Rockaway Park Shuttle

The Rockaway Park Shuttle[2] is a New York City Subway shuttle train that operates in Queens. It connects with the A train at Broad Channel station and is the latest iteration of the Rockaway Shuttle services that have been running on the Rockaway peninsula since 1956. This shuttle train provides service to the western part of the peninsula, with a terminus at Rockaway Park–Beach 116th Street. The fully above-ground route operates on trackage that was originally part of the Long Island Rail Road's Far Rockaway Branch until the mid-1950s. During summer weekends, to eliminate an additional transfer and thus ease beach access, the Rockaway Park Shuttle is typically extended four stations north to Rockaway Boulevard, the southernmost station shared by Rockaway-bound and Lefferts Boulevard-bound A trains.

"S" train symbol
Rockaway Park Shuttle
Rockaway Park Shuttle in Broad Channel.JPG
Rockaway Park Shuttle train of R46s at Broad Channel
Map of the "S" train
Northern endBroad Channel
Southern endRockaway Park–Beach 116th Street
Rolling stock12 R46s (3 trains)[1]
(Rolling stock assignments subject to change)
DepotPitkin Yard
Started serviceJune 28, 1956; 64 years ago (1956-06-28)
Route map

Down arrow  A 
Inwood–207th Street
Dyckman Street
190th Street
181st Street
175th Street
switches to local tracks
during late nights
Down arrow  C 
168th Street
163rd Street–Amsterdam Avenue
155th Street
145th Street
135th Street
125th Street
116th Street
Cathedral Parkway–110th Street
103rd Street
96th Street
86th Street
81st Street–Museum of Natural History
72nd Street
59th Street–Columbus Circle
50th Street
(Handicapped/disabled access southbound)
42nd Street–Port Authority Bus Terminal Port Authority Bus Terminal
34th Street–Penn Station MTA NYC logo.svg NJ Transit Amtrak
23rd Street
14th Street
West Fourth Street–Washington Square
Spring Street
Canal Street
switches to local tracks
during late nights
World Trade Center Port Authority Trans-Hudson | Chambers Street
Up arrow  E 
Fulton Street
High Street
Jay Street–MetroTech
no regular service
trains continue west
Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets
switches to local tracks
during late nights
Lafayette Avenue
Clinton–Washington Avenues
Franklin Avenue
Nostrand Avenue
Kingston–Throop Avenues
Utica Avenue
Ralph Avenue
Rockaway Avenue
Broadway Junction
Liberty Avenue
Van Siclen Avenue
Shepherd Avenue
Euclid Avenue
Up arrow  C 
switches to local tracks
during late nights
Grant Avenue
80th Street
88th Street
Rockaway Boulevard
104th Street
111th Street
Ozone Park–Lefferts Boulevard
Up arrow  A 
Aqueduct Racetrack
(northbound only)
Aqueduct–North Conduit Avenue
Howard Beach–JFK Airport
AirTrain JFK notext logo.svg
Down arrow  S 
Broad Channel
Beach 67th Street
Beach 60th Street
Beach 44th Street
Beach 36th Street
Beach 25th Street
Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue
Up arrow  A 
Beach 90th Street
Beach 98th Street
Beach 105th Street
Rockaway Park–Beach 116th Street
Up arrow  A   S 

Lines used by the "A" train and "C" train
Other services sharing tracks with the "A" train and "C" train
Unused lines, connections, or service patterns
Termini of services

Cross-platform interchange

Platforms on different levels

Like the other two shuttles, 42nd Street in Manhattan and Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn, it is marked with the letter "S" and its route bullet is colored dark gray on route signs, station signs, rolling stock, and the official subway map. The internal designator for this service is H, though the MTA does not show this on any maps, train rollsigns, or schedules; the designation SR is also sometimes used on public documents.[3]

Prior to 1993, the Rockaway Park Shuttle used multiple different designations, including the E, CC, and H, which had an emblem colored blue. The H formerly ran north to Euclid Avenue in Brooklyn via the IND Fulton Street Line, as well as to Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue to the east. In 2012–2013, after Hurricane Sandy destroyed the IND Rockaway Line's connection to the rest of the system, the blue H shuttle provided service from Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue to Beach 90th Street.

Service historyEdit

A sign announcing Rockaway Line services effective June 28, 1956, when Rockaway Line subway service began

The Rockaway Shuttle started operating on June 28, 1956. During its early years, it essentially provided non-rush hour and weekend service between Euclid Avenue and either Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue or Rockaway Park–Beach 116th Street. At first, the route did not have an official assigned letter code on maps, although sometimes trains displayed either the A or E route on their rollsign boxes.[citation needed]

1967–1972 bullet

Beginning on February 1, 1962, the Rockaway Shuttle was officially lettered on maps and trains as HH to make it easier to distinguish E trains from shuttle trains.[4][5] From November 26, 1967, to September 10, 1972, it was colored red, with daytime non-rush hour and weekend service usually available between Rockaway Park and Euclid Avenue or Broad Channel, plus some weekday mid-afternoon service provided between Far Rockaway and Euclid Avenue.[citation needed]

During the late night-early morning hours, service operating to and from Euclid Avenue on the IND Fulton Street Line in Brooklyn was extended between roughly midnight and 6:00 a.m., which were the hours when the A did not run to and from Far Rockaway. At those times, the HH would operate from Euclid Avenue to Rockaway Park, then to Far Rockaway via Hammels Wye, and finally back to Euclid Avenue, thus earning this night owl service the unofficial nickname of Rockaway Round-Robin.[citation needed]

1972–1976 bullet, as the E

Between September 11, 1972, and August 29, 1976, the shuttle's identifier was known as the E (colored aqua blue), although during rush hours this train was extended all the way to Jamaica–179th Street on the IND Queens Boulevard Line in Queens.[6] Afterward, the designation CC (colored green) was used for the shuttle, running to Broad Channel, although during rush hours this train was extended all the way to Bedford Park Boulevard on the IND Concourse Line in the Bronx.[7] In 1979, the MTA released a new coloring scheme for subway routes based on trunk line; CC service was assigned the color blue, because in Manahttan it used the IND Eighth Avenue Line.[8][9]

CC bullets from 1976-1979 and 1979-1985 (respectively)

On May 6, 1985, the shuttle's identifier was changed to H (colored blue) instead of reverting to HH, as the New York City subway system had abolished two-letter designations by then.[10]

Prior to 1993, late night A service went to Lefferts Boulevard with no service to Far Rockaway. During this time again, the Rockaway Shuttle ran from Rockaway Park to Far Rockaway, to Euclid Avenue, and finally, back down to Rockaway Park. In 1993, service was changed. All late night A service traveled to Far Rockaway and service to Lefferts Boulevard was provided by a shuttle to Euclid Avenue. The Rockaway Park Shuttle, designated S, now ran between Rockaway Park and Broad Channel at all times. Also in 1993, special A diamond service began running from Rockaway Park to Manhattan during the morning rush, and from Manhattan to Rockaway Park during the evening rush.[citation needed]

1985–1993 and 2012–2013 bullet
Alternate SR bullet

Formerly, some maps and trains[11] had shown the current S service in blue. Since May 2004, the official system map shows the Rockaway Park Shuttle as carrying a grey bullet. Recent prints, however, depicted the service itself in blue, but has been changed back to grey, as of January 2013.[12] In order to distinguish it from the other shuttles, NYCT Rapid Transit operations still refers to it internally as the H.

The Rockaway Park Shuttle was suspended following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, due to track being washed out between Broad Channel and Howard Beach. On November 20, 2012, a free shuttle designated as H replaced the Rockaway portion of the A service between Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue and Beach 90th Street via the Hammels Wye. Additionally, the remainder of the Rockaway Line from Beach 90th Street to Rockaway Park was damaged and awaited repair. With the emergency implementation of this service, the H rollsign designation returned to public usage for the first time since 1993.[13] Despite the service's free status, few riders used the signed H service,[13] partly due to the extremely low ridership at Rockaway stations to begin with; this ridership had been lowered further since Hurricane Sandy.[14] In addition, the service did not run during late nights, and the service was only connected to the rest of the subway via a shuttle bus to Howard Beach.[13] On May 30, 2013, full service to the Rockaways was restored, and the free H service was discontinued.[15][16]

In late May 2016, the MTA announced that the Rockaway Park Shuttle would be extended from Broad Channel to Rockaway Boulevard on weekends from mid-June until Labor Day 2016.[17] This allowed passengers on both Lefferts Boulevard and Far Rockaway-bound trains to transfer to the shuttle, and for shuttle passengers to transfer to more frequent A train service at Rockaway Boulevard. The trains were also lengthened to eight cars instead of the usual four. This summer weekend extension was implemented again starting in 2017 between Memorial and Labor Days.[18] However, the extension for 2018 ended on July 1 and replaced by rerouted A trains to Rockaway Park due to construction on Hammels Wye.[19] In 2019, the summer extension was reinstated for the whole season, while in 2020, the summer extension was reinstated in July 2020.

From April 9 to May 18, 2018, and again from July 2 to September 3, 2018, the shuttle ran between Rockaway Park-Beach 116th Street and Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue due to a planned two-phase program of flood mitigation work along the Hammels Wye.[20]


For a more detailed station listing, see IND Rockaway Line.[2][21]

Station service legend
  Stops all times
  Stops rush hours in the peak direction only
  Stops summer weekends only
Time period details
  Station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  ↑ Station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act
in the indicated direction only
  Elevator access to mezzanine only
  Stations   Subway transfers Connections/Other Notes
Summer Seasonal extension (Weekends)
Fulton Street Line
  Rockaway Boulevard A   Northern terminus of seasonal extension
Q52/Q53 Select Bus Service
Rockaway Line
  ↑ Aqueduct Racetrack   A   Station serves northbound trains only
  Aqueduct–North Conduit Avenue A  
  Howard Beach–JFK Airport   A   AirTrain JFK
Regular service
Rockaway Line (Rockaway Park Branch)
  Broad Channel A   Northern terminus of regular service
Q52/Q53 Select Bus Service
  Beach 90th Street A   Q52 Select Bus Service
  Beach 98th Street A   Q53 Select Bus Service
  Beach 105th Street A  
  Rockaway Park–Beach 116th Street   A   Southern terminus
Q53 Select Bus Service


  1. ^ "Subdivision 'B' Car Assignments: Cars Required April 27, 2020" (PDF). The Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association. 63 (6): 14. June 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "H Subway Timetable, Effective July 3, 2020" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  3. ^ "SUB-DIVISION B TRAIN OPERATOR/CONDUCTOR ROAD & NON-ROAD WORK PROGRAMS IN EFFECT: NOVEMBER 6, 2016" (PDF). New York City Transit. July 29, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  4. ^ "For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 30, 1962 #228" (PDF). New York City Transit Authority. January 30, 1962. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  5. ^ "Route Signs On Rockaway Trains or "HH" Line Is Born Again" (PDF). New York Division Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association. 5 (1): 2. February 1962.
  6. ^ "Subway Schedules In Queens Changing Amid Some Protest". The New York Times. January 2, 1973. p. 46. Retrieved March 20, 2010.
  7. ^ "Service Adjustment on BMT and IND Lines Effective 1 A.M. Monday, Aug. 30". Flickr. New York City Transit Authority. August 1976. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  8. ^ Hogarty, Dave (August 3, 2007). "Michael Hertz, Designer of the NYC Subway Map". Gothamist. Archived from the original on August 18, 2009. Retrieved July 4, 2009.
  9. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. (May 10, 2010). "Take the Tomato 2 Stops to the Sunflower". The New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  10. ^ "Hey, What's a "K" train? 1985 Brochure". Flickr. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  11. ^ Henderson, Christopher (May 30, 2012). "Image 134078". Retrieved Feb 16, 2020.
  12. ^ "Subway Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 21, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  13. ^ a b c Flegenheimer, Matt (December 2, 2012). "Shuttle Train Points to Progress in the Rockaways". The New York Times. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  14. ^ " - Facts and Figures". Archived from the original on May 28, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  15. ^ "MTA on Twitter". Twitter.
  16. ^ "MTA - news - A Train Service Restored to Rockaways". Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
  17. ^ "MTA - news - MTA Adds Service to Area Beaches to Kick Off the Summer Season". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 26, 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  18. ^ "A S Customers It's Easier to Reach Rockaway Beach". May 2017. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  19. ^ "A S Customers Rockaway Beach 2018 Weekend Service".
  20. ^ "Train Change: A/ Shuttle Service to be Impacted Starting in April". THE ROCKAWAY TIMES - First and Free. 2018-03-08. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  21. ^ "Subway Service Guide" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2019.

External linksEdit