by Jeff Smith
Suffield is stepping to the plate: Suffield Seeks To Stop Rail Abandonment
Hartford Courant 6:14 p.m. EST, February 1, 2012 wrote:"If it is removed, the cost to replace it would probably be prohibitive," said McAnaney. "It's early to talk about it, but there is a possibility that in the future there could be an adjunct to the New Haven-Springfield line. [Possibly], it could be a feeder to that line — the problem is if they take up the tracks, the possibility of it being that four to five years down the road is gone."
"I'm trying to stop them from ripping up the track," he added. "If they do, we're not going to be able to replace it."
The line dates to the 1870s, when it was part of an independent railroad called the Windsor Locks and Suffield Railroad that "didn't last but a year," before it was sold to the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, said town historian Lester Smith.
The transportation board said that there is a middle way, known as railbanking, for railroads that want to rid themselves of responsibility for a rail line but retain the right to resume service in the future. After abandonment is granted, the railroad can convey usage rights to an authority that will remove the tracks and turn it into a trail, with ownership and easements of the property reverting to the railroad.