An entire book can be written on the abandonment of the Rockaway line.
Around 1910, the LIRR offered joint subway service there via the Chestnut Street Connection, running rapid transit trains from the Brooklyn Bridge every few minutes. Trolleys shared the tracks with steam trains and the LIRR's first MU's also served the branch.
Later years brought the daylight cars, unlit MP54 trailers that could handle the crowds. For decades the community lobbied for rapid transit. Through the 20's and 30's even a monorail was proposed.
But many changes were occurring. The trestle, built in 1880 was falling apart and an accelerated rate and the cost of repairing it was soaring. The Public Service Commission was denying every request for a fare increase beginning in 1914 or so. The Long Island Rail Road was flat out broke, and Rockaway wasn't helping, as ridership was dipping.
By the time the 1950's came around, much of the summer business was gone. Changing habits of vacationers -- the introduction of the automobile and of workplace vacation as well as the advent of air travel made vacation to far away places a reality for the working guy. The introduction of wide scale air conditioning made the need for escape to the beaches less pressing. Ninety year old summer housing had seen better days and was starting to show its age. Summer residents were replaced with year round poor renters and the Rockaway branch settled into serving as more of a commutter operation than the summer goldmine it had been in the 'teens and 'twenties.
When the final trestle fire occurred, talks had already been underway with the Transit Commission for two decades to cede the line to the NY Transit System. The elevated stations had been designed for subway fare collection in 1940. When the bridge finally burned down, we'll bet the LIRR receiver uttered "Thank God".
The removal of the Rockaway Branch by fire revealed a financial burden that the LIRR could not succeed in doing through the courts of Public Service Commission. They were finally free of a huge money-sucking entity.
The Long Island Tool
"... overzealously discharges his duties;
...a "tool" of the administration"