Subway Service Fully Restored After Irene Forced Unprecedented Shutdown

The system carries 5 million riders on an average weekday

Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012  |  Updated 11:38 PM EDT
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Bloomberg's Response to Irene

AP

Commuters pass through turnstiles before boarding a Manhattan-bound train at Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard station, Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, in the Queens borough of New York. The MTA New York City Subway is back up and running Monday morning after a system-wide shutdown was put into effect due to Tropical Storm Irene. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

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Metro North Trains Running Slowly, But Surely

Despite serious damage caused by Irene, Metro North trains restored a number of its trains on Monday.

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Irene pummeled the East Coast a year ago Monday, wreaking havoc on beaches, homes and infrastructure across the region. Check out this 3-minute recap of our coverage of the most intense days of the storm.
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Subway service has been fully restored citywide after Irene forced an unprecedented shutdown of mass transit in the nation's largest city.

The MTA said at about 11:30 a.m. that all 468 stations had service.

Some trains were running at 6 a.m. for the morning rush, but not the full system. Passengers were warned to expect delayed service and more crowded trains for rush hour, but riders who had expected a difficult time getting to work said the commute was smooth.

"The subway is running very well. I can't believe it, they did a great job," said Dominic Cecala, who took an E train from the city's west side to lower Manhattan. "If they hadn't stopped the trains on Saturday, it would have been a mess."

The system carries 5 million riders on an average weekday.

Irene dumped more than a foot of rain on parts of the tri-state area as the storm skirted the East Coast, prompting concerns about beach erosion and potentially record-breaking flooding in already waterlogged New Jersey.

New Jersey Transit will restore most rail service Tuesday, the agency said early Monday evening. Commuters seeking transportation to or from New Jersey will be able to take the PATH train, which resumed service Monday at 4 a.m. 

Metro-North resumed some service by Monday evening, operating on a Sunday schedule for the New Haven Line Main Line, Lower Hudson and Lower Harlem lines. The other lines remain suspended. Walder said the Metro-North line was by far the worst-hit, with substantial flooding on every line, power outages affecting signals and erosion of the tracks.

Irene made landfall over New Jersey early Sunday as a Category 1 hurricane on its way to New York City, where flooding, particularly in Lower Manhattan, fell short of the storm's feared potential at the time officials ordered a mandatory evacuation of that area and others.

Some 370,000 people live in the parts of the city that were told to evacuate. Many refused to go, but officials have not said how many people got out.

The storm weakened to a tropical system when it made landfall over Coney Island at about 9 a.m. Sunday with winds of 65 mph, downing trees and ripping up boardwalk before it moved to Long Island, where it wreaked further havoc.

Now, the nation's most populous region looks to a new week and the arduous process of getting back to normal.

NYC SUBWAYS

All service restored.

The Staten Island Railway resumed regular service at midnight.

Metro-North

  • Metro-North is resuming service on the Lower Hudson, New Haven Line Main Line, and Lower Harlem lines beginning at 2 p.m., operating on a Sunday schedule.
  • On the Lower Hudson Line, a regular Sunday Schedule will be in effect between Grand Central and Croton-Harmon only beginning with the following trains:
    Inbound Departures from Croton-Harmon:
    •    2 PM from Croton-Harmon; All stops to Grand Central.
    •    2:34 PM from Croton-Harmon; Limited stop express to Grand Central.
    Outbound Departures from Grand Central:

    •    2:20 PM to Croton-Harmon; All stops to Croton-Harmon.
     
  • On the Lower Harlem Line, a regular Sunday schedule will be in effect between Grand Central and North White Plains only starting with the following trains:
    Inbound departures from North White Plains:

    •    2:01 PM:  North White Plains & White Plains, then Express to Grand Central
    •    2:08 PM:  All stops to Grand Central
    Outbound Departures from Grand Central:

    •    2:25 PM:  All stops from Fordham to North White Plains
    •    2:48 PM: Express to White Plains/North White Plains
     
  • New Haven Line, Upper Hudson, Upper Harlem and New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury Branch Line Services remain suspended. There is still no signal and third-rail power because of downed transmission poles, trees continuing to fall and water-damaged substations.
  • On the West of Hudson, Pascack Valley Line service remains suspended.
  • The Port Jervis line is suspended until further notice because of extensive damage on many portions of the line, including washouts near Sloatsburg and significant damage to railroad bridges and the signal system. It will take months rebuild the track, the agency says.
    As an alternate service plan for the 2,300 people who use the line each weekday, bus service will take customers from the Harriman Station to the Ramsey/Route 17 station to catch trains (if the Thruway is open in the morning); for the return trip, customers will get off trains at Ramsey/Route 17 and board a bus for the trip back to Harriman. Buses will follow the train schedule.
    As road and station conditions improve in Orange County, Metro-North will seek to open options available. Customers can also use their Port Jervis Line commutation ticket on the Newburgh-Beacon Ferry, which resumes service Tuesday, or on the Newburgh-Beacon bus. Customers will have direct bus service at Harriman station. Port Jervis commutation tickets also will be honored for travel on the Hudson line. Commuters from the Salisbury Mills Station west to Port Jervis station can park at Harriman and Beacon or Cortlandt stations on the Hudson line. Valid LAZ permits will be honored at these locations.
  • Off-peak fares will be in effect, and Metro-North will honor West-of-Hudson tickets on the Hudson line.
  • Metro-North work crews continued to inspect and repair the infrastructure throughout the night.
  • Significant issues include: non-functioning signal systems, mudslide damage and washouts along the Hudson line, flooded tracks and stations and fallen trees on tracks.
  • Check mta.info/mnr for the latest updates.

LIRR

  • LIRR has restored full weekday service on the Far Rockaway, Babylon, Port Washington, Hempstead, Ronkonkoma, and West Hempstead branches, as well as west of Huntington on the Port Jefferson Branch.
  • LIRR service remains suspended east of Huntington, east of Ronkonkoma and on the Long Beach, Oyster Bay, and Montauk Branches.
  • There is no LIRR train service from Hunterspoint Avenue or Long Island City.
  • The LIRR is experiencing technical difficulties with electronic signs at some stations due to power outages and flooding caused by Hurricane Irene.
  • Check mta.info/lirr for the latest.

NJ Transit

RAIL SERVICE:

Northeast Corridor:  Trains are expected to operate between New Brunswick Station and New York only, due to ongoing flooding at Trenton Transit Center.  Service will remain suspended between Trenton and New Brunswick until further notice.  
o Northeast Corridor trains will operate every 20 minutes from New Brunswick to New York.
o Northeast Corridor trains will operate hourly out of New York Penn Station to New Brunswick.

North Jersey Coast Line:  Trains are expected to operate, subject to delays in both directions due to storm damage.  In addition, 3500-series trains to/from South Amboy may be cancelled.

Raritan Valley Line:  Trains are expected to operate, subject to delays in both directions due to storm damage.  

Morris & Essex Lines:  Trains are expected to operate on a regular weekday schedule tomorrow.    

Main/Bergen County Line:  Trains are expected to operate on a regular weekday schedule tomorrow.  Customers who normally transfer at Secaucus for service to New York are advised to stay on the train to Hoboken to connect with PATH at no additional charge.    

Port Jervis Line:  Rail service will remain suspended due to flooding and storm damage between Suffern and Harriman.

Montclair-Boonton Line:  Trains are expected to operate on a regular weekday schedule tomorrow between Hoboken/New York and Little Falls Station.  Service will be suspended between Little Falls and Mountain Lakes due to storm damage.

Pascack Valley Lines:  Trains are expected to operate on a regular weekday schedule tomorrow.  Customers who normally transfer at Secaucus for service to New York are advised to stay on the train to Hoboken to connect with PATH at no additional charge.        

Atlantic City Rail Line:  Trains will operate on a regular weekday schedule tomorrow.

BUS SERVICE:

Bus service will operate on a regular weekday schedule tomorrow. 

Some routes may be subject to delays, detours or cancellations due to local flooding.

Bus service to/from Willowbrook Mall and Mothers Park/Ride both in Wayne may be suspended due to flooding.

Bus routes 194 and 196 remain suspended due to flooding along the Route 23 corridor.

LIGHT RAIL SERVICE:

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and Newark Light Rail will operate on a regular weekday schedule.

River Line will operate on a weekend schedule tomorrow until Wednesday.  

ACCESS LINK:

Access Link Paratransit Service will operate trips as scheduled tomorrow.  

  • Systemwide Cross-Honoring in Effect:
    To give customers additional travel options, NJ TRANSIT will offer systemwide cross-honoring, enabling customers to use their ticket or pass on an alternate travel mode – rail, bus or light rail, PATH and private carrier buses.
  • Check njtransit.com for the latest.

Amtrak

  • Amtrak will operate most Northeast Regional trains between Philadelphia and Washington starting Monday, but there are several cancellations. View them here,and keep checking amtrak.com for service alerts.
  • Crews continue to inspect and make repairs to the infrastructure along the Northeast Corridor.

Airports

  • John F. Kennedy and Newark International airports opened for arrivals at 6 a.m. Departures will resume at noon.
  • LaGuardia Airport re-opened to both departures and arrivals at 7 a.m.
  • JFK AirTrain returned to service at 4 a.m. Newark AirTran resumed service at 6 a.m. 
     

COMPLETE NBC NEW YORK IRENE COVERAGE

Follow @NBCNewYork on Twitter for the latest updates on the Irene aftermath; follow @AndrewSiff4NY for breaking tweets on MTA news and transit service.

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