Governor Cuomo announces May 30 Restoration of Service
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Marc A. Hermann & Lenny Wiggins /
On May 16, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced service on the storm-damaged Rockaway line of the train will resume May 30 after an all-out, six-month MTA effort to rebuild the 3.5 mile-long stretch of the Rockaway flats including 1,500 feet of washed out tracks, replace miles of signal, power and communications wires, and rehabilitate two stations that were completely flooded.
Prior to the resumption of service, we will run trains along the tracks to the Rockaways as we test the operation of the signals, switches, third rail and other associated components that are vital for safe and sound train movement. Running trains along the line will also allow us to make sure the tracks are in good condition and free of any defects. There will be work trains and other specialized equipment, including the computerized track inspection vehicles moving along the rails.
Trains will be moving between the Howard Beach-JFK Airport, Far Rockaway-Mott Av and the Rockaway Park-Beach 116 St stations 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At times it will fully simulate rush hours service levels as we want to be sure that this restored and rebuilt segment of the subway system can meet the peak service demands without incident.
Work on the Rockaway flats included installing two miles of corrugated marine steel sheet wall 30 feet into the soft soil of the right-of-way along Jamaica Bay to protect the track against future washouts and ensure the line is ready to handle future coastal storms. This 3.5 mile stretch of the Line between the Howard Beach and Broad Channel Stations is the most exposed area in the New York City subway network. For much of this distance, the line runs between Jamaica Bay and the Jamaica Wildlife Refuge. Both scenic and vulnerable, the line absorbed punishing blows as Sandy sent waters crashing over and under the tracks, twisting steel rails, destroying the electrical and signal infrastructure and washing out hundreds of feet of track support. Damage was near-catastrophic and it was all submerged in saltwater during the storm.
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