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Re: Best Article I've Read on Reasons to Reactivate the Rockaway Beach Line

Posted by andy on Wed May 2 18:31:06 2012, in response to Best Article I've Read on Reasons to Reactivate the Rockaway Beach Line, posted by BrooklynBus on Wed May 2 15:00:34 2012.

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This was a good article but also has some historical and geographic inaccuracies:

(1) "White Pot Junction is actually the bastardized Dutch name for the area in Kew Gardens where the Rockaway line splits off the LIRR mainline to head south to the Rockaway Peninsula." INCORRECT. White Pot Junction was the name of the old LIRR interlocking just west of the current Forest Hills Station where the Rockaway Beach Branch splits from the LIRR Main Line. It is in Rego Park, not in Kew Gardens as the writer states. The name White Pot was given to the area by its original European settlers because according to legend they purchased the land from its original native American inhabitants for three white pots.

(2) "When the old Board of Estimate approved Rockaway for the subway, at the last moment the route was changed from the Rockaway Beach Branch as proposed by Robert Moses to the much longer A train route through Brooklyn. The Board of Estimate made this decision in private. There is no record of what was said, and there has never been an explanation for the sudden change in route. Speculation abounds." INCORRECT. Robert Moses had nothing to do with the implementation of NYC's purchase of the old LIRR Rockaway Line. In the early 1940s he did play a key role in the elimination of grade crossings on Atlantic Avenue and on the Rockaway Peninsula. Under his leadership the LIRR tracks were tunneled under Atlantic Avenue from East New York to Jamaica, and placed on the still-used concrete el structure on the Rockaway Peninsula that the A train uses today.

(3) "Originally, the NYC Board of Transportation planned to link the Rockaway Beach Branch to the subway under Queens Blvd. just east of the 63rd Drive Station. It was never built." TRUE. The IND subway tunnel was built with two turnouts, just east (operationally north)of the 63d Drive Station, to and from the LIRR Rockaway line. The idea was to allow subway trains to access Rockaway using this route, in lieu of the LIRR, in the 1930s as soon as the subway opened. This of course never happened. The reason for choosing the Fulton Street route in 1956 was because by then the Queens Blvd. IND was already overcrowded and could not absorb additional trains. Remember, this was long before the 63d Street Tunnel was built. The TA decided to keep Rockaway service along Fulton Street where a four track subway had the capacity. It was not a secret decision.

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