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Long Way To Go Before Subway Service Returns In The Rockaways

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The New York City subway system has largely returned to normal in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, but rebuilding the section of the A Line in the Rockaways will take time, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority reported.

The winds and heavy storm surge during the storm late last month "effectively destroyed" much of the A Line mainline connection to the Rockaway Peninsula, the MTA said.

The North Channel Bridge connecting Howard Beach and Broad Channel over Jamaica Bay, and a section of Broad Channel called "the Flats" sustained a "tremendous" amount of damage, the MTA reported. Hundreds of feet of track were destroyed on the bridge and the line segment running through the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

As it stood Saturday, there was no signal system on the Rockaway section of the A Line, the rails were twisted in some areas, and the supporting road bed was completely washed away.

But repairs were already well underway as of Saturday along the Rockaway Peninsula between Far Rockaway and Rockaway Park.

Beginning at 8 a.m. Sunday, A Trains will operate from the 207th Street terminal in Inwood, Manhattan, all the way to the Howard Beach/JFK AirTran station. At that point, a free shuttle bus to the Far Rockaway/Mott Avenue station will be available, making a loop around John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Elsewhere in the subway system, the 1 train line has yet to resume service south to South Ferry, which was hit hard by storm surges during Sandy. The 1 train has been terminating at Chambers Street, although service has been limited to 14th Street during nighttime hours through this weekend.

The R train also has yet to return to full service, instead running in two sections. One is in Brooklyn, between Jay Street-MetroTech and the Bay Ridge-95th Street terminal, while the other is from Queens to Midtown Manhattan, between the Forest Hills/71st Avenue and 34th Street-Herald Square stations.

Skip-stop service also resumed Saturday on the J and Z lines.

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