Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by Jeff Smith
Is this the route that runs by JFK that everyone wants returned to the LIRR? Isn't their some provision in Queens somewhere with abandoned platforms/tracks connecting to the subway?

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/p ... p?id=21472
The Rockaway Branch opened in 1956 on the A Line, which dates back to 1892, when the route was operated by the Long Island Rail Road.
  by Kamen Rider
The line is in two sections, the active section used by the subway and the non-active section. the line is active from Liberty ave to the Rockaways and shut down from Liberty north to the LIRR main line at Whitepot. the MTA has never filed to abandon the line, they have every right to reactivate that section, how ever and when ever they feel without going through messey details.
  by Jeff Smith
A few posts on potential reactivation scenarios on a blog. Apologies for the lengthy quotes; I usually don't do that, but in this case it also involves a second-tier quote from a politico. This is an excellent blog so I do suggest following it.

http://secondavenuesagas.com/2012/05/30 ... away-line/
Over the past few months, reactivating the Rockaway Beach has because the cause célèbre for 2012 amongst rail activists. It’s a long shot that may benefit from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desires to bring a giant casino to the Ozone Park area, but it’s certainly rankling and inspiring Queens residents along the long-dormant right of way.


Koslowitz’s individual arguments aren’t accurate either. Nothing about reactivating an unused but hardly secret right of way is an intrusion on private property, and while people who foolishly built homes abutting rail road tracks may not like it, better rail access would actually improve the neighborhood in an extremely positive way. Furthermore, many of the homes along the right of way were built before the old Rockaway Beach Branch was deactivated. Koslowitz is treating trains as though it is an invading species intent on ruining her idyllic New York City neighborhood, and her words — “we cannot allow another train through here” — are extremely off-putting and historically inaccurate.

Finally, Koslowitz seems to have no grasp on the funding situation in play. If the MTA is tasked with reopening the Rockaway Beach Branch, the state would fund the construction, likely via some incremental financing scheme arranged with Genting, the planned casino operators. She can fight tooth and nail in the City Council, but when it comes to MTA projects, she’ll be facing quite the uphill battle.
And previously here:

http://secondavenuesagas.com/2012/05/07 ... ch-branch/
Castellano offers up both a history lesson and an argument for better rail service. The history is important though because it sets the stage for today’s depart. Essentially, in 1962, the then-privately operated LIRR shut down the 3.5-mile stretch of the Rockaway Beach Branch between Queens Boulevard and the Aquaduct now under the microscope. The A train started using the southern portion out to the Rockaways at a tremendous cost to mobility.

“By disconnecting the northern part of the Rockaway Beach Branch,” Castellano wrote, “the powers that be severed train service between south and north Queens. Have you ever wondered why a Rockaway train has to go through Manhattan to go to Flushing? This is why.”


After some good old bashing of local politicians who have failed to solve traffic and transportation problems for decades, Castellano gets down to the crux of his argument:

Let me suggest that the best plan for the future of Queens is the original one from 1952. Re-establish the connection between the existing A train at Aqueduct and White Pot Junction in Kew Gardens. This can be done simply by adding new NYCTA tracks on the 3.5 mile northern branch thereby making the connection to Queens Blvd. There the old Rego Park Station (near 63rd Drive) could be rebuilt as a transportation hub providing transfers between the subway and the LIRR mainline. The Rego Park Station is less than 10 minutes from Penn Station.

This short 3.5 mile stretch of track effectively connects the A, E, J, M, R and Z subway lines to the LIRR. In addition, it runs parallel to Woodhaven Blvd so it will reduce congestion there. It also crosses Jamaica Avenue, Atlantic Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue and terminates in the vicinity of Junction Blvd, Queens Blvd and the LIE. If you had to create this right of way today the cost would be staggering. Yet this priceless public asset (paid for with taxpayer dollars) just sits there collecting rust for the last 50 years. Have we elected the wrong people to manage public assets?
  by Kamen Rider
at the point of shutdown, the Rockaway beach line trankage divirged from the Main line tracks just past Winfeld Junction. it ran as a 6 track ROW the roughly 2 miles to Whitepot. There was a Rego Park station on the main ROW that was Rockaway line only.
  by Jeff Smith
I am not familiar with NYCT Brooklyn trackage at all, but I am taking the Museum tour tomorrow on Low-V's on the A line I think out to Rockaway Beach. Will I be riding on this line?
  by mikey cruz
Yes Jeff as soon as you leave Rockaway blvd you'll start decending on the newer active branch, as soon as you hit the switch at the end of the station you'll be on the NYCT Rockaway branch.
  by Jeff Smith
Thanks! The ride was awesome on R1/9s, and there were heritage buses out there that took us out to Jacob Riis park/beach. I'll be doing a blog/post at some point. Did see where the old LIRR branched off.
  by Jeff Smith

The proposal to reactivate is getting some more play; I believe this is also part of Triboro Rx promoted by the RPA: RPA Triboro Rx page

Of course, where an MTA and city and state struggling to catch up on infrastructure would find funds....
New York Assemblyman wants MTA to look into reactivating rail spur

New York Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D - Howard Beach) has called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to apply for funds from a recently-announced New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) infrastructure grant to fund a comprehensive feasibility study into reactivation of the abandoned Rockaway Beach rail spur.

"Families in southern Queens and Rockaway suffer from some of the longest commutes in the entire city. The state's new passenger rail grant program has the potential to bring an end to our transportation desert. By funding a feasibility study into reactivating the Rockaway Beach Rail Line, we can work to create a true north-south rail corridor in Queens, improve transit access to our airports and take thousands of cars off the road," said Assemblyman Goldfeder.
There was also a blurb earlier this year: Capital New York

I believe this utilizes the branch as well, but I could be mistaken. If so, I'll gladly split this out.
R.P.A. calls, again, for outer-borough X line

The Regional Plan Association has a solution to New York City's outer borough transportation problems: build the Triboro Rx line, or the X line as it is alternately known.

The proposed 24-mile route along a mostly above-ground right-of-way now used entirely by freight trains, would serve more than 100,000 weekday riders and is, according to the association, "by far the most promising" concept for rail expansion in the outer boroughs.
  by Kamen Rider
Triboro RX would use the Bay Ridge Branch. It also MUST be built to PATH style FRA "transit railroad" spec to be legal (let alone practical)
  by Ryand-Smith
Could you not simply up armor R160/142 series, give em iron grabs and ditch lights, and have the "X series" run on this line, since we already have these train models in production.
  by DogBert
We have two subjects now, the 'triboro x' and the old LIRR rockaway beach branch.

Apparently cuomo just gave more study funding to the 'queensway' group that is trying to make this route into a trail/park 'just like the high line' *facepalm*.

The MTA's answer to the lack of transit options in that area seems to be a new SBS route with dedicated bus lanes on woodhaven blvd. This of course has resulted in at least one protest. Traffic on woodhaven is pretty bad, I don't want to know what it would be like with less lanes.

There is a tiny bit of tunnel infrastructure along the queens blvd route to accommodate a connection to a new line serving the area, but a lot of work would need to be done. It would be easier to reconnect the ROW to the LIRR.
  by Kamen Rider
Woodhaven SBS is not an impdenmt to re-opening the rail line. They two can co-exist.

The M15 SBS is not going to go away when SAS opens.