Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Abandoned Rockaway Beach Branch

     I'm not sure how I heard of it, but once I was aware of its existence, my curiosity was piqued and I was intrigued, wanting to check it out. The Rockaway Beach Branch is reminiscent of the High Line - they both were/are both abandoned railways hoping to eventually fully become a park. My trip only covered a small portion of the whole track, but this microcosm is a fairly apt representation of the whole track. It appears that parts of the track run into active Long Island Railroad trains and perhaps it bumps into the A train. It also seems that Steve Duncan found the time to explore the historic site.

     As you can see, the tracks going back and forth are all in place, and the third rails are still present, though no longer electrified. My commentary won't add much, so I'll leave the following as a photo essay and let the pictures mostly speak for themselves.

     I must confess that when I saw this truss tower, which shot up about 40 feet into the air, it was an ample climbing opportunity. I only made it halfway up, because any further would arouse suspicion from the adjacent ballpark. I'm guessing that the tower I squirreled up used to provide electricity to the tracks, but now no wires exist there.

    At a certain point in the line, I saw two workers, each contrasting from each other because one wore a white hoodie, the other a black one. It appeared that they were painting the walls, perhaps to cover the graff. There was no point in hiding myself from them, but I managed to sneak past them anyway. Once I hit the end of the line and turned around, however, there was no way to conceal my identity as I loudly crunched and rustled the leaves along the path. This alerted them to my presence, but I had no idea what they thought. Moving on towards the wall, I noticed some amazing graffiti.

                                                     Goodbye, railway! Until next time!

     If you want to help save this historic Queens Branch from destruction and try to make it into a park, click here to sign a petition which will send a letter to the councilman of the district letting him know you care. So far, more than half of the required signatures have been reached, but it could still use your help. For more information and a comprehensive photographic tour of the full branch, click here.

    Here's to a New Year, and with it, new explorations. A toast! What do I have planned for my writeup for next month? It has something to do with this place...

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