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Results of questionnaire on Rails WITH Trails safety

Rails-with-trails are desirable because they are safe, rarely opposed by adjacent railroads and obtaining liability insurance for them is relatively easy.

From the study by Patrick Kraich, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, with funding by the National Park Service

"Rails-with-trails are no more dangerous than rail-trails alone or next to busy streets."

Introduction: A 1996 study looked at the safety of trails that have been built with the rights-of-way of active railroads across the country. The answer seems to be that active railroad lines can function with an adjacent pedestrian, horse, and bike path without problem. The survey looked at 37 existing corridors, in 16 states, which have parallel side-by-side rail lines and trailsthat pass though a variety of landscapes, from cities and suburbs to rural areas.

Trail Safety

36 of 37 rails-with-trails reported no train/trail user accidents. Rails-with-trails are no more dangerous than rail-trails alone or next to busy streets.

Liability Insurance

Most rails-with-trails are covered by city, county or state self-insurance policies. Only 6 trails were required to release the corridor's owner from liability for accidents on the trail. No claims were filed against the adjacent railroad by a trail user.

Maintenance

Trail maintenance is usually handled by city, county or state organizations. Most of the adjacent railroads are not involved in trail maintenance There have only been a few instances of railroad maintenance interfering or disturbing the adjacent trail.

Railroad Opposition

34 out of 37 rail-with-trails conversions were NOT opposed by the adjacent railroad. In most cases, once the adjacent railroads are assured that safety precautions are met and that the trail has liability insurance, become favorable or indifferent to the proposed trail.

Corridor Acquisition

The majority of trail land was not obtained from the adjacent railroad. In 29 of 37 cases the corridor was obtained from another railroad which abandoned their tracks or the corridor was part of a state owned right-of-way.

Study Conclusion

This study illustrates that the concept of trails and rail lines sharing the same right-of-way is legitimate. Rails-with-trails are desirable because they are safe, rarely opposed by adjacent railroads and obtaining liability insurance for them is relatively easy.

The unusual coalition between railroads and trail activists has enhanced communities across the country by combining efficient motorized transportation, trains, with non-motorized transportation and close to home recreation.

Trail activists who are planning to connect different trail systems, parks, commercial centers and neighborhoods should consider rails-with-trails. Often an active rail corridor represents the only uninterrupted connection between these areas. Rails-with-trails may be the solution for providing communities auto-free pathways for transportation and recreation.

Findings

The percentages of respondents and the number of respondents are listed for each question when appropriate.

The Site

1. What is the length of the trail?

  • Average length = 8.1 miles
  • Range = 0.2- 50.0 miles

2. What type of terrain does the trail pass through? ( Note: Trail managers usually identified more than one type of terrain through which their trail passed.)

  • Urban.............................. 16 (43.2%)
  • Suburban terrain............. 12 (32.4%)
  • Residential...................... 12 (32.4%)
  • Rural area........................ 11 (29.7%)
  • Commercial area.............. 9 (24.3%)
  • Nature preserve................ 9 (24.3%)
  • Industrial area.................. 5 (13.5%)
  • Agricultural area.............. 5 (13.5%)

3. For how many miles does the trail run alongside an active rail corridor?

  • Average = 4.1 miles
  • Range = 0.2 - 22.0 miles
  • Adjacent 50% or more of their length........... 26 (70.3%)
  • Adjacent less than 50% of their length......... 11 (29.7%)

4. How wide is the full rail-with-trail corridor?

  • Average = 139 feet
  • Range = 10 - 1,500 feet
  • 0 - 30 feet............................ 4 (11.8%)
  • 31 - 60 feet.......................... 7 (20.6 %)
  • 61 - 100 feet....................... 14 (41.2%)
  • 101 - 150 feet....................... 2 (5.9%)
  • 151 - 200 feet....................... 5 (14.6%)
  • Greater than 200 feet.......... 2 (5.9%)
  • Subtotal............................. 34
  • Unknown............................ 3
  • Total.................................. 37

5. How wide is the trail?

  • Average trail width = 11 feet
  • Range = 4 - 20 feet
  • 4 - 6 feet...................... 2 (5.4%)
  • 8 - 10 feet.................. 25 (67.6%)
  • 12 - 14 feet.................. 4 (10.8%)
  • 15 - 20 feet.................. 6 (16.2%)

6. What is the distance between active track and trail? (Measurement is from the centerline to the nearest edge of the trail.)

  • Average distance = 55 feet Range = 3 - 500 feet
  • 3 - 7 feet.......................... 1 (2.8%)
  • 8 - 12 feet........................ 5 (13.9%)
  • 13 - 20 feet...................... 7 (19.4%)
  • 21 - 50 feet.................... 13 (36.1%)
  • 51 - 90 feet...................... 3 (8.3%)
  • 91 - 100 feet.................... 5 (13.9%)
  • Distance greater than 100 feet.......... 2 (5.6%)
  • Subtotal........................................... 36
  • Unknown.......................................... 1
  • Total 37

7. Is there a barrier separating the tracks and trail?

  • Yes....... 26 (70.3%)
  • No........ 11 (29.7%)

Of the 26 trails with barriers separating the tracks and trail, the following types of barriers were used ( Note: Many trail managers identified more than one type of separation.) :

  • Vegetation as a barrier.......... 11 (32.4.7%)
  • Grade separation..................... 9 (26.5%)
  • Chain link fence...................... 7 (20.6%)
  • Ditch....................................... 3 (8.8%)
  • Wire fence............................... 1 (2.9%)
  • Split rail fence......................... 1 (2.9%)
  • Cement wall............................ 1 (2.9%)
  • Wrought iron fence................. 1. (2.9%)
  • Subtotal......... 34

8. Does the trail cross the tracks?

  • Yes.. 18 (48.6%)
  • No... 19 (51.4%)
  • Average number of crossings = 2.1
  • Range = 0 - 5
  • Note: All crossings were at-grade with one exception; the Illinois Prairie Path has an above grade (bridge) crossing over the mainline. Thirteen (62%) of those trails with at-grade crossings have warning signs for trail users.

Rail Operation

9. What railroad or agency owns the adjacent active rail corridor?

Class I (major freight) railroad................................ 24 (64.9%)

Public transit agency.................................................. 6 (16.2%)

Other public agency (i.e. a city or university) ........... 5 (13.5%)

Short line.................................................................... 1 (2.7%)

Unknown.................................................................... 1 (2.7%)

10. Did the railroad oppose creation of the trail?

  • Yes.......................... 3 (8.6%)
  • No......................... 32 (91.4%)
  • Subtotal................. 35
  • Unknown................. 2
  • Total...................... 37
  • Note: After completion of the trail, no manager reported the railroad as unfavorable towards the trail.

11. What type of rail line does the trail run alongside? (Note: Some trail managers identified more than one type of rail line.)

  • Mainline................... 14 (37.9%)
  • Industrial spur.......... 10 (27.0%)
  • Mass transit line......... 4 (10.8%)
  • Tourist train................ 3 (8.1%)
  • Freight........................ 2 (5.4%)
  • Branch line................. 2 (5.4%)
  • Trolley line................. 1 (2.7%)
  • Interurban................... 1 (2.7%)

12. Approximately how frequently do trains run on the adjacent tracks?

  • 3-9 trains per hour....... 5 (13.9%)
  • 1-2 trains per hour....... 5 (13.9%)
  • 9-16 trains per day.......... 2 (5.6%)
  • 4-8 trains per day............ 6 (16.7%)
  • 1-3 trains per day............ 6 (16.7%)
  • 1-4 trains per week........ 10 (27.8%)
  • 1-2 trains per month........ 1 (2.8%)
  • Out of service............... 1 (2.8%)
  • Subtotal....................... 36
  • Unknown....................... 1 (2.7%)
  • Total............................ 37

13. Do peak hours of rail use correspond with peak hours of trail use?

  • Yes.......................... 7 (22.6%)
  • No......................... 17 (54.8%)
  • Occasionally........... 7 (22.6%)
  • Subtotal................. 31
  • Unknown................. 6 (10.8%)
  • Total...................... 37

14. What is the approximate maximum train speed?

  • Average maximum train speed = 32 mph
  • Range = 5 - 90 mph

Uses

15. What trail uses are permitted? (Note: Trail managers usually identified more than one permitted use on their trail)

  • Walking/jogging......................................36 (97.3%)
  • Bicycling................................................. 36 (97.3%)
  • In-line skating.......................................... 27 (73.0%)
  • Cross country skiing................................. 23 (62.2%)
  • Snowmobiling............................................. 5 (13.5%)
  • Equestrian.....................................................3 (8.1%)

16. Are any uses prohibited because the trail is adjacent to an active rail line? (Note: Only 21 managers had information to respond to this question.)

  • Yes............. 0 (0%)
  • No............ 37 (100%)

17. Approximate number of trail user-days annually?

  • Average = 250,679
  • Range = 18,000 - 1,500,000

Liability Insurance

18. Is the trail insured against liability?

  • Yes, self-insured.................... 24 (64.9%)
  • Yes, private insurance............ 10 (27.0%)
  • No............................................ 3 (8.1%)

19. Is your agency required to indemnify the rail carrier against liability?

  • Yes.................. 6 (16.2%)
  • No................. 31 (83.8%)

20. Was insurance difficult to acquire?

  • Yes......... 0 (0%)
  • No...... 37 (100%)

Accidents

21. Have any train-related accidents occurred on the trail? (This question includes only those accidents caused by the path being adjacent to an active rail line, such as direct train-user collisions or accidents caused by debris left on the path by the railroad.)

  • Yes...... 1 (2.7%)
  • No...... 36 (97.3%)
  • Note: Only the Illinois Prairie Path reported a train-related accident. In 1982 , a bicyclist was injured when she ignored bells and flashing lights and rode around a lowered crossing gate at a street/railroad grade crossing adjacent to the trail.

22. Were any train-related accident claims filed against your agency?

  • Yes....... 1 (2.7%)
  • No...... 36 (97.3%)
  • Note: Only the manager for the La Crosse River State Trail reported a train- related accident claim filed against the trail. An adjacent landowner's farm animal broke through the trail's right-of-way fence and was hit and killed by a train.

23. Are you aware of any claims being filed against the railroad?

  • Yes...... 0 (0%)
  • No...... 37 (100%)

Maintenance

24. Who is primarily responsible for trail maintenance? ( Note: Some trails are maintained by more than one group.)

  • City or town......................... 24 (64.8%)
  • County................................... 8 (21.6%)
  • State....................................... 3 (8.1%)
  • Friends of the trail group....... 6 (16.2%)
  • University.............................. 1 (2.7%)

25. How much is spent on maintenance annually? Note: Only 23 managers responded to this question.)

  • Average = $33,557 ($4,142 per mile)
  • Range = $100 - $200,000

26. Does the railroad help maintain the corridor?

  • Yes........ 3 (8.1%)
  • No....... 34 (91.9%)

27. Does railroad maintenance infringe upon the trail corridor?

  • Yes...... 8 (21.6%)
  • No..... 29 (78.4%)

Corridor Acquisition

28. Does your agency own the trail corridor?

  • Full ownership............. 17 (47.2%)
  • Partial ownership........... 4 (11.1%)
  • No ownership...............15 (41.7%)
  • Subtotal........................ 36
  • Unknown........................ 1
  • Total............................. 37
  • Note: Partial ownership means the managing agency owns part of the trail and received an easement or unofficial permission for the remainder.

29. If yes, how much did you pay for the trail corridor?

  • $0............................................................................................ 6 (16.2%)
  • Between $1,000 - $7 million ($1,222,300 average) ............... 7 (18.9%)
  • Cost unknown...................................................................... 24 (64.9%)

30. Did you obtain an easement? Of those not claiming full ownership:

  • A partial easement was obtained................ 3 (15.8%)
  • A full easement was obtained................... 15 (78.9%)
  • Unofficial permission was obtained........... 1 (5.3%)
  • Note: The managing agency for the Pedestrian Pathway has unofficial permission to use part of the railroad's right-of-way for a trail because the railroad intends to sell the entire corridor to the city in the future.

31. How was your trail funded? (Note: Most trail managers identified more than one source.)

  • State funds.................. 19 (51.3%)
  • Private sources............ 13 (35.1%)
  • Federal funds................ 8 (21.6%)
  • City funds..................... 7 (18.9%)
  • County funds................ 7 (18.9%)

Appendix II: Forming a Partnership with the Adjacent Railroad

Research the Corridor
The specifics of the trail corridor should be recorded before you statrt your rail-with-trail project. Corridor specifics to research include: corridor width, corridor ownership, type of terrain, potential environmental hazards, an inventory of all bridges, roads, and tunnels, connections to other community resources, historic structures and compatability with the area's bicycle and pedestrian plan.

Research the Adjacent Railroad
Before you approach the railroad know who they are and what types of service they provide. You should know which railroad owns the corridor and which railroad runs trains on the tracks. Also find out whether the line offers freight service or mainline passenger service or serves as a mass transit line or industrial spur. It is also useful to know how often trains run on the tracks and their average speed. Do your homework.

Understand the Railroad's Perspective
A railroad is a business and its bottom line is to make money. While you may not be able to help them financially, railroads do respond to good public relations opportunities, especially if the surrounding community has rallied around the trail. It is important to have the support of the corridors' adjacent landowners because the railroad does not want to alienate the community it serves.

Liability and Safety Issues Are a Major Concern for Railroads
Each year railroads invest millions of dollars into their "Operation Lifesaver" programs. These programs are used to educate the public about railroad safety issues. Railroads take safety and liability issues seriously and you should too. Make sure the design of your trail incorporates safety precautions as a top priority. Offer to allevuate their liability concerns by securing private insurance or by incorporating the trail into the city, county, or stae "umbrella policy."

Share Your Ideas and Experiences with Other Rail-with-Trail Advocates
Check Appendix I and find a rail-with-trail that shares similar characteristics to your project. Contact the appropriate trail manager listed in Appendix I. He or she might have insights and ideas about working with an adjacent railroad as well as tips on trail design.

Do Not Trespass
Make sure you have permission from the railroad before you wnter their property to asses the corridor. A guaranteed method to alienate the railroad and to invite opposition to your project is to be caught trespassing.

Your Approach to the Railroad Should be Coordinated Make sure you have one person appointed as the primary point of contact for the railroad's representative. Separate approaches by a number of different individuals can give your trail group a disjointed appearance.

Appendix I: Survey Respondents

Arboretum Trail (PA)

Kitty Vagley, Director Garden Club 830 15th Street Oakmont, PA 15139-1008 (412) 828-5203

Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Trail (CA)

Sherri Miller, Transportation Planner E.M.A. County of Orange P.O. Box 4048 Santa Ana, CA 92702-4048 (714) 834-3137

Cedar Lake Trail (MN)

Rhonda Rae Cedar Lake Park City of Minnesota Public Works Department City Hall 350 South 5th Street, Room 233 Minneapolis, MN 55415 (612) 673-2411

Celina-Coldwater Bikeway (OH)

Mike Sovinski, Celina Engineering Dept 426 West Market Street Celina, OH 45822-2127 (419) 586-1144

Chatahoochee Trail (GA)

Rick Gordon, Director Columbus Parks and Recreation Dept P.O. Box 1340 Columbus, GA 31902-1340 (706) 571-4786

Duwamish Bikeway (WA)

Sandra Woods, Bicycle/Pedestrain Coordinator Seattle Engineering Department 708 Municipal Building 600 Fourth Avenue Seattle, WA 98104 (206) 684-7583

Falmouth Shining Sea Trail (MA)

Kevin Lynch, Chairman Falmouth Bikeways Committee P.O. Box 2372 Teaticket, MA 02536-2372 (508) 968-5859

Fillmore Trail (CA)

Bert Rapp, City Engineer The City of Fillmore 524 Sespe Avenue Fillmore, CA 93015 (805) 524-3701

Gallup Trail (MI)

Tom Raynes, Manager Park Planning & Development Ann Arbor Department of Parks & Recreation P.O. Box 8647 Ann Arbor, MI 48107 (313) 994-2780

Garden Grove Blvd. to Bolsa Ave. (Hoover Street Trail) (CA)

Dennis Koenig, Engineering Technician City Hall - Engineering Department 8200 Westminster Blvd. Westminster, CA 92683-3395 (714) 898-3311

Grandview/Sunnyside Pathway (Lower Yakima Pathway) (WA)

David Veley, Assistant Director Yakima County Parks 1000 Ahtanum Road Union Gap, WA 98903-1202 (509) 574-2430

Green Bay Trail (IL)

John Houde, Community Development Head Village of Glencoe 675 Village Court Glencoe, IL 60022-1639 (708) 835-4111

Green Bay Trail (IL)

Dan Newport, Director Winnetka Park District 520 Glendale Road, Suite 200 Winnetka, IL 60093-2552 (708) 501-2040

Heritage Trail (IA)

Robert Walton, Executive Director Dubuque County Conservation Board 13768 Swiss Valley Road Peosta, IA 52068 (319) 556-6745

Huffman Prairie Overlook Trail (OH)

Elwood Ensor, Miami Valley Regional Bicycle Committee 1304 Horizon Drive Fairborn, OH 45324-5816 (513) 882-6000

Illinois Prairie Path (IL)

Ruth Krupensky, Principal Planner DuPage County DOT 130 N. County Farm Road Wheaton, IL 60187-3905 (708) 682-7318

Issaquah Trail (WA)

Margaret McCleod Issaquah Parks and Recreation Department P.O. Box 1307 Issaquah, WA 98207

La Crosse River State Park Trail (WI)

Ron Nelson, Superintendent Wildcat Work Unit P.O. Box 99 Ontario, WI 54651-0099 (608) 337-4775

Lakewalk Trail (MN)

Sue Moyer, Director Duluth Parks and Recreation Dept City Hall, Room 330 411 W. First Street Duluth, MN 55802-1102 (218) 723-3337

Lehigh Gorge State Park Trail (PA)

Bob Kerr, Lehigh Gorge State Park RR 1, Box 81 White Haven, PA 18661 (717) 443-0400

Libba Cotton Trail (NC)

Roy Williford, Coordinator Planning and Economic Development P.O. Box 829 Carrboro, NC 27510-0829 (919) 968-7714

MRK Trail (WI)

Tom Statz, Park Plan. & Prog. Director Racine County Public Works Dept 14200 Washington Avenue Sturtevant, WI 53177-1253 (414) 886-8440

Platte River Trail (CO)

Jed Wagner, Trails Coordinator Denver Parks and Recreation 945 South Huron Denver, CO 80223-2805 (303) 698-4900

Railroad Trail (MI)

Phil Silverio-Mazzela, Director Alpine Snowmobile Trails, Inc. 2583 Old 27 Gaylord, MI 49735 (517) 732-7171

Rock Island Trail (CO)

Craig Blewitt, Senior Planner City of Colorado Springs Comprehensive Planning Division P.O. Box 1575, Mail Code 311 Colorado Springs, CO 80901-1575 (719) 578-6692

Rock River Recreation Path (IL)

Rick Shrader, Planning & Development Manager Rockford Park District 1401 North Second Street Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 987-8865

Rose Canyon Bicycle Path (CA)

Rich Hanson, City of San Diego 1222 First Avenue, MS 503 San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 533-3096

Seattle Waterfront Pathway (WA)

Sandra Woods, Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator Seattle Engineering Department 708 Municipal Building 600 Fourth Avenue Seattle, WA 98104 (206) 684-7583

Southwest Corridor Park (MA)

Allan Morris, Parkland Manager Southwest Corridor Park 38 New Heath Street Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-1670 (617) 727-0057

Stavich Bicycle Trail (OH)

Gary Slaven, Falcon Foundry 6th and Water Street Lowellville, OH 44436 (216) 536-6221

The Elk River Trail (WV)

Tom Raker, Director Kanawha County Parks and Rec Commission 2000 Coonskin Drive Charleston, WV 25311-1087 (304) 341-8000

Tony Knowles Coastal Bicycle Trail (AK)

John McClary, Engineering Technician Department of Parks and Recreation 120 South Bragaw Street P.O. Box 196650 Anchorage, AK 99508-1307 (907) 343-4474

Traction Line Recreation Trail (NJ)

Al Kent, Commissioner Morris County Park Commission P.O. Box 1295 Morristown, NJ 17962-1295 (201) 326-7600

Traverse Area Recreation Trail (TART) (MI)

Mike Dillenbeck, Manager Grand Traverse County Road Commission 3949 Silver Lake Road Traverse City, MI 49684-8946 (616) 922-4848

Union Pacific Trail (CO)

Lynn Lathrop, Project Analyst Thornton Parks & Recreation Department 2211 Eppinter Blvd. Thornton, CO 80229 (303) 538-7636

University-Parks Bike-Hike Trail (OH)

Jean Ward, Director Metroparks-Toledo Area 5100 West Central Toledo, OH 43615-2100 (419) 535-3050

Watts Towers Crescent Greenway (CA)

Dale Royal, Project Manager Metropolitan Transportation Authority P.O. Box 194 Los Angeles, CA 90053-0194 (213) 244-6456

Zanesville Riverfront Bikepath (OH)

Ernest Bynum, Recreation Director City of Zanesville 401 Market Street Zanesville, OH 43701-3520 (614) 455-0609

New Rails-with-Trails since the 1996 Study

Levee Walking Trail, Arkansas

Endpoints: Helena
Length: 4.7 miles
Length next to adjacent RR: 1 mile
Trail agency: City of Helena
Separation between tracks & trail: 8'
Barriers between tracks & trail: Grade separation
Property arrangement: Two separate pieces-trail corridor owned by City, RR ROW owned by AK Midland
Insurance Policy: N/A
Indemnification for RR: No
Railroad Information: Arkansas Midland
Type of rail corridor: Freight Train Frequency: 2 per day Train Speed: 20-25mph
Contact Information: Name: Sandi Ramsey Mayor's Assistant Org: City of Helena Address: 226 Perry Street Helena, AR 72342-3338 (w) (501) 338-9831
Comments: Good working relationship with railroad. City of Helena has tort immunity for trail property.

Animas River Greenway Trail, Colorado

Endpoints: Durango
Length: 6 miles
Length next to adjacent RR: 0.25 miles
Trail agency: City of Durango
Separation between tracks & trail: 12'
Barriers between tracks & trail: Five foot chainlink fence at closest points
Property arrangement: NA
Insurance Policy: CITY
Indemnification for RR: City of Durango assumes liability
Type of rail corridor: Excursion
Train Frequency: 4 per day
Train Speed: 15 mph
Contact Information: Ken Frances Org: Ft. Lewis College, Office of Community Service, 1000 Rim Drive Durango, CO 81301-3911 - (w) (970) 247-7310

West Orange Trail, Florida

Endpoints: Winter Garden to Orange/Lake county line
Length: 5.5 miles
Length next to adjacent RR: 8/10 of a mile
Trail agency: Orange County Parks
Separation between tracks & trail: 5'
Barriers between tracks & trail: 4ft chain link fence
Property arrangement: Two separate picesof property
Insurance Policy: Orange County
Indemnification for RR: Yes
Railroad Information: CSX
Type of rail corridor: Freight, industrial
Train Frequency: 1 per day
Train Speed: 5 mph
Contact Information: Karen Overstreet, Supervisor; West Orange Trail, County Line Station, 17922 Old County Road 50, Winter Garden, FL 34787-9669 - (w) (407) 656-2509
Comments: Not a problem, trail users like to watch trains go by.

Great Lakes Spine Trail, Iowa

Endpoints: Milford to Spirit Lake
Length: 12 miles
Length next to adjacent RR: 1.6 miles
Trail agency: IA DNR, Dickinson County, Cities
Separation between tracks & trail: 35'
Barriers between tracks & trail: metal fence
Property arrangement: Purchased property from active railline
Insurance Policy: Dickinson County
Indemnification for RR: No
Railroad Information: Chicago Northwestern Transportation Co.
Type of rail corridor: Freight
Train Frequency: 1 per week
Train Speed: 20 mph
Contact Information: John Walters, Director, Dickinson County Conservation Board, 1924 240th Street Milford, IA 51351-1376 - (w) (712) 338-4786
Comments: Railroad attitude was positive. Trail provides well maintained buffer between adjacent homeowners and tracks.

Prairie Farmer Rec. Trail (Winneshiek County Trail), Iowa

Endpoints: Calmar to Cresco
Length: 18 miles
Length next to adjacent RR: 0.7 miles
Trail agency: Soo Line (sold to Canadian Company)
Separation between tracks & trail: 25'
Barriers between tracks & trail: NA
Property arrangement: Verbal agreement between town of Calmar and Soo Line
Insurance Policy: Winneshiek County
Indemnification for RR: No
Railroad Information: Soo Line
Type of rail corridor: Freight
Train Frequency: 2 per day
Train Speed: 25 mph
Contact Information: David Oestmann, Director, Winneshiek County Conservation Board, 2546 Lake Meyer Road, Fort Atkinson, IA 52144 - (w) (319) 534-7145
Comments: RR was easy to work with on the local level.

Silver Creek Bike Trail, Minnesota

Endpoints: Rochester
Length: 1.3 miles
Length next to adjacent RR: 1.3 miles
Trail agency: Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern
Separation between tracks & trail: 20'
Barriers between tracks & trail: grade and ditch
Property arrangement: Easement on RR property
Insurance Policy: City of Rochester general policy
Indemnification for RR: Yes
Railroad Information: DM&E Railroad
Type of rail corridor: Freight
Train Frequency: 2 per day
Train Speed: 10 mph
Contact Information: David Rossman, Transportation Engineer, City of Rochester Department of Public Works, 201 4th St. SE, Rm. 108, Rochester, MN 55904-3740 - (w) (507) 281-6194
Comments: Railroad likes arrangement because of funds gained from easement for trail and maintenance by the City in shared corridor.

Schuylkill River Trail (Philadelphia to Valley Forge), Pennsylvania

Endpoints: Philadelphia to Valley Forge
Length: 21 miles
Length next to adjacent RR: 2 miles
Trail agency: Conrail
Separation between tracks & trail: 14' on approach; much closer at crossings and where trail parallels SEPTA line
Barriers between tracks & trail: 4 ft wood rail fence
Property arrangement: Easement
Insurance Policy: County Parks Umbrella policy
Indemnification for RR: Yes
Railroad Information: Conrail
Type of rail corridor: Mainline, mass transit, switching tracks and industrial
Train Frequency: Mainline-5-6 per day: switching- 2-per day, industrial almost none
Train Speed: 15 mph mainline, SEPTA mass transit-45 mph
Contact Information: John Wood, Chief, Open Space Planning, Montgomery County Planning Commission, Court House, Norristown, PA 19404 - (w) (610) 278-3736
Comments: Long period of working with RR. Gave Conrail the opportunity to comment on trail design.

York County Heritage Trail (Codorus), Pennsylvania

Endpoints: New Freedom to Hanover Junction
Length: 10.7 miles
Length next to adjacent RR: 10.7 miles
Trail agency: York County
Separation between tracks & trail: 8-12'
Barriers between tracks & trail: NA
Property arrangement: Tracks are leased by railway from York County
Insurance Policy: York County
Indemnification for RR: No, Railroad has their own policy
Railroad Information: Northern Central Railway Inc.
Type of rail corridor: Excursion
Train Frequency: 2 per day
Train Speed: 20 mph
Contact Information: Cathrine Case, Project Coordinator, York County Trail Authority, RD 8, Box 438-A, York, PA 17403-9677 - (w) (717) 428-2586
Comments: "The biggest problem for the RR is the engineer's arm getting sore from waving to people."

Cascade Trail (SR 20), Washington

Endpoints: Burlington
Length: 1.5 miles

Length next to adjacent RR: 1.5 miles
Trail agency: City of Burlington owns trail corridor
Separation between tracks & trail: 55'
Barriers between tracks & trail: vertical grade separation
Property arrangement: Two separate properties
Insurance Policy: NA
Indemnification for RR: No
Railroad Information: Burlington Northern RR
Type of rail corridor: Freight
Train Frequency: 5 per day
Train Speed: 15-20 mph
Contact Information: Rod Garrett, Director of Public Works, City of Burlington, 820 Washington, Burlington, Washington 98233-1904 - (w) (360) 755-9715
Comments: City mows grass all the way to active tracks.

Myrtle Edwards Park Trail, Washington

Endpoints: Seattle
Length: 2.5
Length next to adjacent RR: 1 mile
Trail agency: Seattle Parks Dept, Seattle DOT, Port of Seattle
Separation between tracks & trail: 25' and sometimes closer
Barriers between tracks & trail: Chain link fence
Property arrangement: Two separate properties
Insurance Policy: City is self insured
Indemnification for RR: No
Railroad Information: Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway
Type of rail corridor: Freight and Mainline
Train Frequency: 1 per hour
Train Speed: 20 mph
Contact Information: Peter Lagerwey, Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator, Seattle Engineering Dept., 708 Municipal Building, 600 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104-1879 - (w) (206) 684-7583
Comments: Trail agency established a good relationship with upper RR management.

New Berlin Trail, Wisconsin

Endpoints: Waukesha to West Allis
Length: 6 miles
Length next to adjacent RR: 2 miles
Trail agency: Wisconsin Electric Power Company
Separation between tracks & trail: 100-125'
Barriers between tracks & trail: Drainage ditch
Property arrangement: NA
Insurance Policy: Waukesha County Insurance Pool
Indemnification for RR: No
Railroad Information: Chicago Northwestern
Type of rail corridor: Freight
Train Frequency: NA
Train Speed: NA
Contact Information: David Burch, Senior Landscape Architect, Waukesha County Dept. of Parks and Land Use, 1320 Pewaukee Road, Room 230, Waukesha, WI 53188-3868 - (w) (414) 548-7790
Comments: Not much interaction between RR and trail agency.

Rock River Parkway Trail, Wisconsin

Endpoints: Janesville to Beloit
Length: 1.9 miles
Length next to adjacent RR: 1.9 miles
Trail agency: City of Janesville
Separation between tracks & trail: 66-400'
Barriers between tracks & trail: Drainage ditch
Property arrangement: Trail property was purchased fee simple from abandoning RR. RR property is separate
Insurance Policy: City
Indemnification for RR: Yes, at service road crossings
Railroad Information: Soo Line
Type of rail corridor: Freight
Train Frequency: 2 per day
Train Speed: 20 mph
Contact Information: Tom Presny, Recreation Director, Janesville Leisure Services, 17 N. Franklin Street, Janesville, WI 53545-2917 - (w) (608) 755-3025
Comments: Before trail was built the RR had problems with trespassers (hunters, motorbikes) --now no incidents.

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