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Shenandoah Group Trying to Keep Rails with Trails

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Shenandoah Group Trying to Keep Rails with Trails
Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, January 6, 2023 10:01 PM

Pro rail group proposing rails-with-trails as alternative to rails-to-trails.

https://www.whsv.com/2023/01/06/save-rails-group-pitches-alternative-plan-shenandoah-rail-trail/?outputType=amp

 

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Posted by tree68 on Friday, January 6, 2023 10:05 PM

They might reach a compromise as long as there's no one with an agenda that involves getting rid of the rails.

Been there.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, January 7, 2023 10:55 AM

Can someone explain to me what Perrault means when he says "They’ve tried to do it out in California and it’s taking billions of dollars and 15-20 years to assemble a rail corridor from Los Angeles and San Fransisco [sic]"?  He'll be hurting his case badly if the wrong types pick up on this...

The ominous thing is the sentence at the end of the article where they comment that they "hope" the people in the rail-to-trail effort listen to them.  See the current state (and history) of the official rail-to-trail effort here:

https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational-planning/shen-rail-trail

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Posted by jsanchez on Saturday, January 7, 2023 11:18 AM

They should use Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania as a good example. The Lehigh Gorge/RBMN railroad and hiking trail both complement each other and bring in many tourist, bikes are even carried on the trains for cyclists.

James Sanchez

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Posted by tree68 on Saturday, January 7, 2023 2:33 PM

Overmod
Can someone explain to me what Perrault means when he says "They’ve tried to do it out in California and it’s taking billions of dollars and 15-20 years to assemble a rail corridor from Los Angeles and San Fransisco [sic]"?

I suspect he's suggesting that if the rails are pulled, and there is no means of restoring the ROW to rail service, that it will cost a lot of money to create a new-from-scratch corridor.

I wasn't aware that any rail lines between SFO and LA had been pulled.  I'm pretty sure the coast line is still in service.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by kgbw49 on Saturday, January 7, 2023 2:50 PM

It seems like he is referring to the CA High Speed Rail project that is largely being constructed on new right of way.

Western Maryland Scenic Railway has a trail co-located with it.

Perhaps this person should contact Henry Posner and Railroad Development Corporation about his Pop Up Metro.

https://rrdc.com/companies/pop-up-metro/

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Posted by Ulrich on Saturday, January 7, 2023 6:34 PM

If the rail line has economic potential then it makes sense to keep it... and having a bike lane or trail along side of it... even better.

For those who don't believe a bike trail can bring economic benefits, try riding the Great Allegheny Passage (between Cumberland, MD and Pittsburgh, PA) anytime between about April and November.. lots of cyclists.. most spending money in the towns they ride through. 

 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, January 7, 2023 8:23 PM

[quote user="Overmod"]See the current state (and history) of the official rail-to-trail effort here:

https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational-planning/shen-rail-trailhttps://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational-planning/shen-rail-trail

[/quote]

 

Reading public comments, some people wanted the rail "eyesore" gone.  Also they mentioned a tourist rail operation was proposed in the 1990s, and was mostly opposed.

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, January 7, 2023 9:21 PM

Overmod
Can someone explain to me what Perrault means when he says "They’ve tried to do it out in California and it’s taking billions of dollars and 15-20 years to assemble a rail corridor from Los Angeles and San Fransisco [sic]"?  He'll be hurting his case badly if the wrong types pick up on this...

The ominous thing is the sentence at the end of the article where they comment that they "hope" the people in the rail-to-trail effort listen to them.  See the current state (and history) of the official rail-to-trail effort here:

https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational-planning/shen-rail-trail

One link will do.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by mudchicken on Sunday, January 8, 2023 8:51 AM

Can't buy into the co-exist argument. Too good a chance some of the bottom feeders will find a way to turn the operating railroad into an attractive nuisance and screw it up for everybody else. (and they are NEVER responsible for their actions)...

Buying the line as an operating railroad is one thing. Trying to go railbanking with the NITU/CITU process with STB and having someone step up as a registered responsible entity would be much different animal. Good luck with that entity being able to insure that operation. $$$$$

Think before they act? - Nah.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, January 9, 2023 1:24 AM

They should aljso try to get NS to support their plan.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 10:16 AM

A short-line or tourist-operated railroad next to a khiking-aqnd-cycling trail can be of benefit to the hikers in sveral ways:

1.  Not restricted to hiking the whole trail.  Can use the train before or after.  The train can pick-up or discharge anywhere a long the trail. Ride one-way, walk the other an option.

2.  Food and olther supplies to any point along the lione chosen by hamkers to be a picnic-site or campsite.

3.  One railcar, best a diesel or gas-electric self-propelled car, fitted with a First-Aid room.   Polssible supplies carried include stretcher and couich-bed.  Hikers given a phone number for emergencies, and there is always a member who is a doctor or layman trasined in Virst-Aid work available plus the needed train crew.

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Posted by adkrr64 on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 2:30 PM

daveklepper
A short-line or tourist-operated railroad next to a khiking-aqnd-cycling trail can be of benefit to the hikers in sveral ways:

You make valid points, but trails along the ROW can also create hazards if there is not some kind of barrier between the two:

1. People/ pets/ children straying onto or dangerously close to the tracks.

2. Photographers insisting on getting that art shot with the rails meeting on the horizon, oblivious to approaching movements.

3. General mischief - putting objects on the track, train dodging, etc.

There is a reason why most places with parallel trails have a fence of some significance in place.

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Posted by James Goodwin on Thursday, January 12, 2023 9:10 PM

Not mentioned in either the article or the comments is whether the line is single or double-tracked. If originally double-tracked like the western Maryland up to Frostburg, then a parallel trail is a no-brainer. If originallhy only single-tracked, a parallel trail requires essentially building a whole new road bed with every piece of drainage extended along with the extra fill for the road bed. That would likely be a prohibitively expensive cost for the project.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, January 13, 2023 12:37 AM

I agree a fence is necessary, and both the emergency and regular equipment of the tourist or short-line railroad would carry an appropriate "upside-down-V" step-ladder arrabgementv to enable legal boarding and dischartge orf trains.  Or a series of locked gates with trainmen having the keys.

And, of course, there would be the usual anti-trespassing signs.

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Posted by tree68 on Friday, January 13, 2023 6:17 AM

daveklepper
And, of course, there would be the usual anti-trespassing signs.

I wouldn't matter if the fence was ten feet high with razor wire on top - there are those who would take it as a challenge...

Then they'd cry victim when they got hit by a train.

Any pictures I've seen with a fence between the trail and the tracks show a more or less three foot high "wrought iron" fence with regular gaps (for wildlife).  The fence keeps the honest people honest, that's all.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, January 13, 2023 8:47 AM

tree68
 
daveklepper
And, of course, there would be the usual anti-trespassing signs. 

I wouldn't matter if the fence was ten feet high with razor wire on top - there are those who would take it as a challenge...

Then they'd cry victim when they got hit by a train.

Any pictures I've seen with a fence between the trail and the tracks show a more or less three foot high "wrought iron" fence with regular gaps (for wildlife).  The fence keeps the honest people honest, that's all.

And I have seen pictures of WMSR locations where there is no fence between railroad and the blacktoped trail.

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Posted by NKP guy on Friday, January 13, 2023 12:28 PM

   The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has co-existed peacefully with the bikepath alongside it for about 20 years now.  It also has a ride & bike service where people can toss their bikes into the baggage car and go for a ride or return to their cars.  It's resulted in many additional tickets being sold and is a further reason for people to visit the national park, all of which benefit the local economy and population.  

   I ride my e-bike on a long and beautiful bikepath that was once the main line of the Erie Railroad.  About half of its 20-some mile length has a subsidiary of the W&LE RR running on the (former) eastbound track, with the bikepath using the space of the (former) westbound track.  In places, a mere 4' chain link or other wire fence serves to separate the two; in other places there is no fencing at all.  There have been no problems reported since the bikepath opened.

   I suspect most bikepaths that share a right of way with a working railroad are similar to the two railroads I just cited:  the track is jointed rail with a local train that makes plenty of noise as it moves along.  We are not dealing here with the CSX main line and its fast moving unit trains.  The people I see have Fido on his leash, and are, frankly, not real interested in the trains or taking pictures of them.

   Each time I ride and see other bicyclists and the numerous pedestrians (many older Boomers) who are walking along as part of their therapy or just for their recreation, I'm reminded of the letters to the editor some years ago complaining about this "waste" of taxpayer money.  Those people have been disproved over and over.  Bikepaths are a great idea, and improve the quality of life for their users and the real estate values of those who live close-by.  Win- win.

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