1. LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch

LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch tracks

This defunct LIRR line is a 3.5-mile long stretch of rail that starts in Rego Park and ends at Rockaway Peninsula. Constructed in 1908-09, this branch was created to connect the LIRR to Rockaway Peninsula. Before the Depression in the 1930s, there was a plan to connect this line with the IND subway line, but the economic downturn ultimately shelved those plans. So the line remained a part of the LIRR until 1950, but fires on the wooden tracks led the LIRR to sell it to New York City who rebuilt the tracks and converted it into a subway line with service to the Rockaways in 1956.

The line was also connected to the LIRR Montauk Branch via the Glendale Junction which stopped operating in 1946. The north end of the Rockaway Line above Liberty Avenue maintained its services until June 8, 1962. In the end, decreased patronage caused the line to close down.

Today, there is an effort being made to convert the abandoned rail line into a park, or high line like on Manhattan. The project, dubbed the QueensWay, was started by The Friends of QueensWay (FQW) which aims to turn the railline into a park “enjoyed by bikers, walkers, joggers, visitors, tourists, workers and residents in Queens and the rest of the world.”

For more, see the entire 3.5 mile stretch of the QueensWay on video.

Next, check out Fun Maps: The Abandoned Subway Stations and Lost Subway Lines of NYC and 20 of NYC’s Abandoned Subway Stations, Levels and Platforms.