Restoring rail service on railbanked rail trails

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Baltimore. MD
https://www.amtraktrains.com/threads/boston-montreal-new-rail-alignment.86005/#post-1019387
Aside from the political problems of eliminating a popular rail trail, there may be other reasons why restoring rail service on abandoned lines might not always be the best thing to do to restore rail service. Because many lines have been abandoned and replaced with highways that may be located at some distance from from the abandoned track alignment, restoring that track alignment might not actually provide convenient service to many people.

For example, in my neck of the woods, the Old Northern Central Railway used to serve Baltimore - York - Harrisburg before I-83 took away a lot of the traffic and Tropical Storm Agness in 1972 tore out the tracks. It's now a very popular rail-trail, which I have been known to use quite a bit.

https://www.amtraktrains.com/threads/hike-on-the-northern-central-railway.77329/
Let's just say that the former stations, except for New Freedom, PA, are basically bucolic rural less-than-villages, whereas the significant development along the route which would drive ridership is mostly located around the interchanges of I-83. Thus, it would probably be most useful to build a completely new Northern Central Railway that would serve those interchanges. You can't just build a new rail line in the median of I-83 because (1) there's no median on I-83 in Pennsylvania, just guardrails and (2) I-83 runs across the grain of the scenic hilly Piedmont. The old Northern Central made its way by twisting and turning along local stream valleys and could never be considered even "higher speed rail." Back in 1966 the General took an hour and 40 minutes to get from Baltimore to York. The Baltimore Day Express took an hour and 50 minutes. You can drive it in less than an hour on I-83. And these trains made only about 2 stops between Baltimore and York. Any kind of useful commuter service is going to need to stop at more places. All this means that any kind of useful rail line connecting Baltimore York and Harrisburg, which really should happen given the growth in the area, is going to have to be a completely new line. Well, I guess with some imagination they could figure out how to share the track with the MTA Light rail from Cockeysville down into Baltimore. But any kind of new rail line in this very hilly terrain with expensive real estate prices is going to be fiendishly expensive, plus I imagine all kinds of NIMBYs will come out of the woodwork, which means it's never going to happen. But rebuilding the old line won't be very useful, so might as well keep the trail.
 
Trails that have been railbanked can be and have been reactivated. Some will stay trails forever but if the need arises they happen. Recent reactivation can be sighted in the PRR Broadway Ltd route across Ohio and Indiana through Crestline, LIma, Ft Wayne, Gary, and Valparaiso to Chicago. New York City to Chicago was only a 16 hour trip. Today its a freight only NS route but we can only hope that the route will see Amtrak passenger service again one day.
BTW, "Railbanked" means saved for later use
 
Trails that have been railbanked can be and have been reactivated. Some will stay trails forever but if the need arises they happen. Recent reactivation can be sighted in the PRR Broadway Ltd route across Ohio and Indiana through Crestline, LIma, Ft Wayne, Gary, and Valparaiso to Chicago. New York City to Chicago was only a 16 hour trip. Today its a freight only NS route but we can only hope that the route will see Amtrak passenger service again one day.
BTW, "Railbanked" means saved for later use
When did the PRR line through Ohio and Indiana get railbanked? I don't think it ever was. It became a short line but continued to be an active railroad serving local customers. Only the portion between Gary and Hammond including a swing bridge was abandoned and still is.
 
When did the PRR line through Ohio and Indiana get railbanked? I don't think it ever was. It became a short line but continued to be an active railroad serving local customers. Only the portion between Gary and Hammond including a swing bridge was abandoned and still is.
Thanks for the correction. Part of the old Broadway Ltd mainline through Ohio and Indiana was reactivated and restored by NS. It was not designated a rail trail but it was dormant so there is the error. So lets be more accurate. There are railroad lines in PA, SC , MA and Fl that were unused and put back in service. You can find the stories on You Tube. The Tennessee pass line is not a rail trail but inactive and may see service again. I guess what I was referring to are old unused lines being put back in service. A line that is truely railbanked is one from Kadoka to Rapid City, SD. It hasn't seen service in years but the new RR freight line is slowly restoring the line and working its way across the state. As for new passenger SD service; that's a longshot at this point but there is some discussion on it..
 
Just read the Rails to Trails act. If I read it correctly the original Railroad ROW owner gives the state the right to build a rail trail but retains the right to reactivate the line. I believe there is evidence of this happening with some smaller freight lines.
 
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