It's been dormant for 46 years, but the debate continues to rage over what to do with the old Long Island Railroad Rockaway Beach Branch Line.
"This is a nice, very, very pleasant bucolic woodland setting as is. You see almost 50 years of growth here. At the same time, you can see how it's been abused. You can see a lot of garbage, trash, abandoned objects strewn about," said Jordan Sandke, former chairman of the Rockaway Branch Greenway Committee.
The group wants to turn the 3.5-mile stretch of abandoned tracks into a greenway that could be used for biking or jogging. They're getting help from a number of groups including Parks and Trails New York, an initiative sponsored by the New York State Department of Health.
"This has been in the dark for too long. I think people once they realize that it's here and the opportunities it has, it's really going to be something that people celebrate," said Martin Daley of Park and Trails New York.
The old line ran from Forest Hills to Rockaway Beach, through Forest Park. Some still hold out hope the MTA will revive the line, cutting down on commuting times, especially from the Rockaways.
"Personally I think it's kind of a pipe dream considering the cost of restoring this as an active rail corridor," Sandke said. "I think making it a greenway would be a lot cheaper, a lot more feasible."
But some people who live near the tracks, especially in Rego Park and Forest Hills, are opposed to both ideas. In 2005, Community Board 6 rejected a feasibility study of the greenway proposal.
Residents say even a greenway would bring too much foot traffic and noise right to their backyards. Everyone in the neighborhood has their own opinions about the tracks, even the very youngest.
"A bike path would be good, but if you put a train, it would be too noisy," said Natalie DeFerrari. "A bike path would sound good, a walk path, would be good. You could walk, exercise."
The City of New York owns the land and right of way for the tracks and says there are no current plans for them. That isn't stopping the Greenway Committee from trying to put the long dormant tracks to use again.