I finished my last Rockaway Here We Come! (Again) post yesterday on the platform at Rockaway Park waiting for the first revenue service departure. The R1-9s ran this route in regular revenue service although they bypassed all stations from Howard Beach to Euclid Avenue. I road from Broad Channel to Euclid, taking the first two Shuttles to leave Rockaway Park so I could get this entrance photo passing a small portion of the brand new sea wall.
The R1-9s were supposed to provide this trip but the re-inoguration ceremony took longer. I am standing on the platform at Rockaway Park–(53 Total Photos) and board the R1-9s shortly before noon. I then notice an S train across the platform with its doors open, an employee tells me it will leave first and that the R1-9s will make all regular express stops except run non-stop from Howard Beach to Euclid Avenue. I board the shuttle train, we leave at 12:01, I’m on the first revenue service Rockaway Park Shuttle Train to run in almost exactly seven months. I chat a bit with an MTA executive who tells me its totally fine that with my website and as a blogger I took the dignitaries train.
I get off at the next stop at Beach 105 Street-Seaside–(40 photos, plus 5 of the platform artwork) at 12:04. There is no one getting on at this stop, (it has the lowest ridership out of any on the New York City subway system, this is a common occurrence). I get the honors of being the first regular revenue passenger to step off a train and onto the platform. I head downstairs and find the token clerk not sitting in his booth but about to go back inside from the street. He asks me if the special train has passed. I say it is in Rockaway Park and was running a little late. He says “I wanted to see it.” I make a point of leaving fare control and getting another street photo (I stopped at this station still closed a few hours before) and get the non-acknoleged honors of being the first revenue passenger to swipe their MetroCard (mine is an Unlimited, I wouldn’t have wasted $2.25) at Beach 105 Street-Seaside. Towards the end of my visit the first Rockaway Park-bound Shuttle train with passengers stops, it then sits in the station waiting for a track to clear at Rockaway Park, one is occupied by the next Broad Channel-bound Shuttle train, the other by the R1-9s.
At 12:35 after the Shuttle left the station to make a long relay run in the middle tracks at Howard Beach (their still fixing the lay-up track in the middle of the flats) the R1-9 Museum train finally entered passing the new sea wall. I get a picture of the back of the train with the banner that should say Rockaway Here We CAme! a bunch of contractors get off to get back to work fixing Broad Channel (they had a slightly extended lunch break to go to the ceremony).
We go back and north out of Broad Channel over ‘The Flats’ new fencing is being put along the new, temporary roadway on the non-Sea Wall side of the tracks. One thing I notice is how the tracks clearly haven’t seen trains as much. There is some of the brown coloration that tracks receive when no train has rolled on them in some time. Normally subway tracks with their nearly constant daily use have the complete silver color of frequently used tracks.
We head back up and over the North Channel Swing Bridge and by all the fishing boats again, its stop and go a few times waiting for the Rockaway Park shuttle to switch into and out of the middle tracks at Howard Beach since the sidings in the flats aren’t repaired yet.
Entering Howard Beach we pass a Shuttle Train terminating in the middle of the station before making quite a long stop arriving at 12:58 leaving at 1:01. Lots of people, mainly members of the media (there were at least two TV newsmen riding the R1-9s back to their trucks parked outside of Howard Beach)
We then start a non-stop express run via the local tracks to Euclid Avenue, first we pass Aqueduct-North Conduit Avenue–(3 Photos)
The train than left the abandoned Long Island Railroad Right of Way and rose up and onto the Liberty Avenue el. We caused a Manhattan-bound A train heading from Lefferts Blvd to wait partially in and partially out of 104 Street-Oxford Ave–(3 Photos)
We skip Rockaway Blvd and 88 Street before passing Bayside Cemetery
Then bypass 80 Street and gradually head down and underground through the tunnel portalat the Brooklyn/Queens border
We skip Grand Avenue and stop at Euclid Avenue–(1 Photo) at 1:12
It’s a quick express run to Broadway Junction. There the train gets genuinely crowded with people starting to stand.
Then Utica followed by Nostrand Avenue-(1 Photo from today, 3 more recently that I hadn’t gotten around to uploading)
We stop at Hoyt-Schmerhorn Street (I try and get a photo of the abandoned platforms but they come out way, way too dark and my elderly camera I discovered has flash issues), Jay Street and High Street. With a burst of wind we zoom under the East River and get to Fulton Street and back in Manhattan at 1:37. A bunch of Japanese tourists get onto my car. The train is standing room only.
Nice reactions from waiting passengers at 14 Street–(1 Photo)
Also at the next stop of 34 Street–(1 Photo)
We stop at 42 Street and then 59 Street–(2 Photos)
Its a nice fast express run from 59th to 125th. At 125 Street we wait to make a connection with a C train across the platform.
We stop at 145 Street and at 2:09 we arrive at Wash. Hts. 168th Street (this station I really need to rebuild and will include these photos when I do).
A totally empty A train comes into 168 Street right behind the museum train and I decide to ride it uptown to see if I can see the train inside the yard tracks within Dyckman Street. It isn’t visible so I continue to 207 Street, exit and walk over to 10 Avenue and go up to the Uptown platform to see if the train is visible in the yard. It isn’t there either and I run into another rail fan that I recognize and ask him if he’s seen it, he hasn’t and immediately hopped on the 1 train when we arrived at 168 Street (he did wait 7 minutes for it) and in that time perhaps the museum train got into the yard and entered the indoor shops. (The repainted Redbird SMEE cars are the historic cars visible in the photo)
I take an uptown 1 train to 215 Street and get a few more photos of the northern end of the shops from there. No sign of the R1-9s, just the remains of the R110B prototype experimental train set.
I walk back to 207 Street–(4 artwork and 1 station photos) on the A and finally get some more artwork photos of the mosaic inside the street elevator shaft.
I swipe back in and head home after this very successful Rockaway Here We Come! (Again) trip.