Home Asides Broad Channel service still on track for late June restoration

Broad Channel service still on track for late June restoration

by Benjamin Kabak

As we mark the six-month anniversary of the day Superstorm Sandy swept through the region, South Ferry garners the bulk of the media attention for a variety of reasons. It was the MTA’s newest station, and it suffered dramatic damage, all of which occurred underground and in Lower Manhattan. But it wasn’t the only part of the subway system that suffered.

In Queens, all those miles and neighborhoods away from South Ferry, the subway system that connects the Rockaways to the rest of the city suffered as well. The Broad Channel crossing was wiped out completely, and the infrastructure on the peninsula was heavily damaged. In late March, the MTA said it was targeting a June date for A train service to be restored, and that date holds true today.

I checked in with MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz this morning, and he tells me that the agency is still on track to restore Broad Channel service by the end of June. Simply running trains over the channel doesn’t mean work will stop, and crews will contain to combat the corrosive effect of saltwater for the foreseeable future. Yet, restoring subway service will be a big lift for this storm-ravaged area struggling to stay afloat after Sandy.

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SEAN April 29, 2013 - 1:36 pm

A Jue date? Obviously you ment a June date.

Question… once Rockaway service is restored, would it make more sence to run C trains to Rockaway Park & all A’s to Far Rockaway? As it is, A service is split along Hammels Y causing long gaps in service on each leg.

MH April 29, 2013 - 2:31 pm

I don’t think that will not happen. The rush hour riders out in those parts do not want to transfer to the express trains. They enjoy their one-seat ride from Rockaways through BKN to Manhattan. Also (in non-rush hours), that is what the (S) is for, to connect with the A. I believe I saw a conversation, I forgot the site where a poster stated that the C should go to Lefferts and it was disputed with a similar answer.

Benjamin Kabak April 29, 2013 - 2:33 pm

Also, ridership, available train sets and the added time of running the C out to the Rockaways would lead to arguments against such a service pattern.

SEAN April 29, 2013 - 2:50 pm


Some how I figgured that you would answer that way, but I gave it a shot since it semed logical.

No Name April 29, 2013 - 2:22 pm

Does “service to Broad Channel” mean full service to Rockaway Park too?

Benjamin Kabak April 29, 2013 - 2:29 pm


Scott B. April 29, 2013 - 2:36 pm

I do hope they keep the H train designation… even if they change the S to the H… They should consider bringing back the old H service that ran from Rockaway Park to Broad Channel to Mott Ave back to Rockaway Park.

Even better, run the H service all the way to Euclid. But run it express from Broad Channel, skipping Howard Beach, Aqueduct, Rockaway Blvd. and 88th St. (could skip all the way to Euclid if they re-align the tracks under Grant to the Pitkin Yard.)

The dream alignment is right up the old Rockaway line to meet up in Rego Park and head into Manhattan… One can hope…

Marc Shepherd April 29, 2013 - 2:50 pm

All of these fantasy service patterns come at a cost, as you need more rolling stock to maintain current headways. The Rockaways include a number of the system’s least-used stations, so it’s not an area where the MTA is likely to invest in more service than the pre-Sandy baseline.

SEAN April 29, 2013 - 3:03 pm

What you are describing semes to be something of a chicken & egg problem in the Rockaways. Is ridership low do to the service pattern or is the service pattern causing the low ridership levels. One thing that’s not in dispute, the hour plus trip between the Rockaways & Midtown Manhattan.

Benjamin Kabak April 29, 2013 - 3:09 pm

It’s not nearly as comparable a chicken-and-egg situation as the one that exists for the G train. The general demand for service to and from Manhattan isn’t there, and a local trip from the Rockaways to Manhattan via the C will do nothing to increase ridership.

Scott B. April 29, 2013 - 2:37 pm

Thank you for following up with the Rockaways… 🙂

tacony palmyra April 29, 2013 - 10:28 pm

So given the MTA’s track record with completing work within the time they estimate it’ll take, this may be done in time for the close of beach season on Labor Day.

marv April 30, 2013 - 9:15 am

When the the avenue/fulton/pitkin avenue line was built/connected to the rockaways, why was an alignment along Conduit Blvd not used. This would/would have shaved 3 local (seemingly not major) stops and about a mile off the present alignment. As constructed, 4 subway track feeds into a 3 track el (2 revenue tracks) which then split into 2 tracks to the rockaways + 2+1 tracks to leffert blvd. Having two from the rockaway tying into 2 tracks from the Lefferts would have allowed for faster service to both the rockaway and the connection to JFK.

Given that I-78 will never be built adjacent to the belt parkway, a “subway” line running from Brookville/Francis Lewis Blvd (or if crossing the city line is not heracy – Valley Stream) along conduit and tying into this 8th avenue line should be explored. Stations at: Lefferts, 150th, Springfield Blvd and the Brookville/Francis Lewis could draw south queens bus riders south to this line instead of their present trip north to Jamaica for the E train. The overburdened Queens Blvd IND would benefit.

The clear problem is that despite being a 4 track subway below fulton street in booklyn (unlike the queens blvd that feeds into: the 53rd street tunnel, shares the 60th street (bmt) tunnel and under utilized the 63rd street tunnel) feeds into but a two track tunnel.

It is clear that a 4 track (upper and lower levels?) tunnel needs to be constructed. It should be used one level for serve the local Brooklyn IND + the other for the atlantic avenue to jamaica (whether ultimately used as LIRR or subway). (


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