NYC Subway Superstorm Sandy

Heading down to Brooklyn to ride the Q Shuttle on the restored 2,3

Sunday, the fourth day of Subway restorations after Superstorm Sandy came and I was again dithering about going out on the subway. When I looked at this midday map, particularly withthe Q train running from Jay Street to MetroTech to Kings Highway I decided I had to set out and investigate it’s R160 signs. I also wanted to see how the 1 train was restored to 14 Street and if indeed both the 2,3,4 and 5 trains were all running local in Brooklyn.

I started off walking down the hill to 181 Street on the 1 train. Service to my stop, 181 Street on the A train train has not been restored yet. The countdown clocks show 1 service extended south just a little bit:

I take the 1 train to 96th Street where there is a 2 train entering the station right across the platform. The two train is a crowded ride down to 42nd Street where I stay on and feel us using the switches there onto the local track. I decide I have to get off at 34th Street to see what is going on, here is the confusing countdown clock on the local platform.

What is going on is that 1 trains are running express in both directions from 34 Street to 14 Street where their terminating on the express tracks, with 2 and 3 trains running local. The map doesn’t show this, making it seem like the local stops between 14 Street and Chambers Street are all closed. I head over to the middle express platform where an employee makes sure I know that there are only 1 trains stopping there. Here is the countdown clock on the Express platform:

I take the 1 train which gives me a nice quick ride to 14 Street where we pass the 3 train listed on the countdown clocks at 34th Street at 23 Street. I use the direct cross platform transfer on my terminating 1 train. I take this 3 train which runs local until just north of Chambers Street where we switch onto the expres tracks just before the station and head over to Brooklyn. I get off at Atlantic Avenue and realize that Brooklyn IRT service is back to normal for a weekend 2 trains to Flatbush, 3 to New Lots, 4 to Utica via Express but no sign of where the 5 train is. There is a 4 train about to arrive and I use the underpass to get to the Express platform. I take this train one stop to Franklin Avenue(1 Photo).

There I transfer to the Franklin Avenue Shuttle, also restored this morning. I nearly give up on it but do realize its running normal service with 2 two car trains on the partially single tracked route (Park Place is the only intermediate subway station with just one track). I get off at Prospect Park(2 Photos). There a Whitehall Street-bound Q train comes according to the destination signs but its really just going to Jay Street-MetroTech. We make a quick stop at 7th Avenue and then get holding lights at Atlantic Avenue, there is clearly congestion turing two train lines on the rarely used switch at Jay Street. Eventually we get to DeKalb Avenue(1 Photo) where only D train service has been restored over the Manhattan Bridge. A D train comes in for a transfer to Manhattan on the normal Brighton Track, were on the via Tunnel Track. At that point the conductor turns off the find system with ‘listen for Announcement’ so no confusing incorrect announcements at the former Lawrence Street station.

Eventually the Q train gets me to Jay Street-MetroTech(3 Photos)

I wonder the platform a bit, getting an R train no saying the generic To Jay St/Bklyn like A trains. Eventually my Q train reenters the station so I get a ‘Kings Hwy’ destination sign photo. I then head upstairs where the Shuttle Buses are still operating, winding down. I get a photo of this home made looking sign for the buses.

I then head over to Borough Hall to figure out what the 5 train is doing. The MTA makes it look like the 5 has been relegated back to just Shuttle Service in the Bronx with the 6 train extended to Bowling Green. I get to Wall Street(3 Photos) and notice the countdown clocks on the opposite platform. The 5 is running normal weekend service Dyre Avenue to Bowling Green. There were also some MVMs there completely off except for the useless overhead LED displays.

I rode the 5 down to Bowling Green(4 Photos) where the train was indeed terminating and headed back (via street level just to be different) to the opposite platform, one entrance was still free.

From there I take a 4 train back to Fulton Street, where the complex, including the A,C platforms is fully open although taped off making it very clear no trains are stopping there although trains are only stopping at the distant 2,3 or 4,5 platforms. Some exits are also closed and its quite confusing figuring out how to get up to the surface.

Eventually I go up to street by the Broad Street-bound J/Z platform and have a walk on the deserted streets of Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn Bridge. From there its a 6 local to Broadway-Lafayette for the final goal of the day, the J train now extended from Jamaica Center (Lower Level) to Essex Street and the M train running from Jamaica Center (Upper Level) all the way to Metropolitan Avenue. I run and catch an M train the one stop to Essex Street. There the conductor announces that “Customers needing J stations should ride on until and transfer at Myrtle Avenue because some J trains are turning at Hewes Street instead of Essex Street” (there is switch trouble at Essex). I ride the one stop and there is a J train terminating across the platform. I wait for that J train to leave and another J train soon comes in giving me the main purpose of my visit, the J Essex St. I also get some amusing photos of the M train there still with the paper Jamaica Center to 34 Street destination signs in the windows.

I then take an M train (one came in before I could debate waiting at the F or M platform) to West 4th Street(4 Photos) and get some pictures of the closed A,C mezzanine.

Next I hop on another M train (they keep coming) to 34th Street-Herald Square. At that station there is a huge contrast between the IND 6th Avenue Line platforms that feel and act like the subway is back to normal and the BMT Platforms that are still limited to the N train terminating only on the Express track of the Downtown platform. I leave fare control and a few of the entrances shared with PATH have reopened compared to Wednesday evening (although PATH is nowhere near back to normal service). The PATH corridors have lights again, but are still closed, service is nowhere near back.

I then head over to Penn Station where things are feeling a bit more back to normal but get some photos of Woodbridge, NJ that is a rare destination of hourly trains turning at the first full-time stop (Avenel only sees a few trips on weekdays only) on the North Jersey Coast Line. Canceled trains are displayed on both the NJ Transit departure monitors and combined big board:

The LIRR is still at three train destinations only, I also get a picture of 3 paper temporary timetables above the regular ones:

I then decide to try the A train again, there is a crowd on the local platform but a train on the Express platform but many of the staircases closed off. Eventually I find an open staircase on the Express and its a train heading uptown that they have sent to be turned via the express tracks and not in the pocket (that keeps having switch trouble) south of the station. The station has excellent signage on all the turnstiles that the only service available is Uptown A Express Service:

Soon the train leaves on the express track and we run express to 59th Street before switching back to the local and making every stop to 168th Street from where I walk home up the hill. No sign of the M4 Bus to hop on this evening.