With Hurricane Sandy crippling the brand new South Ferry station, the MTA reopened the old South Ferry subway station early this morning. There wasn't much fanfare to the event (only a couple straphangers showed up) according to transit enthusiast Brian Weinberg, who was on hand to see the 5:02 a.m. 1 train from Rector Street become the first to open its doors at the newly reopened station. But he adds that "there were a lot of MTA/NYCT emplyees around to help provide direction, and they were handing out new April 2013 editions of 'MTA: The Map' which shows the station to be open again."

You can check out plenty of photos from the newly reopened station above courtesy of Weinberg, who stuck around to see the first three trains arrive. Weinberg, who was also on the first train when the South Ferry station reopened after 9/11, gave us his take on why the old station is so special:

The South Ferry loop station is one of the most unique and interesting stations in the New York City Subway system, and even more so ever since it was decommissioned, seemingly to never again be part of the mainstream NYC consciousness. Now that it has been reopened, subway fans, history buffs, armchair urban explorers, commuters, and a whole new generation of New Yorkers will be able to experience and enjoy it.

Some people say that instead of building the new deep station, the existing loop station should have been expanded to fit 10 cars and modernized (ADA, etc.). The pros and cons can be argued forever. And it still isn't clear if the new station will ever reopen. But for now we have the old station up and running again and people should take advantage it, even going out of their way if they have to just to visit it at least once.

The MTA has said that it'll likely take up to three years to get the newest South Ferry station back up and running, so you ought to get used to this station for now. Just don't forget: you have to be in the first five cars of the 1 train to get off!