This line started out under the New York, Woodhaven and Rockaway Railroad and provided a more direct route to the Rockaways for local passenger transit. It opened in 1880, but was bankrupt seven years later, and was sold to the Long Island Railroad as the New York and Rockaway Beach Railway. The NY&RB was ultimately absorbed into the LIRR in 1922.
The line was elevated starting in 1939 and completed in 1942.
Ongoing changes to transit operations in the area eventually severed the line's southern transit connection in Ozone Park, making this a dead-end line, hurting traffic growth. Moreover, the line suffered from both lack of maintenance and constant vandalism. All of this spelled doom, and passenger operations ceased in 1962, the last vestige of LIRR's passenger service.
Here is a timeline of station operations on the line:
Station | Opened | Closed
Parkside | 9/15/1927 | 6/8/1962
Brooklyn Hills | 1882 | 1911
Brooklyn Manor | 1/9/1911 | 6/8/1962
Woodhaven Junction | 1893 | 6/8/1962
Ozone Park | 1883 | 6/8/1962
The Rockaway Beach Branch infrastructure still stands today. Several plans are in the works to revive the line in the future.