitive. But we are not minority that no one cares about. You see you all are not getting the same lousy services. Ours was garbage before the storm. I come from a very good area of the Bronx and will be giving up my home and moving back because of the transportation problem.

Bill November 28, 2012 - 3:29 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more and very well stated. Anyone who thinks an alternative to the subway line to the Rockaways needs a dose of reality. I lived their many years ago before moving out of New York and although the subway service lacked I couldn’t imagine taking buses, ferries, etc. A ferry! Give all who live their a break. I’ll bet he doesn’t currently or previously resided their.

bill November 14, 2012 - 12:14 pm

This talk about not restoring the current line to the Rockaways doesn’t make sense. An alternative method could not move the volume of riders to and from the Rockaways efficiently. Although the Rockaway line is fairly new as compared to the bulk of the entire NYC subway system it is old as compared to other heavy rail systems nation-wide. it is true other systems are much smaller in size and ridership, but they newer and built to better handle mother nature. Modern technology, engineering, etc. can provide an improved, safer and easier to restore line if damaged.

Report: R train’s Montague St. Tunnel ‘several weeks’ away :: Second Ave. Sagas November 15, 2012 - 9:39 am

[…] soon, and the J and Z trains haven’t yet reached Broad St. The Rockaways, as we know, will be cut off for a while as well. But the largest gap in service remains on the R […]

Sam November 21, 2012 - 11:10 pm

As of November 20th, the MTA is operating isolated service on the A between Far Rockaway Mott Avenue to the Beach 90th street station.

Mike Boland November 27, 2012 - 11:47 pm

I was only a few months old when the LIRR trestle across Jamaica Bay went on fire in May 1950 and I was only 5 when LIRR service ended to Rock Park.
I never thought I’d see the LIRR trestle but there it is, under the tracks and washed away right-of-way
Sandy did that.
It came at a great price.
Maybe they should tie up the line to the LIRR again at Far Rock and reconnect the two.
I know that would make a lot of people happy; and that shopping center by Mott Ave. certainly has seen better days.
Buses on Rock Blvd and Rockaway Tpke marked “A Train-Mott Ave.” are a weird site.
They only have one block to join up the tracks but that would take much $$$ and some doing.
Looks like it will be a while before anything runs across the bay.
Will NYCT abandon the line across the bay like the LIRR did in the 1950s?
It’s going to take a lot of $$$ to get it back in service…maybe they need an elevated concrete and steel trestle much higher than mean high tide to keep this from happening again.
Which is worse…fire or water?
I guess it’s a tie.

Rockaways A train service to return May 30 :: Second Ave. Sagas May 16, 2013 - 12:28 pm

[…] Broad Channel and into the Rockaways will begin again on Thursday, May 30, seven months since Sandy swept away the subway tracks and just in time for the summer beach […]

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Railways to the Rockaways | The Frawlicking Rambler November 3, 2014 - 1:33 pm

[…] The tragedy of Sandy is immense, but in the context of the railroad the MTA was completely cut off as most of the tracks were completely inundated and the bridge over the bay through Broad Channel was utterly eliminated. […]


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