Talk:Rail trail

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Virtual vs. Tangable Dec 28, 06[edit]

I believe that railbanking and rail trails are two distinct entities, there are a number of undeveloped railbanked right-of-ways, that are not trails at all, mearly "saved" lines. A right of way dosn't become a trail until a surface (natural or otherwise) is established, and public access can be established.

Rail trails may be on railbanked rights of way under 16 USC 1247(d) (generally implemented by STB during an abandonment proceeding), or on federally granted rights of way under 43 USC 912/913, as modified, or on rights of way acquired in fee or by eminent domain. Railbanking generally means preserving for future rail reactivation. Because of increased use of 1247(d) for trail formation, and because it assumes preservation for rail reactivation, the term railbanking has become confused with meaning all rail trails. Charles Montange 16:30, 28 February 2007 (UTC)15:55

West Virginia Rail Trails[edit]

I've added coverage to West Virginia's rail trails (there were a LOT more than I had previously thought), and will be writing seperate articles for each in the upcoming days. Seicer (talk) 18:18, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Main article and list[edit]

Do we really need two seperate pages devoted to this topic? I noticed about an hour ago the non-exhaustive list, but I'm debating on whether or not the list is needed when it can be effectively combined on the main article page - with edits done to bring it up to par. An example would be to introduce subheaders for each state under 'United States'. Seicer (talk) 02:23, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

It also seems logical, and probably the best route to reduce the main article's size, to combine the list on the main article page with that on the list page. In short, keep the list of completed and proposed trails on the list page only and feature a link to it from here. Seicer (talk) 02:25, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Rail Trails and Rail Banks - Best Not to Merge[edit]

I note that there is a discussion currently about whether to merge the articles on rail trails and rail banks. While this makes sense in the USA, there never has been a rail bank in the UK where, in most cases, the closure of a railway has been followed by piecemeal sell-offs which have broken up the linear integrity of the route. Since the mid 1990s, national and local government has taken a more constructive approach, often seeking to preserve unwarranted rail routes as rail trails; but there is still no national rail bank. Therefore, I would recommend keeping the articles separate, but ensuring that there are good links between the two. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 84.43.20.95 (talk) 23:22, 22 December 2006 (UTC).

I agree, but for different reasons. The two subjects are clearly closely related, but they do have significant differences of focus; and there is also a great deal of material in the rail banking section (i.e. an article on rail banking would not be a stub). All of which leads me to the opinion that this was not a good idea for a merge. Noel (talk) 20:07, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Proposed renaming of "Category:Rail trails" to "Category:Rail trails in the USA"[edit]

Reasons: 1. This category has been meticulously collected, and contains exclusively (or almost?) american trails. 2. The category will otherwise grow to include all trails in the world, becoming way too big. - I propose we rename this category for the USA only. Rail trails in other countries can have their own categories, eg. "Rail trails in the United Kingdom". The main article "Rail trails" can stay as it is, as it describes all trails globally. Bards 04:16, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

120 feet wide[edit]

Eh? I've only seen rail to trails in various parts of the USA, but never any with as much as 50 feet of paved width. None of the photos in the article show anything that wide, either. Has someone perhaps accidentally mixed a pavement discussion with an easement measure? Jim.henderson 13:17, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

When I read Rail_trail#Typical_features the 120 feet reads as easement to me. The two sentences preceding the sentence "Rail trails are usually about 9 to 27 metres (30 to 120 feet) wide" are about land ownership and purchase. The next sentence is about covering the surface so I agree there is room for improvement of the paragraph and the addition of some reference to validate the claims would also be helpful. Jeepday (talk) 02:14, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
But, they are separate paragraphs, and the width sentence is in the pavement paragraph, not the land paragraph. And 27 meters is 100 feet, not 120. So, are old RR RoW usually wider in foot coutrhies than in metric ones? Alas, knowing little of railroad history and less of RoW customs, I cannot correct. Jim.henderson 14:48, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
I see, you are correct about the paragraphs. When I looked I did not notice the paragraph change thinking it was a formatting issue because of the left side picture, I just moved the picture to the right. I will do some research and see if I can clean up your concerns and put some references in there. Jeepday (talk) 14:56, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

2 kinds[edit]

There are 2 kinds of rail trails, rails to trails and rails with trails. How about moving most of the content of this article (back?) to Rails to trails? --Una Smith (talk) 02:46, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't believe we need so many separate WP pages for these types of trails. The function of the corridor is the same and both require the same easement. Having all content nicely in one page will be sufficient and allow us to better expand the article. I will propose a merger in one week. .:DavuMaya:. 22:54, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Good luck. You haven't convinced me. RTT and RWT have very different trail design requirements, administration, and policy issues. However, this article might serve as an umbrella article covering both kinds; at present, its POV is heavily slanted toward RTT. --Una Smith (talk) 22:33, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Is it possible then we do not need the umbrella article and simply just have one or the other? Thus we could rename this back to rail to trail, have "rail trail" redirect to that, then include a Disambig blurb "if you are looking for RWT click here." .:DavuMaya:. 03:52, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
No, because RWTs are rail trails, not some other thing. We don't play favorites here. I think either 1 article, Rail trail to include RTT and RWT, or 2 articles (RTT and RWT) plus a disambiguation page. At this point, Rail trail pretty much ignores RWTs, and that's fine by me provided it is moved back to its old title, where it belongs. --Una Smith (talk) 04:29, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Then a merger to one single rail trail page with redirect links at the other two would be okay? My justification is that this will make it easier to understand the differences between RWTs and RTTs which is not very clear right now. .:DavuMaya:. 21:18, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

How about this? Before introducing content from Rails with trails, in this article try separating the content that applies to all rail trails from the content that applies only to rails to trails. --Una Smith (talk) 21:53, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Segregated cycle facilities[edit]

The article lead now defines "rails to trails" as segregated cycle facilities. Those are roads, tracks, paths or marked lanes which are designated for the preferential or exclusive use of cyclists. Rail trails usually are not segregated cycle facilities. --Una Smith (talk) 22:33, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

I am referencing the bottom of the article of segregated cycle facilities "[edit] Cycle facilities in promoting recreational cycling" and the sentence "In the US, the Rails-to-Trails program seeks to convert abandoned railroad beds to recreational trails." And if you refer back to discussions of the article's naming, segregated cycle facilities is the term that gained common consensus of any pathway dedicated to bicycling. Thus under this "global" definition, rail trails are segregated cycle facilities. And seeing that no one has challenged the inclusion of rail trail text into the original article would suggest consensus on this as well. So it is not suggested they are, they indeed ARE segregated cycle facilities, only that in America this is not the universal term. 75.72.165.211 (talk) 03:43, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
75.72.165.211, from the context of that text, you assume the program seeks to convert those beds to segregated cycle facilities? That is not the case. I'll fix that article. Thanks for pointing out the potential for confusion. --Una Smith (talk) 04:09, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Lol that was me. I think the meaning of a segregated cycle facility was determined via mostly UK standards who did not like the idea of "bicycle-way" or "bicycling trail." I suppose a rail trail could impose any use not just bicycling, but yes lets allow at least wording to suggest a newly done rail trail dedicated to bicycling would be considered SCF under a "global" context. .:DavuMaya:. 21:15, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Sure, and such rail trails may exist but they would have to be a minority. Same for towpath trails, by the way. --Una Smith (talk) 21:41, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Have there been any successful restorations?[edit]

After trails have opened, have any been converted back to rail lines, either wholesale (closing the trail) or as a rail with trail? --NE2 18:37, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

A few examples are here. In my own bailiwick of Pennsylvania, RJ Corman is trying to reactivate part of the old NYC Beech Creek line on the Snow Shoe Rail Trail, but that's by no means a done deal. Choess (talk) 02:01, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
And with fuel prices the way they are and more attention being paid to rail travel, there's a very good chance you'll more reversions over the coming years. --98.232.180.37 (talk) 23:39, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Apparently Penn Central abandoned the Harlem Line for passenger service down to Dover Plains (Metro-North station). In 2000 Metro North reopened the line north to Tenmile River (Metro-North station) and Wassaic (Metro-North station). Meanwhile the Harlem Valley Rail Trail has asphalt paved the former New York and Harlem Railroad right of way from Wassaic up north and has plans to complete the 46 miles to Union Station (Chatham, New York). Technically the line from Dover Plains to Wassaic may not have been an officially designated trail, it was effectively abandoned by its former owner and was restored to rail use several decades later. 67.86.74.107 (talk) 05:17, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
Another example of rail right of way abandonment and recovery in the metro New York area is the former tunnel for the West Shore Railroad that eventually became a right of way for the Hudson Bergen Light Rail line and has since 2006 been home to the Bergenline Avenue (HBLR station). The trouble with this story too is that the ROW was not necessarily set aside as a trail during its period of abandonment. 67.86.74.107 (talk) 05:25, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Bicycles that ride ON railroad tracks?[edit]

What exactly is this called? Its a device people can attach to their bicycle so it can ride on railroad tracks. There are different variations on it but I'm betting they're all grouped under one technical name. It seems like it ought to be mentioned in this article, or at least linked to it. With the latter I am assuming somebody has already created an article for this device. Anybody know what its called? --98.232.180.37 (talk) 23:41, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

A Draisine or Handcar can be made in this way, but are usually rail travel specific (and heavier). 67.86.74.107 (talk) 05:28, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, railbikes [1] were made over a century ago and add-on kits have been sold from time to time for street bikes, but the addition makes a large and cumbersome contraption, and train tracks in good condition that trains don't use are rare. Jim.henderson (talk) 10:44, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Controversies, disadvantages, hazards, etc[edit]

In my experience, at least in the U.S., there are some pretty scetchy sections of rail trails. Basically, many of the residential areas that were developed along rail roads were not always the "nicest" of areas...generally lower class neighborhoods (slums) with higher levels of crimes. Not exactly conducive for a family bicycle ride. Also, the draw for transients along the trails...as well as muggers and other criminal elements (sometimes delinquent youths or gangs)...has made some portions of rail trails "target areas" for crime or assaults (rape, attack, etc). This type of thing is not exactly advertised in the brochures, but I have a few sources I am working through (mainly to check reliability and verifiability) that talk about this.

I will post the sources here first, but I am curious what others think, and if this information would be useful in the article...and, if so, in what format. A "controversies" section comes to mind, but that's not quite right. Anyway, I am just putting this out there for discussion. The sources in question to follow in a day or so. David Able (talk) 23:50, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, if there are reliable sources (see WP:RS) that say this, then it can be included. Otherwise it is just original research, which is not allowed (see WP:OR). Ruhrfisch ><>°° 02:34, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, here's the problem. There seems to be two POV camps that are at extreme odds. You have home owner's associations and neighborhood groups that are extremely against the trails of any sort...to the point of villainising and stereotyping other groups, such as bicyclists and the rail trail folks...and rant about things like lower property values, crime, and their land being stolen. Then you have the websites dedicated to the trails, which are obviously for the trails, and seem pretty consistent in their message of vehemently denying, that despite critic's concerns, there is no evidence rail trails increase crime. Generally, in either camp, these are blanket statements not backed up by any data evidence. The few studies with hard data that I did find were funded by one of these camps, so obviously POV, but regardless would be wp:or on an editor's part interpreting the data. So, in a nutshell, this is surprisingly a very contentious and confusing issue, and I think any new sources introduced, as well as the one's existing, should be carefully scrutinized for reliability and POV issues. I will currently not be adding any information regarding some of the rail trails passing through low income, high crime areas, because, despite my own experiences on the trails (generally in the South), I cannot find sourced info I trust to stand against scrutiny. David Able (talk) 23:29, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Globalize?[edit]

I'm a bit surprised by the newly added globalize tag. The article has a lot about non-US trails... Xenophonix (talk) 23:29, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

Prior content in this article duplicated one or more previously published sources. The material was copied from: White, Cliff (22 May 2012). "Railroad company gets OK to reclaim tracks; decision will eliminate half of Rails to Trails". Centre Daily Times. Retrieved 9 July 2012. . Copied or closely paraphrased material has been rewritten or removed and must not be restored, unless it is duly released under a compatible license. (For more information, please see "using copyrighted works from others" if you are not the copyright holder of this material, or "donating copyrighted materials" if you are.)

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