This Station is Closed Due to Severe Weather Conditions
This Station is Closed Due to Severe Weather Conditions
Hurricane Sandy
Effects on Subway & Rail Service
Home<Hurricane Sandy Service Restoration Timeline
Welcome to the Subway and Rail Service Restoration after Hurricane Sandy Timeline, this is a historical timeline of the closure and aftermath of restoration of transit service in the New York City region effected by Superstorm Sandy, a huge storm that hit the region from October 29-30, 2012.
Sandy Coverage of Photos of Rail Stations, and your Webmaster's adventures can be found on my blog, Leave No Station Unphotographed

Sunday, October 28, 2012: The Shutdown:
Around Noon the MTA announced at a press conference that all subway, LIRR, and Metro-North service would be suspended beginning at 7pm, and bus service at 9pm in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy. The previous Friday (October 25, 2012) the MTA started posting generic signs that cancelled all weekend track work (except for two projects on the 7 and J trains that ran on Saturday only) and warned passengers that the subways might shutdown.

On the Jersey side NJ Transit ended rail operations with the last departures at midnight and buses at 2am Monday morning. The Atlantic City Rail Line ended at 4pm since that city was under an evacuation order. PATH ended operations at Midnight.

Amtrak discontinues all operations in the Northeast Corridor and every other subway and passenger railroad system, Washington's WMATA, Baltimore's MTA, Philadelphia's SEPTA, slowly shuts-down operations in anticipation.

Monday, October 29, 2012: The Storm
Boston's T tries to operate normal service (except for MBTA Boats) but discontinues service at 2pm

In the evening Hurricane Sandy starts arriving with a storm serge causing the Hudson and East Rivers to overflow their banks causing terrible and corrosive flooding of the subway system on 8 under river tubes: the Joralemon St (4,5), Montague St (R), Clark St (2,3), Cranberry St (A,C), Rutgers (F), 14 Street (L), Steinway (7)). The Harlem River also flooded which in turn flooded the 207th Street yard and Lenox Terminal (the yard and northern terminus of the 3 train). The G train's tunnel beneath Newtown Creek also flooded. The Swing Bridges to the Rockways suffer significant damage (boats wash ashore on them). Also critical to restoring subway service, a Con Edison Substation blew-up at 14 Street causing nearly all (Battery Park City was one of the few places with electricity, it is on its own separate network) of Lower Manhattan south of 40th Street on the East Side and 30th Street on the westside to go completely dark in a massive blackout.

On the commuter rail network both Amtrak and NJ Transit's North River Tunnels and every New Jersey Transit Rail Lines suffer numerous washouts especially boats washing up on bridges on the North Jersey Coast Line. The Long Island Rail Roads East River Tunnel floods, along with damage on many of its branches. Metro-North has washouts particularly on the Hudson Line and the catenary system on the New Haven Line is damaged. Power is out and down trees are everywhere

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 — The first Recovery
The storm slowly dissipates around midnight and East and Hudson River Bridges all reopen by noon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 — No Subways = Gridlock
This day will go down in history as the day New York City tried to get around without their subway, a detailed traffic management plan and gridlock ensued. All bus service (including Express Buses) were operating all fare-free. At a noon press conference MTA Chairman Joe Lhota announced limited subway service for the next day and a shuttle bus bridge. Limited Commuter Rail Service was restored that day (charging off-peak fares), before that both Penn Station and Grand Central were completely closed and locked:

My Adventures that day on Leave No Station Unphotographed.

Thursday, November 1, 2012 — Limited Service Restored
Here is the map, only released digitally and on black and white printouts (that were unreadable) in select subway stations. This map was slightly incorrect, the 1 and 2 trains were able to run one stop farther south to 34th Street-Penn Station instead of 42nd Street. The only subway line running regular service was the shortest, the 42nd Street Shuttle. All trains ran only every 10 minutes. This made busy lines more crowded and waits seem longer. The Power Outage south of 40th Street on the East Side, 30th Street on the west side kept subway service terminating just north of it.

At about 3:15pm the two networks are connected in one out of the way location, Sutphin Blvd and Jamaica Center for passengers at least (there is no track connection their, so no way for the MTA to move Rolling Stock), here is the revised map:

A bit before 9pm Thursday evening this line began operations:

Friday, November 2 — Metro-North Service Nearly Restored
In the morning one more subway branch, and all subway service in the Bronx is back with every station opened, in the same service patterns within the boroughs (except for southern terminals) as late nights, the new map

Saturday, November 3 — Manhattan-Brooklyn Service Restored:
This is the big day when subway service was finally restored between Manhattan and Brooklyn. This is because of power being restored in Lower Manhattan and the MTA pumping out some of the East River Tunnels (the MTA had previously announced on Friday that they were simply waiting for Con Ed to restore subway service) This morning this service was all restored effective 10am:, the Revised Subway Map:

Saturday Evening:
In the evening the first East River Bridge Opened, the Williamsburg, unfortunately this at first is a stub-end with no connections to other subway lines to get farther into Manhattan, the updated map

Sunday, November 4, 2012:
At around 4:30am this morning (according to the service advisories posted when I woke up around 8:00am, don't know if that was Standard DST Time, today is the end of DST) the MTA restored service through the Clark Street Tubes (2,3) and over the Northside of the Manhattan Bridge on the D train, here is the map which was wrong about Brooklyn IRT service and certain local stops in lower Manhattan along the 7th Avenue which look closed (but were not) on the map, the service alerts also got it wrong:

During the Middle of the Day on Sunday the following services were restored, with a third Brooklyn tube dry and another Brooklyn branch partially in service, the second subway map of the day, the MTA summarizes them as "Shortly before noon":

In the afternoon, around 3pm, the two halves of this line were connected, (and a new subway map, third of the day):

The next change on Sunday came at 8:43 (Website Update), when the southern side of the Manhattan Bridge was opened (but nothing about the Sea Beach Line), R trains continued their same shuttle service in Brooklyn only (according to the website, I didn't venture into the field). The MTA released a (record?) fourth update to the Subway Map!

Finally at 11:10 (according to Twitter), 11:30pm (according to the website) this evening (at least according to the website no map update, the map makers have gone to bed) service in two more East River Tunnels were restored (leaving just two left that are closed), the 53 Street and Cranberry Street Tubes. Just think this early morning just 4 out of the 9 were open, 4 restored in one long day of subway service restoration:

Monday, November 5, 2012: The Subway Nearly Back to Normal, With a few missing pockets
The MTA announces that most lines are back to basically normal effective 5am, here is the getting closer to normal subway map (the Brooklyn IRT is wrong, 4 and 5 trains are running express), later that day the map released another new subway map that shows Brooklyn Service correctly along with 6 Express Service. Only the R and L East River Tunnels are still closed along with the G tunnel under Newtown Creek. Personally my branch of the A train into Washington Heights (is Dyckman Street that badly flooded?), and service to Coney Island and the Rockaways is still suspended. The J train's Nassau Street Tunnels are also still closed and trains are terminating at Essex Street. They also figured out how to turn the 1 train at Chambers Street. They have to run trains south to beyond Rector Street without stopping there (that is where the nearest diamond crossover is), or running through the old South Ferry Loop station if that's already dry. The 5 train was already reversing at Bowling Green on Saturday afternoon:

Monday Afternoon:
There was little relief for Williamsburg and Greenpoint Transit Riders lacking the G and L trains. Getting stuck on completely packed trains at Marcy Avenue. Just one little extension effective 3:45pm, new subway map:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012: This morning there are not that many significant subway changes, Like the G or L coming back, just a few branch extensions one of which made me very happing (my branch to Washington Heights restored). On the Subway, The MTA (Flickr Set) moved about 20 R32s (the MTA's oldest cars no less) by road (unloaded near Aqueduct-North Conduit Avenue) from the main system to the Rockaway Peninsula to resume Shuttle Train service along the Peninsula Line while the flats and Rockaway bridges are rebuilt. These will connect to shuttle buses for Rockaway residents.

Wednsday, November 7, 2012:
There weren't any subway improvements to wake up to this morning, but improvements in Long Island and New Jersey. The MTA is saying 'Good Service' in the subway service box

Subway Service Restoration during the day, Wednesday:
First came the G train in the morning and then the 4 lines (other than the fully closed Sea Beach Line) gradually coming back to the Coney Island Terminal

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday Afternoon:
North Brooklyn Riders get what they've been waiting all week for, here is the new map, with this new service at about 3pm:

Friday November 9, 2012:
Just a few more minor subway changes for this morning, service gets a bit better for New Jersey Riders:

Friday Evening:
At 5:42pm the Sea Beach Line opens, restoring train service to every branch in Brooklyn except for the Montague Street tubes used by the R train:

Saturday, November 10, 2012:

Sunday, November 11, 2012:
Rockaway Riders Finally get something, the power is still out, the subway map now includes a shuttle bus route (in an ugly format) that barely fits on the map, its wrong, doesn't include the Z being restored. Here is a terrible looking PDF service notice for the restoration:

Monday November 12:
Nearly all the service improvements are in New Jersey this morning. The First Incorrect Map (without the Morris & Essex Line portion that is restored), and PATH, later on monday NJT released a Correct Map:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012:
I thought it might be a quiet morning, but all rail service (on regular schedules) is now back in the State of Connecticut and Metro-North becomes the first tristate railroad to fully reopen:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Saturday and Sunday, November 17-18, 2012:
Thursday and Friday represent days the first days without any new service restorations in the city subway or regional railroad lines, the MTA over the weekend resumed the usual weekend track work with the same lines still not operating. Here is how weekend service is running, the weekend before thanksgiving:

Monday, November 19, 2012:
This is the big day for New Jersey Transit with service restored on all branches except for the Gladstone Branch of the Morris & Essex Lines, the new NJT Map:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012:
The Rockaways finally get limited and free Shuttle service brining back a bullet that hasn't been used in 20 years, new subway map:

Wednesday November 21, 2012:
This is a day of lasts:

Sunday, November 25, 2012:
The Long Island Railroad is fully back with every station restored to regular diesel/electric service:

Monday, November 26, 2012:
The end of Thanksgiving Weekend brings most service restored except for one rail branch in New Jersey

Monday, December 3, 2012:
Two more service restorations, NJ Transit Service Recovery Map in the region, one on the subway:

Tuesday December 4, 2012:
Another portion of service restored to the BMT stations in Lower Manhattan, although nothing for the Montague Street tubes. There is a new subway map (its wrong, the J/Z are shown terminating at both Broad Street and Chambers (only the J terminates at Chambers normally, only on weekends), effective 6am:

December 10, 2012 — A second commuter railroad (Metro-North was restored weeks ago) is restored:

Monday, December 17, 2012 — A few more full restorations:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 — Hoboken Gets Service Back

Friday, December 21, 2012 — The Montague Street Tunnel is reopened, all underwater subway tunnels restored. Subway Map — This map was released in print from effective January, 2013.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 — 24 hour Trans-Hudson Service is finally restored

Monday, January 28, 2013 — Monday to Thursday overnight PATH service is restored:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 — Weekday PATH Fully Restored:

Friday March 1, 2013 — PATH Fully Restored 24/7/365:

March 24, 2013 — The Power is back in Hoboken

April 4, 2013 — The South Ferry Loop 'Temporarily' (for 2 to 3 years) reopens: Subway Map|Night Map|Lower Manhattan Map showing the South Ferry Loop again

May 30, 2013 — Service to the Rockaways Finally Restored

Home<Hurricane Sandy Service Restoration Timeline

Last Updated: 7 September, 2012
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