Train Change: A/ Shuttle Service to be Impacted Starting in April

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Get ready. Train service is going to be disrupted more than usual this summer. To protect the transit system from flood issues, commuters will have to make some sacrifices this summer and prepare to alter Shuttle and A train rides with the west end being impacted in late spring, and the east end being impacted for a bulk of the summer.

Work will be done on the transit system in Rockaway as part of the Hammels Wye Flood Mitigation Project, according to the MTA. The goal is to implement long-term flood mitigation measures to protect NYC Transit’s “campus” of rail operations support facilities located in the Hammels Wye triangle of the Rockaway Peninsula. The peninsula is in a flood zone that is vulnerable to the surges generated by a major storm/hurricane event. The transit facilities located in Hammels Wye include signal compressor and hydraulic rooms, circuit breaker houses, crew quarters, a signal tower, and a power substation—all of which are critical to rail operations along the Rockaway segment of the A line.

The work being done on the facilities at the Hammels Wye triangle, is mostly precautionary, but very important. While the Rockaways were devastated by Superstorm Sandy, the transit infrastructure in Hammels Wye sustained only moderate damage, due to previous smart engineering efforts. NYC Transit’s power substation survived, and critical equipment was undamaged because it was elevated within that facility. However, if the transit campus remains unprotected, a more extreme storm could result in devastating damage that would disrupt train operations for an extended period. The Hammels Wye Flood Mitigation Project is an effort to prepare for such an event.

The project includes the design and construction of a perimeter flood wall and flood gates, as well as the construction of a new compressor building within the protected site. Construction in proximity to the A line elevated structure will necessitate service changes in two phases.

What does this mean for riders? Starting April 9 and continuing through May 18, those who ride the Shuttle or A to and from Rockaway Park, will experience a 40-day shutdown. This means that all A train service will operate to and from Far Rockaway/Mott Avenue and the S shuttle service will not go to Broad Channel. Instead the S shuttle will be rerouted to operate between Rockaway Park-Beach 116th Street and Far Rockaway/ Mott Avenue, and will make stops at Beach 105th, 98th, 90th, 67th, 60th, 44th, 36th, and 25th Streets. Customers using stations between Rockaway Parkway-Beach 116thStreet and Beach 90th Street may transfer between Far Rockaway A trains and S shuttle trains at Beach 67th Street. Those looking to go into Manhattan from Rockaway Park, will have to take the S to Beach 67th and transfer to the Manhattan-bound A.

In Phase 2, the east end will face more of a disruption, while the west end gets a break during a 60-day shutdown of the Far Rockaway Branch. Starting July 2 and continuing through September 3, all A train service will operate to and from Rockaway Park/ Beach 116th Street. S shuttle service will be rerouted to operate between Rockaway Park – Beach 116th Street and Far Rockaway/Mott Avenue, making stops at Beach 105th, 98th, 90th, 67th, 60th, 44th, 36th and 25th Streets. Customers using stations between Far Rockaway/Mott Avenue and Beach 67 St may transfer between Rockaway Park A trains and S shuttle trains at Beach 90th Street. A train service would go from Rockaway Park into Manhattan and those on the east end would need to take the shuttle to Beach 90th to transfer to the A heading for Manhattan.

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