I'm going to start this in the fallen flag, cross-post to Union Pacific, and park it in Rail Trails.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — All work on the Rock Island Corridor has come to a halt after a federal agency said Jackson County is at fault for how the hiking and biking trail was built, revoking the county's ability to do any more work.
When the county was allowed to purchase the rail corridor, the county said they were going to leave the rail in place and put the trail beside it. But that's not what they did - they tore out the rail and put the trail down the middle.
Due to that, the Federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) revoked the county's exemption on Wednesday to continue anymore work on the Rock Island Corridor.
"When the railroad initially acquired this property, they acquired an easement meaning if they stopped using it for train traffic, that land should have been reverted back to these adjacent landowners," Stewart said.
Those landowners took their concerns to the STB, who found the county is at fault for tearing up the rail, leading to their decision to revoke the county's exemption.
"This morning, the county was made aware of the decision by the Surface Transportation Board (STB), which revoked the county’s 2016 exemption to acquire and operate a rail line. Currently, staff are reviewing the decision with our subject matter experts, partners and others to determine how best to proceed. Attached you will find a document referenced in the STB decision that the county included in its response regarding trail alignment. At the time of the STB’s filing, the county was in the process of seeking the authority to abandon the line, which is the first step in “railbanking” the corridor. The county will suspend the abandonment process until we determine how best to proceed. Additionally, while we determine how best to proceed, the county has asked contractors to stop construction on the rail bed and stop removal of any track on the rail corridor. The county will have no further comment today."