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H Train Digital Sign

 

 

(Rockaway Park Shuttle)

 

For photos please see www nycsubway.org

NYCT uses H to refer to this Shuttle for in house use. This site will follow this practice. This entire line was a former LIRR line and platforms hold 12 cars each of 85 foot length. The entire line was renovated by WDF except for Beach 116th Street which has already been done

 

At the time of this edit, the line is out from Beach 90 Street to Beach 116 Street and runs only between Beach 90 and Far Rockaway due to damage from Superstorm Sandy.

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BROAD CHANNEL

 

Broad Channel (East 8th Road at West Road) opened 6/28/1956:  This station is a clear example of NYCT converting the station from LIRR to subway use.  Like other station conversions along the Rockaways, there are pre-1950 LIRR footprints left behind.  One is an abandoned entrance at the very north end of the S/B platform with steps, a sign “Exit Only” gives the indication that this exit was converted to exit only when the line was already acquired by NYCTA for the 1956 conversion.  The other gives the appearance of an extra long platform (like Aqueduct and Howard Beach stations.), plus possible evidence of an island platform on the Rockaway-bound side. Original 1956 engraved directional signs to street are on both platform walls.  The H Rockaway shuttle starts here,

After leaving Broad Channel, we take another deep breath and cross the South Channel Bridge before entering the Rockaways.  Before we split up, the Rockaway-bound track depresses below the Manhattan-bound track to allow use to diverge left.  The H shuttle trains diverge to the  left and in the middle of the diverge is Hammels Tower, fully functional and in use.  This section is called Hammels Wye for its triangular track configuration.  While the Far Rockaway track continues east and the Rockaway Park tracks continue west, a single .60 mile track connects both branches.  This track was used in regular service during late night “round robin” moves of the H shuttle.  The late night H shuttle started from Euclid Ave and would travel to Rockaway Park first.  After a brief layover, the H would double back to Beach 90th Street, then use the single track long Hammels Wye to connect with the Far Rockaway branch.  The train would run to Far Rockaway, then another layover and the train would return back to Euclid Ave along the regular A route.  This service was tedious for several reasons: 

  1. It would cause problems for a rider to get to a Far Rockaway station from any station Broad Channel or north because the lightly patronized Rockaway Park branch would be the first stops.
  2. Any early bird customer from the 4 Rockaway Park stations, would have to travel to the Far Rockaway branch first before turning forward towards Brooklyn and Manhattan.
  3. Most times customers would make a quick dash to double back at Beach 90th Street (to go towards Far Rockaway), or Beach 60th Street (to go towards Euclid Ave), and be one train ahead, and it does work.  But the few times where the opposing train just left is too much of a hassle to wait 20 minutes for the same train they were on to come back, as well as the general safety of the area at night.

In 1990, NYCT made one of the smartest moves by figuring out the Far Rockaway branch had more late night ridership than the Rockaway Park or even the Lefferts Blvd branch.  In doing so, the A to Far Rockaway was now assigned as the full time 24/7, while the late night shuttle service was introduced from Euclid Ave to Lefferts Blvd, and the H continued service as a 24/7 shuttle between Broad Channel and Rockaway Park.  In addition, five A trains from Rockaway Park were added during the AM and PM rush, in the peak direction only (They leave RP at about 6:39 to 8:09 AM, and from 59th Street/Columbus Circle at about 4:19 to 5:40 PM, every 20 minutes.)   

WDF has renovated All stations up  to and including Beach 105 plus all stations on the Far Rockaway side except for  Mott Avenue for which the contractor is not known. All now have Tudor style windscreens except for Broad channel and Beach 116 Street.

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BEACH 90 STREET

HOLLAND

 

Beach 90th Street Holland has two tracks and two wall platforms and is on a concrete viaduct. New lights have been installed. There is a crossunder to the tile mezzanine. Artwork is by Michael Miller and is entitled Surf Station 90, 2011. It is Faceted glass.

Michael Miller's faceted glass panels celebrate the adventure of surfing, which is appropriate for the location, B. 90th Street, which is a City of New York designated surfing beach. Miller created a series of paintings in vivid, bold color reminiscent of 60's surf posters and music album covers, that evoke the mood of sitting inside a wave and looking toward shoreline, or the splash of the sea, or figures on a surfboard. His work is expressive and energetic in its line and movement, the perfect start or finish to a day at the beach, and a welcome burst of color to commuters in this Rockaway neighborhood.

The expressive nature of faceted glass has been maximized to use optical effects and hand painting to bring Miller's artwork to life. As construction progresses, additional panels will be installed on the south bound platform of the station.

BEACH 98 STREET

PLAYLAND

 

Beach 98th Street Playland has two tracks and two wall platforms and is on a concrete viaduct. New lights have been installed. There is a crossunder to the tile mezzanine this station windscreen the home of Rockaway Playland which has gone into New York history. No trace remains other than the station name. The southbound platform is longer. the North end of the southbound platform has an extra exit which is sealed  Artwork is by Duke Riley and is entitled Be Good or Be Gone, 2011. It is Faceted glass.

At the Beach 98th Street station, faceted glass artwork panels feature scenes, symbols, and the sea that surrounds the community. There are three groupings of five panels and two sets of diptychs. Artist Duke Riley has long been interested in maritime history, folklore, and local customs - particularly around New York's waterways. His work features the iconic view of the houses on stilts seen from the A train as it crosses Broad Channel. Situated on a pier, the homes are the only remaining bungalow housing pier of its kind in the City. Riley frames them with two bowline knots (a very strong knot commonly used to tie down the bow of a ship) to represent the strength and closeness within this community. Another set of five panels depicts a tugboat pulling a barge laden with recyclable glass. The tugboat was a based on a retired NYC tugboat that was docked near the artist's childhood home, and the depiction of glass in a glass artwork adds a layer of interest.

Riley uses nautical flags to spell out local phrases, like the "Be Good or Be Gone" sign seen in local taverns and for which the series of panels is titled and uses the phrase as a reminder for visitors to take care and appreciate the fragile environment of the area. One two-panel section shows two images of a piping plover - an endangered bird that has chosen a section of beach at the Rockaways, just a few blocks south of the station, as one of its few remaining nesting grounds. The other diptych has nautical flags above images of seaside bungalows that also bear a common Rockaway phrase, "No Sniveling,'' which simply means no whining. In the past 150 years, Rockaway Beach endured destruction from storms and fire and - as is often is the case with waterfront communities - the unwavering determination to rebuild has shaped the resilient culture of the community. On the southbound platform, a five panel set shows the rolling sea filled with cast off and floating objects and even houses, as the artist comments on both the power of the sea and the need to respect it. The faceted glass artwork fabricated by Willet Hauser Architectural Glass employs special treatments, including metal rivets to mimic ship construction, hand painting, and etching. Glass crystals form stars above the stilt houses and other innovative uses of the medium are seen throughout the works.

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BEACH 105 STREET

SEASIDE

 

Beach 105th Street Seaside has two tracks and two wall platforms and is on a concrete viaduct. New lights have been installed. There is a crossunder to the tile mezzanine resembles 90th Street and has a sealed extra exit at the north end of the southbound platform. One stairway on the northbound platform is closed for "emergency repairs from 6/25/04 until 9/26/04. " Time will tell if the stairway is reopened. Leaving here we descend to the surface. Artwork is by Callie Hirsch and is entitled  Vast, 2011. It is Faceted glass

For the Beach 105 Street station, Callie Hirsch created fantastical aquatic creatures set against rich blue and green backgrounds of water. She worked with fabricator Erksin Mitchell, who interpreted her artwork into three groupings of faceted glass panels. Each is a striking portrayal of organic ocean forms made radiant by the strong light that reflects off the nearby ocean.

Hirsch, inspired by childhood experiences, explores the universe beneath the seas through her artwork. As a child, she was fascinated by the family fish tank filled with creatures taken from the ocean. As a teenager, her interest was heightened when she began sailing and scuba diving. The variety and vibrancy of life beneath the surface continues to be a major interest to her.

With a love for the Rockaway landscape, Hirsch says the ocean is one of the most desirable places on earth. Through Vast, she hopes to encourage viewers to acknowledge and respect the beauty of the sea and consider their own participation in the power and wholeness of the natural world."

 

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BEACH 116 STREET

ROCKAWAY PARK

 

Beach 116th Street Rockaway Park has two tracks, an island platform and is at grade level. Yard tracks are on each side of the active tracks. The massive station house is at grade level and is concrete with windows. It also houses a police facility . An examination of the station house shows the former ticket windows.  According to the MTA Web site artwork is by .K K Kozik and is entitled First on the Beach and Wednesday Night Fireworks, 2008.Laminated glass in the station building interior windows.

Laminated glass artwork on the two interior clerestory windows evoke night and day in Rockaway Park. One window shows a timeless interlude on the beach, complete with unfurling towels as beachgoers stake out space on a bright sunny day. On the opposite wall, a night sky over the beach and ocean is transformed with bursts of fireworks, as rapt families and neighbors gather to watch the Wednesday night summer tradition unfold.

Artist K K Kozik created the originals in pastel and her drawings were transformed into the glass panels that capture the detail and expressive palette of her summer day and night. The building is the terminal station in Rockaway Park and serves as a focal point for the tight-knit community."

 

 

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