Call To Reactivate Rockaway Beach Line
It was once where the old Long Island Railroad was located. Now it is the last stop on the city’s ‘A’ train. It is also where protestors stood last week in an attempt to get their message out about reactivating the old Rockaway Beach Line that once made travel to the city a breeze.
Members of the Queens Public Transit Committee for the Reactivation of the Rockaway Beach Line gathered at Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway on August 24th.
“The A Train now is a remnant of the old Rockaway Beach Line,” said Phillip McManus, the chair of the committee.
He added, “Our concern is we want to open up the Rockaway Beach Line to Penn Station or into Manhattan. What we want to do is either a Long Island Rail Road or a subway.”
“It goes all the way into Rego Park into Woodside, Queens and then into Manhattan,” said McManus, who said they would be going throughout Rockaway with their message.
In reference to the Queensway Park that is being touted by people on the mainland, McManus added, “I would like to see transportation. I don’t want to see a park. I believe if we have a park it will divide and close down…. It’s like closing down Woodhaven Boulevard. That’s what it did to Queens.”
Democratic mayoral Candidate Sal Albanese believes “transportation is more important” than the proposed park. He called the Rockaway Beach Line “common sense” and “equitable for the people of this area.”
“Rockaway has been abandoned by the city when it comes to transportation,” said Albanese. “The Rockaway Beach Line is not a frill. It’s important to the entire Rockaway area because they have very limited transportation options.”
“The Rockaway Beach Line is the very least of what this community needs in transportation and it is the very beginning in the conversation of what this community has needed on many, many fronts.”
Martin Ingram of Breezy Point and a member of Community Board 14 said the Rockaway Beach Line would “help us in the rebirth and the resonance of the Rockaways.”
“It would not only make it quicker into Manhattan but quicker across the borough of Queens,” said Ingram. “It’s going to link us up with Flushing and other parts.”
There is historic significance of where the rally took place. The Rockaway Beach Line was once located at the Mott Avenue subway stop. There are connections to five buses, but locals must first get to Mott Avenue. Two of the buses go to Long Island, one to Long Beach, one travels to Jamaica and only one line – the Q22 – travels across the peninsula. The A stop is near the current LIRR on Nameoke Street. The LIRR began service on the Rockaway Branch Line in the 1800s. It continued to service mid-Queens and the Rockaways into the 1950s.
In the 1950s service was discontinued on the route to the peninsula and part of the land which became the A Line, was sold to the city. In 1962 all LIRR service was discontinued on that line.