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Reactivated Railbanked Corridors: rail trails returned to railroad service

In 2004 Rails-to-Trails Conservancy prepared a document that details railbanked rights-of-way that have, at least in part, been reactivated for rail service:

Docket Number(s): AB-298 sub 1x (FD 31717)

Service Date: 12/12/88

Name: Council Bluffs to Shenandoah (Wabash Trace Nature Trail)

State: Iowa

Counties: Pottawattamie, Mills, Fremont, Page

Original Railroad: Iowa Southern

Initial Railbanked Length: 64.5 miles

Date Railbanked: 6/1/89

Interim Trail User: Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

Reactivating Railroad: CBEC Railway (subsidiary of Iowa Power)

Reactivated Length: 350 feet

Year Reactivated: 1990 (decision modifying NITU served 12/20/90)

Notes: According to STB decision modifying the NITU, "CBEC committed to reconvey to INHF the northern 30 feet of the parcel for interim trail use so that the trail on the remainder of the railbanked corridor will continue to have logical termini, and will be fully usable." As a railroad different from the original railbanking railroad, CBEC was required to get STB approval for acquisition and operation of the corridor.

Contact: Mark Ackelson, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, (515) 288-1846, mackelson@inhf.org

Docket Number(s): AB-290 sub 68 (FD 32294)

Service Date: 6/23/89

Name: Minster to St. Mary's

State: OH

Counties: Auglaize

Original Railroad: Norfolk and Western

Initial Railbanked Length: 10.1 miles

Date Railbanked: Unknown (CITU issued 2/26/90)

Interim Trail User: West Ohio Rail Authority (WORA acquired the right-of-way under railbanking, but did not intend to build or manage a trail on the corridor)

Reactivating Railroad: R.J. Corman (via lease from WORA)

Reactivated Length: 10.1 miles

Year Reactivated: 1993

Notes: As a different railroad than the original railbanking railroad, R.J. Corman was required to get STB approval for operation of the line and acquisition of "right to commence rail service" from Norfolk and Western.

Contact: Douglas Brookhart, West Ohio Rail Authority, (419) 394-7271

Docket Number(s): AB-3 sub 98x -- Service Date: 2/28/92

Name: Carondelet Branch (Grant's Trail) -- Missouri

Counties: St. Louis

Original Railroad: Union Pacific

Initial Railbanked Length: 6.2 miles

Date Railbanked: 12/30/92

Interim Trail User: Gateway Trailnet, Inc.

Reactivating Railroad: Union Pacific

Reactivated Length: 0.21 miles (1100 feet)

Year Reactivated: 1997 (decision vacating NITU served 4/25/97)

Notes: UP realized that it needed a portion of the corridor back for "tail room" for standing cars at a shipper's facility. In negotiating the return of the right-of-way, UP asserted that since they gave Trailnet a bargain price for the corridor in the first place, they should get that small portion back for free. Trailnet did, however, negotiate to keep 20' of right-of-way for trail purposes alongside the now-active segment.

Contact: Ted Curtis, Trailnet Executive Director, (314) 416-9930, tedcurtis@trailnet.org

Docket Number(s): AB-389 sub 1x -- Service Date: 8/16/96

Name: Sasser to Albany (Chickasawatchee Railway) -- Georgia

Counties: Dougherty, Lee, Terrell

Original Railroad: South Carolina Central

Initial Railbanked Length: 13.62 miles

Date Railbanked: 11/30/97

Interim Trail User: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (interest conveyed to South Georgia Rails-to-Trails, but 2003 request to substitute SGRT as interim trail user denied by STB)

Reactivating Railroad: Georgia Southwestern (successor in interest to South Carolina Central)

Reactivated Length: 13.62 miles

Year Reactivated: 2003

Notes: The deed of conveyance from South Carolina Central to RTC did not stipulate any conditions for reactivation, including compensation. Georgia Southwestern asserted a right to obtain the right-of-way for rail use without compensating RTC or SGRT, and the STB agreed, saying that interim use of the right-of-way is the only thing that was conveyed. Requests for clarification of the decision by RTC have not yet been addressed by the STB.

Contact: Andrea Ferster, RTC General Counsel, (202) 974-5142

Docket Number(s): AB-564 -- Service Date: 6/15/00

Name: 2nd Subdivision (Spalding to Grangeville, Idaho)

Counties: Idaho, Lewis, Nez Perce

Original Rairoad: Camas Prairie

Initial Railbanked Length: 66.8 miles

Date Railbanked: 5/9/01

Interim Trail User: Camas Prairie Trail Conservancy

Reactivating Railroad: BG & CM Railroad, Inc.

Reactivated Length: 52.0 miles

Year Reactivated: 2003 Notes: This is not technically a reactivation because BG & CM got permission from the STB to operate this line only on a seasonal basis, and without common carrier obligation. BG & CM substituted itself as the interim trail user in order to initiate reactivation.

Contact: Chuck Montange, Counsel for BG & CM, (206) 546-1936, cmontang@pacifier.com

Docket Number(s): AB-441 sub 1x (FD 34430) -- Service Date: 8/26/96

Name: Bisbee Branch and Douglas Branch, Arizona

Counties: Cochise

Original Railroad: SWKR Operating Company

Initial Railbanked Length: 14.8 miles (an additional 1.46 miles were part of the original NITU, but the NITU was later vacated and abandonment consummated for that portion)

Date Railbanked: 2/12/97

Interim Trail User: San Pedro Trails, Inc. (Cochise Trails, Inc., substituted as trail user on 11/21/03)

Reactivating Railroad: San Pedro Railroad Company, LLC

Reactivated Length: 14.8 miles

Year Reactivated: 2003

Notes: Formal reactivation (vacation of the NITU) has not yet actually occurred. However, the San Pedro Railroad has received STB approval of its acquisition of the "assets and railbanked common carrier rights" to the corridor, and has expressed intent to restore freight rail service.

Docket Number(s): AB-441 sub 2x (FD 34430) -- Service Date: 2/14/97

Name: Charleston to Douglas, Arizona

Counties: Cochise

Original Railroad: SWKR Operating Company

Initial Railbanked Length: 41.5 miles

Date Railbanked: 8/14/97

Interim Trail User: San Pedro Trails, Inc. (Cochise Trails, Inc., substituted as trail user on 11/21/03)

Reactivating Railroad: San Pedro Railroad Company, LLC

Reactivated Length: 41.5 miles

Year Reactivated: 2003

Notes: Formal reactivation (vacation of the NITU) has not yet actually occurred. However, the San Pedro Railroad has received STB approval of its acquisition of the "assets and railbanked common carrier rights" to the corridor, and has expressed intent to restore freight rail service.

January 2004

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