We’re a member of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and Bryan is one of their email lists that notifies interested people when a rail company files abandonment paperwork for a section of rail line. Thousands of miles of rail have been abandoned in the last few decades, and most have seen their rails and crossties sold for scrap and their corridors sold piecemeal to adjacent landowners. It’s handy for farmers and businessmen to have a little extra chunk of land, I suppose, but it means that the rail line can never be used again for anything of economic benefit to the whole community.
Rails to Trails aims to prevent this from happening. They send out a notice, along with information on how to file paperwork to preserve the rail corridor for use as a trail. It’s called “railbanking” and it’s a low-cost way for communities or organizations to preserve the corridor for a few months, so that they can make plans to use the space for a multi-use trail of some sort. They can use the space for a trail, with the understanding that if it’s ever needed again for rail transport, it can be easily converted back to that use. Continue reading “Caddo Valley Rail Line”