Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Projects on pause

COVID-19 has slowed progress on this and other planning studies. We continue to move projects forward internally, however, and will be evaluating this project along with other regional transit proposals for possible inclusion in MTA’s next Capital Plan.

The MTA comissioned a study to assess, at a sketch planning level, the feasibility and cost of restoring passenger rail service on the former Long island Rail Road Rockaway Beach Branch (RBB). In Phase 1 of the Study, we evaluated reactivating the branch as either:

  • Part of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Main Line or
  • Part of the New York City Transit (NYCT) subway Queens Boulevard Line (QBL).

In Phase 2 of the Study, we looked at linking the Rockaway Beach Branch (using LIRR service) to the Central Terminal Area of John F. Kennedy International Airport. This would support a possible one-seat ride between the airport and Midtown Manhattan (Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal).