Somewhere in the Forest Park in Queens, there is one of the best kept secret of the borough, a set of LIRR abandoned railway tracks. I always wanted to know how the tracks looked like before The Highline became the Highline. My wish came true at this section of the park, where some of the old tracks are exposed. Judging from some of the small trees growing between the tracks, the've been abandoned for a long time.
The tracks have been abandoned for years! Not only do you find treed fallen over on top of the tracks, there are small to medium sized trees growing in between the tracks. Hence, they have see absolutely no use since they were abandoned
These pictures were taken on a Saturday morning, where the sun had just started shining through the trees to light up the foliage and the tracks.
In some sections, you can find the tracks simply disappearing into nature, as if they didn't exist at all. The first picture shows the tracks simply disappearing into the ground. This felt more man made to me. However, the second picture shows the tracks simply disappearing into a dense mix of trees and shrubs.
Despite being abandoned for such a long time, the core tracks are still rock solid and straight as an arrow. The core structure, i.e. the supporting planks and the tracks bolted on to them are still pretty solid. There is no wear or tear on the actual steel alloy tracks and I couldn't find any miss-alignment of the tracks either.
It looks like there was a third rail, which was continuously covered by a wooden plank. I'm guessing it provided a source of electrical power to the trains, similar to the new New York City subway system. However, it looks like the third rail's supporting top infrastructure was not able to stand the test of time.
Despite the sheer beauty and the immense takeover of the site by nature, there are still signs of human intervention, and that too not in a good way. Pieces of trash can be seen all over in addition to graffiti at several points on the track.