The Long Island Railroad’s Rockaway Beach Branch diverged from the LIRR’s Main Line in Rego Park at about 66th Ave. at what was called Whitepot Junction. It ran south through the neighborhoods of Middle Village, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Howard Beach, across Jamaica Bay and through Broad Channel, and on to the Rockaway Peninsula, where one spur continued east and rejoined the LIRR in Far Rockaway, and the other went west and dead-ended at Beach 116th St. at the Rockaway Park station. The LIRR discontinued service across Jamaica Bay in 1950 after a fire, and then ended service between Rego Park and Ozone Park in 1962. The Transit Authority stepped in and restored the Jamaica Bay connection in 1956, connecting the peninsula to the Liberty Avenue el, but the rest of the line has been allowed to deteriorate in place.
For the past couple of decades, two proposals have arisen to deal with that remaining right-of-way. The Queensway proposal would convert it to a linear park in the same way that the old West Side Freight Railway became High Line Park; similar conversions have been done in Philadelphia and Chicago. A second proposal (that I lean toward) would rebuild the rails and connect them to the IND Queens Boulevard Line, with a new subway line connecting the IND Rockaway connection at Liberty Avenue to Queens Boulevard or a new LIRR line connecting Atlantic Avenue with the main branch. Both would require a massive outlay in funds and support from local communities.
I have been fascinated with these tracks for decades, and walked most of their route on a couple of occasions. So you don’t have to, I created an FNY post about it in 2019.
The above view of the tracks is from their most accessible point, on Trotting Course Lane just north of Margaret Place, which enters the park at this point. The ground is very uneven, so if you don’t have the balancing skills of a mountain goat, walking the tracks here is not recommended unless you can afford to be out of action with a strained or sprained ankle for awhile.