RECEIVE RAILROAD ABANDONMENT
NOTICES FOR YOUR STATE VIA E-MAIL
On or about October 21, 2010, Wisconsin Central Ltd. filed
for the abandonment of 1.92 miles of track between the Village of Howard
and the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin Reservation. The corridor begins in the Village of Howard close to the intersection
of Hillcrest Drive and Riverdale Drive (near the end of the Newton Blackmour
State Trail), and runs east.
In the filing, the railroad
indicates the corridor may be suitable for trail use. This corridor is also
identified for potential rail-trail development (in the event the railroad
filed for abandonment) in the 2005-2010 Village of Howard
Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. We are providing this
information because it presents an opportunity to develop a real regional
asset: a multi-use trail that can accommodate hikers, bikers, equestrians and
other appropriate uses.
NEXT STEPS: If this corridor is suitable for trail use, we
strongly urge local trail advocates, or an appropriate local, regional or state
agency or organization, to take action now. A "boiler plate" letter (found here) can be filed
with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and the abandoning railroad using
STB docket number AB-303 (sub-no. 36X). Filing this letter does not commit its
authors to acquire the corridor; it merely gives time to develop a rail-trail
proposal and undertake negotiations with the railroad. According to the
information we have received, the deadline for filing this letter is before November
19, 2010. Even if this deadline is missed, there is probably still time to
contact the relevant parties, since the railroad may have experienced a delay
in filing all of the paperwork, or the STB may still have jurisdiction over the
corridor. However, it is important to take prompt action. The STB posts all
abandonment decisions and filings on its Web site, including the complete filing for this
corridor. More information on the rail corridor, including a
map, can be found in this filing.
The STB has imposed a $200 filing fee for all railbanking
requests. Entities filing a railbanking request
may request a fee waiver or reduction, and government agencies will receive an
automatic fee waiver. Throughout the process, make sure local government
officials and citizen activists are kept informed of the project's progress. We
also recommend contacting your state trails coordinator
or your state bicycle/pedestrian
coordinator. Both of these individuals are knowledgeable
about state laws and resources and may be able to assist your community with
this rail-trail project. Also, you may want to contact the abandoning railroad to add
your name to their service list.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AVAILABLE: RTC's
Web site may provide valuable tools as you plan for a rail-trail, including
how-to manuals, the Trail-Building Toolbox, our Publications Library and the
Trails & Greenways Listserv for trail advocates and professionals. These
resources can be found within the "Trail-Building"
section of our Web site. If you take advantage of this information and other
resources promptly, you will be well on your way to creating a successful
rail-trail in your community. For more information, or if you decide to pursue
railbanking, please contact the Midwest Regional Office of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
This is encouraging. This line is located just a few miles south of the eastern end of the Mountain-Bay State Trail in Howard, WI. It is always good to see other rail-trails in the vicinity of the Mountain-Bay State Trail. This will add to the Newton-Blackmour State Trail additional connections.
I purchased the "Midwest Trail Gude" last year and was surprised to discover that the "Mountain-Bay" trail was not in it. What determines which trails are published?
when gas is $10.00 a gallon the school tax that forced these abandonments may have a better idea for surface transportation
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