Region's Transit Regaining Its Footing
PHL International Airport, rail and bus services gradually returning to normal schedules
As Sandy completed its transition from coastal hurricane to winter storm Tuesday night, the frozen Northeast mass transit infrastructure it left in its wake had begun to thaw out.
Following one of the largest disruptions of the U.S. aviation system since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Delta Airlines and other carriers resumed flights in and out of Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday afternoon. US Airways, the airport's biggest tenant, planned to resume its normal schedule on Wednesday morning, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The airport itself was said to have suffered only minimal damage during the storm.
Still, more than 2,100 flights for Wednesday had been cancelled around in the country in addition to the more than 16,000 flights that were cancelled on Monday and Tuesday, CBS News reported. A US Airways spokesman told the Inquirer that the airline spent Tuesday getting aircraft in place to resume normal operations.
The continued closure of the three major New York metropolitan airports continued to complicate the national air travel picture, however. Newark, JFK, and LaGuardia airports were not expected to open before Thursday, according to the Inquirer.
On the ground, SEPTA service was slated to return to its full normal schedule Wednesday morning. The regional rail operator resumed some suburban bus routes, the Norristown High Speed Line, and some other rail services at noon on Tuesday. Regional rail services are expected to be back in operation Wednesday, though riders were cautioned to be prepared for "residual delays."
Amtrak, meanwhile, had yet to restore service along its busy Northeast Corridor line. Some service was expected to be restored Wednesday, but Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm told CBS News that more than 300 miles of track needed to be inspected for safety before operations could return to normal.