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Rails to Trails meeting

Old 02-14-24, 04:17 PM
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Rails to Trails meeting

I have the opportunity to informally meet with a rails to trails representative tomorrow. What questions would be interesting to ask.

Out in the southwest there are fewer unused rights of way that are potential candidates for that type of project but I have one in mind and am tempted to ride it. Its about 70 miles and according to Google satellite views the rails were removed from that corridor some time ago.

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Old 02-14-24, 07:04 PM
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Ask what authority owns and maintains ?. Does the trail need infrastructure improvements, such as will it be paved ?, gravel ?. Is there any design plans to eliminate motorized vehicles ?, Some trails I’ve seen allow ATV’s. Is that desirable or planned ?.
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Old 02-14-24, 07:28 PM
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Ask who owns the property, although the rep might not know. So maybe ask how you can determine ownership. Since the rails were removed, it was almost certainly formally abandoned (a regulatory process). The abandoning railroad could still own it. Some (or all) of it could have reverted to abutting land owners depending on quality of title and state law. Some (or all) of it could have been sold. Contacting the railroad might be the first best step. Better than trying to do a title search, especially if the corridor is located in multiple counties.

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Old 02-15-24, 08:57 AM
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I'd start by asking if RtT has the ROW you're interested in on their radar already. If they do, ask what you can do to help (and how much time it's likely to take). Do they know what the timeframe is if the railroad hasn't transfered ownership back to the local landowners yet? If not, are you willing to volunteer to find out the answers to all the ownership questions raised above? How much is RtT willing to support a rails-trails conversion, and how much local (volunteer) support will be needed?
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Old 02-15-24, 11:04 AM
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Bridges. Missing/damaged bridges are a MAJOR expense and can make or break the project's feasibility. Even rehabilitating bridges for pedestrian/cycle/equestrian use is pricy.
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Old 02-15-24, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Bridges. Missing/damaged bridges are a MAJOR expense and can make or break the project's feasibility. Even rehabilitating bridges for pedestrian/cycle/equestrian use is pricy.
Yep. One reason why I think the Great American Rail Trail isn’t feasible in at least one area. West of Missoula it is supposed to utilize a stretch of a former line that has several bridges missing. At least one of them is over the Clark Fork River, which isn’t exactly narrow. The relative cost to replace them would be very high, in part because you would probably want them to be able to handle emergency vehicles.




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Old 02-15-24, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Bridges. Missing/damaged bridges are a MAJOR expense and can make or break the project's feasibility. Even rehabilitating bridges for pedestrian/cycle/equestrian use is pricy.
A truck hit a bridge that was used for a bike trail in Wisc. That bridge went over the road. The bridge was closed and traffic was also blocked at that bridge location, which made people that normally drove on that road pretty unhappy. Eventually one of them decided to get rid of the bridge.
https://www.wkow.com/news/video-show...ccf1c9ca7.html

There was not a river there, so the bike trail could be re-routed without the bridge. I do not know if there are plans to replace the bridge or not, I suspect not.
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