Rockaway Beach Line Reactivation One-Seat Ride to JFK

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

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Postby Tony Tantillo » Mon Jan 03, 2005 9:25 am

I am also in favor of turning it into a rail trail, although I no longer live in the area.

The only transit option that makes sense is to hook up the NYC subway Rockaway Branch to it and this would cost money better spent elsewhere on the system. This option would require a complete reconstruction of the right of way and a minimum of 4 new stations if one replaces the old LIRR ones (Ozone Park, Brooklyn Manor (Jamaica Avenue), Parkside, and Rego Park. Finally you have build the tie-ins at the end of the lines at Roosevelt Ave. and Howard Beach. If someone wants to get an idea of the right of way condition look at

http://www.oldnyc.com/rockaway/contents/rockaway.html

or

http://www.forgotten-ny.com/SUBWAYS/Rockaway%20Line/rockline.html.

Better yet you can have a look at the line in person. Take the Q55 bus to Woodhaven Boulevard. The old right of way crosses under Myrtle Avenue just west of Woodhaven Boulevard.
Tony Tantillo
 

Postby RRChef » Mon Jan 03, 2005 10:05 am

When did ownership of the line transfer to the NYC Parks Department and Administative Services?? I thought it was still owned by the LIRR having never been officially abandoned.

If the line was reopened it would pose less of a hazard to residents than crossing Queens or Woodhaven Blvds. Ever try to cross either?

I have walked various sections of the line in the past. It's a mess that would require the entire line to be completely rebuilt. There are washouts in many places and a number of encroachments especially in the Rego Park- Forest Hills area. The entire line is covered by trees some as big as 18-20 inches in diameter. There are even trees growing on the overpasses. I wouldn't trust any of the overpasses to be safe enough to carry a train and let's not forget the overpass over the Montauk burned years ago.

If it was rebuilt, where would it go? Penn and Rockaway? Would it part of the subway system (which I think is the only logical choice) or run by the LIRR? WOuld subway riders have to change at Liberty Ave to another train to get to Penn? Who will pay for this? Too many questions for which there are no good answers.

The only use that made sense for the line was as a one seat/one stop Penn-JFK express and that is now out of the question. The smart play now is it get it into the railbanking system so it could be preserved possibly for the future.
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Postby RRChef » Mon Jan 03, 2005 10:17 am

Alcoman
I just saw your post about the NYCH proposal to reopen the High Line.When did this happen? What business do the think they can get there? If it was any other company, I might think it was possible, but this company has proven itself to be useless in the last 20 years. I don't think it's likely as there are too many heavy hitters supporting the park proposal.
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Postby JoeLIRR » Mon Jan 03, 2005 2:13 pm

i know that the HighLine goes through the buildings, but why can it be part of a possible LIRR down town expension. run a train out of NYP along the High Line to where that big freight station was. also wouldednt this also make more yard space?

to make the High Line feisabel for freight service wouldent most of thoes businesses that "are not" shippers of manufactures have to be relocated and freight business brought it?

i also can see the High Line as a subway expansion maby part of the 7 train expansion?

all in all rebuilding the highline would totally require many compromises because the ROW goes through actual buildings that have blocked the ROW off.

and for the Rockaway branch, that is where the airtrain should have ran.
it might have been cheeper and less of an hassel to rebuild the railroad that is still there then to build that hitious structure at jamaica and alond the van wyik.

options that is seen would work as follows:
1) Air train to rockaway beach branch, then change to LIRR into woodside /NYP (that change cannot be argued b/c you still have change at jamaica)

2) LIRR from NYP-JFK and no seprate train for air train use (LIRR would have ran that service)

3)>> well the air train is here to stay and we aint getting rid of it so i guess maby a rail trail would be a good idea, atleast it will still (perserve) the ROW for possible future use.
JoeLIRR
 

Postby KFRG » Mon Jan 03, 2005 3:46 pm

I say turn it into a railtrail, just do it after I walk the line as is current. For those of you into the whole outdoors/bike thing you know how beautiful paths such as the Motor Parkway in Alley Pond Park, or the trail thru Bethpage St. Pk are. This will be similar.

-Tom
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Postby BMT » Mon Jan 03, 2005 6:21 pm

If indeed the Rockaway Branch is turned into a railtrail, as a railfan I would certainly like to see some LIRR asthetics perserved for future generations so that the trail will have some historic value for visiting railfans. I believe a similar situation exists for some rails-to-trails upstate NY and across the country. Like a plaque letting visitors know the historic significance of the trail as well as some 'railroad paraphrenalia' along the trails (a non-functioning semaphore or an old LIRR signal head on a post, etc.).
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Postby Retroboy » Mon Jan 03, 2005 9:03 pm

If one wanted to walk the Right of way, where would they start? is there any maps or anything of that nature that would be of help?
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Postby Tony Tantillo » Mon Jan 03, 2005 9:33 pm

Don't do it !!

Read the disclaimer from the OldNYC website !



"Oldnyc.com contributor Bernard Ente shares with us this Oldnyc.com public service announcement: " ' A warning to anybody who might want to explore the route - it is very heavy with thorns, poison ivy, and ticks. There are also occasional packs of wild dogs and the rare meeting with some homeless people. Not the garden spot of the world, is it?' "

http://www.oldnyc.com/rockaway/contents/rockaway.html
Tony Tantillo
 

Postby JoeLIRR » Mon Jan 03, 2005 10:53 pm

My friend whos back yard is the rockaway branch (metropolitan ave) also says about the poison ivy, also we walked up there one winter and i can conferm the prickly bushes, and wash outs.

there is several acess points, but yes, were long pants, and keep an eye out for any greenery that may be suspisous as it may be poisonus.

i also herd that the LIRR planted the poison ivy to keep tresspassers off the ROW. can any one conferm if this is true?
JoeLIRR
 

Postby GP38 » Tue Jan 04, 2005 12:12 am

Yes, it's true, there is poison ivy (although that is less of a problem in the winter when the plants are dormant).

But no, poison ivy grows wild. The MTA had nothing to do with it.
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Postby RRChef » Tue Jan 04, 2005 12:23 am

If you were to walk the line, now is the best time to do it. No leaves or bugs to get it the way. But yes, it is not an easy walk because of the density of the bushes and other hazards liked downed signal poles and power poles that are covered and hard to see. And as I said in my previous post, there's alot of washouts. I never walked across the overpasses because some of them don't have sides and one trip on some of the crap on them will result in a bad fall. I never encountered dogs, but I am told there was a large group around Forest Park. I did come across homeless in a few areas, Metropolitan Ave was a favorite access for them.

The other thing to keep in mind is that this is still private property and you will be considered trespassing. Years ago when I did it no one ever bothered me, but now is a different story.
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Postby bingdude » Tue Jan 04, 2005 5:42 pm

RRChef wrote:Alcoman
I just saw your post about the NYCH proposal to reopen the High Line.When did this happen? What business do the think they can get there? If it was any other company, I might think it was possible, but this company has proven itself to be useless in the last 20 years. I don't think it's likely as there are too many heavy hitters supporting the park proposal.


There is a link on the New York State railfan forum (circa November 15th)to the actual filing. NYCHRR has an affiliate filing it, and a non profit organization also involved. It sounds like another effort to stop the stadium on the West Side, as the High Line starts in the area where they have to tear down buildings around 30th street.
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Postby RRChef » Tue Jan 04, 2005 10:04 pm

Bingdude
Thanks. After I submitted that post, I went to the NYS railfan forum and found that thread and read all the info. I agree in that it's an attempt to screw up the Stadium deal.
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Rockaway branch to become walking trail?

Postby mark777 » Mon May 02, 2005 5:54 pm

There was an article in yesterday's Daily News that spoke of a proposal to change the old Rockaway branch into a bike/ walking trail. It still has a long way to go before getting approved, but if this happens, it might truly seal the fate of this branch from ever being reactivated. It's amazing that this branch which is mostly still intact has sat there for so long, and not even been considered for any expansion of rail service or transit use. There was talk at one time to use the Rockaway branch for the AirTrain, but that fell through. Instead, the PA spent millions of dollars to build the present AirTrain right of way instead of making use of facilities that already exist in order to save money. I always pictured that the LIRR would reopen the branch and have trains head down making a few stops along the way to serve an underserved part of Queens, and terminate at the Howard Beach station along side the A and H lines. That portion of the line is 4 tracks wide, so the LIRR could have had 2 tracks dedicated to itself with the other two dedicated to the subway line without operating on each others tracks (to satisfy FRA rules). I feel that the folks responsible for designing new projects along with politicians totally lack an imagination and common sense. A one seat ride to the airport could also have been feasible if say either the LIRR or the MTA subway would have used the new elevated lines into the airport instead of a light rail automated line that we now have. the elevated line could have easily been connected to the present Rockaway branch and offer and even quicker commute to the city. Well, either way, another piece of LIRR history will become just that, History!
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Postby Long Island 7285 » Mon May 02, 2005 9:15 pm

Mark,

I agree with everything you said,

the rockaway branch should have been the air train period.

Run standard LIRR down the branch and through JFK and back. thats a 1 seat ride directly into NYP.

If not that they simply could of ran the current airtrain via the rockaway branch to woodside and make a terminal there connecting with the LIRR.

why not make the ROW into an Express bus route?

anyways, atleast a trail is better then removing it totally. along the trail they should leave some tracks inplace and re erect the signal masts, maby even set them so they are iluminated. but they should do everything possible to make it feel as railroad as possible.
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