• We have enough trails as it is

  • General discussion related to Rail Trails nationwide, including proposed rail trail routes. The official site of the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy can be found here: www.railstotrails.org.
General discussion related to Rail Trails nationwide, including proposed rail trail routes. The official site of the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy can be found here: www.railstotrails.org.

Moderator: railtrailbiker

I think we should relay all the rails and forget the trails you guys ruin railroading :(

  by RRChef
I will agree that there are some lines that should never have been abandoned and should be relaid(sp?). I can think of several on Long Island, Upstate New York and New Jersey. But, to say ALL rail should be restored doesn't make sense. Who's going to pay for it? Where will it go? What industries will it support? I am sure these are some of the same questions that were asked when the decision to abandon was made.

Trails do not ruin railroading. They help preserve open space. They preserve the past and give us the opportunity to see places that would otherwise be unavailable to the general public. One of the most important rail trail projects right now is in Manhattan. It's the conversion of the ex New York Central High Line on the West Side to a walkway. Would I like to see freight in NYC? Sure, but it's not going to happen. If certain groups get their way this important piece of our industrial past will be torn and lost forever. So I ask you, which is better, preservation as a trail or destruction and paving as a parking lot? You decide.

  by Trackbolt
I figure that if we buy common goods from a retailer. drive a car. fly in an airplane we are ruining railroad. This is what has happened to them for the last 80 years. Loss of passengers to cars and planes, loss of commodities to trucks, barges and pipelines and the loss of anthracite coal to fuel oil. I do not think that any railroad line was abandoned because someone wanted to build a trail. I am sure someone will counter me on this. The end of serviice on a rail line is someone' calculated or misguided decision. Service ends because it does not pay to operate and maintain a line. Trails do not ruin railroading. If a trail is created from an abandoned right of way it is usually after many years of the line being dormant. I would rather see a trail created from the right of way than a road, pipeline or utility line. A properly interpreted rail to trail can educate potential railfans on the deep history of the industry as well as keep alive why the paticular line was built and operated.

Just my few pennies worth. :wink:


  by NIMBYkiller
Which ones on LI do you think should be relayed?

  by RRChef
Well, as your new name implies NIMBY, the Central should never have been abandoned. Also if I was making the decisions, the Manorville, the Wading River and the most obvious of all, the old Rockaway(which should be the train to JFK not that ridiculous thing they built from Jamaica)

  by GP38
The Wading River Branch would be very usefull today as it would help ease traffic on Route 25 which is way overburdened. In addition, all those towns (Rocky Point, Miller Place, Shorham, Wading River, etc) have had lots of development since 1939 when it was foolishly abandoned.
Trails do help preserve ROW's. Luckily, although not a trail, the ROW has been preserved through the LIPA power lines, it is conceivable, although unlikely, that they could run a line through there again as the ROW is intact. I think there are few if any encumbrances on the ROW. The only one I know of is the Rocky Point firehouse, although not built on the ROW, does have to exit with it's fire engines over the former ROW.

  by NIMBYkiller
Sounds like a good list to me RRChef.

The row is perfect on the Branch even the companies are still there and also the stations

I belive that the NIMBY people will have something to say but it will also be easier to get to work

I belive that the NIMBY people will have something to say but it will also be easier to get to work and also the row is just beautiful I can just imagine # 35 OR # 39 Steaming around this cut inbetween Miller Place and Rocky Pointm wow steep grades for Long Island

  by Otto Vondrak
Better a rail trail than a parking lot, no?


No it is better as a Rail line I hate when people are look for walking trails I like to hike I go backpacking atleast 3 times a year but rails to trail are not good trails to hike on they are paved not dirt and very flat. I rather ride in a passenger car then hike.

  by route_rock
I have no problem rails to trails if they one:show the history of the line that is now a trail(Illinois does this on the Rock Island trail to Peoria)and two that they use a totally abandoned non viable no way it will ever be used better it has been pulled already line! I am sick of seeing or hearing how we should dump any line these people want to turn into a trail to reduce pollution or create a habitat or whatever from an active or railbanked line.Pretty soon these guys will want to shut down active 80 plus trains a day type lines for a trail!Dont laugh and dont say it cant happen either :wink: they said the horse would never be replaced by a steam engine.

  by dkgrubb
No matter what the issue, we should always keep in mind that there are pros and cons to every issue. The "strange" rail scene we see today is in many ways a result of government regulation of years past, because lines forced to be kept open for purposes of public utility ran many railroads into the ground. When unprofitable lines were able to be abandoned, they were. This helped prevent further loss of our railroad lines. There was a beautiful little railroad line in West Virginia, the West Virginia Northern, which would have made a beautiful tourist line. However, it was not able to make money, and now it is only a memory. Railroads cannot operate without sufficient income. Trails, as was previously stated, help to preserve the right-of-way, and can be a huge asset in preserving the history of a particular railline. From the railfan standpoint, a tourist line is by far the best way to preserve the history of a railroad line. However, when the interest and the funding are not there, then the next best step is a trail. Rail-trails, despite some biased, poorly supported opinions, are a great way to achieve exercise, they create gentle grades for bikers, appropriate for children as well as the elderly, and are perfect for recreation. If pavement is not for you, go play in the dirt, it is everyone's freedom of choice. Just bear in mind that trails are not the railroads enemy, just a successor to obsolete pathways and a manner in which to preserve history and provide recreation.

  by shortlinerailroader
I am pleased to say here that my railroad is in the process of restoring and improving track in preparation for increased business hauling pipe, steel and bricks. It is a nice feeling when we get the backhoe and dig track out of the ground, replace ties, gauge track, level it and spike it up.

Bring on the trains!!!