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Thread: Bike/Ped path along active rail

  1. #1

    Bike/Ped path along active rail

    Hi all,

    I need to find some examples (US, CAN, WHEREVER) of bike/ped paths that run along or adjacent to active rail lines. More specifically along rail bridges, but any examples where the two run parallel would be very helpful.

    Any one have any to share?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    See the discussion and links on the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy website:
    Rail-with-Trail (SafeTracks)
    http://www.railstotrails.org/whatwed...th-trails.html

    Also see the Federal Highway report from 2002:
    Rails-with-Trails: Lessons Learned
    Literature Review, Current Practices, Conclusions

    http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/rectrails/rwt/

    From Google search:
    An Introduction to Rails With Trails
    report “Rails With Trails – Lessons Learned” which examined experiences of railroads ... construction, and operation of “rails-with-trails” so that railroad ...
    www.psrc.org/projects/bnsf/railswithtrails.pdf
    Powerpoint -
    Rails-with-Trails Progress since 1998
    May 11, 2007 ... Commissioned Alta Planning + Design to prepare a. study of existing Rails with Trails resulted in:. “Rails with Trails: Lessons Learned” ...
    http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/1324/f...ss_fri2007.pdf
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Well, JNA beat me to it. The second link posted will provide you with a slew of additional resources to consult.
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  4. #4
    yeah this is fantastic.

    i hope to find more specifically on ped/bike trails on active train trestles, but this is good stuff.

    thank you,

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    The Island Lake Recreation Area, near Brighton, Michigan, has two mountain bike trails. The longer one has a portion that runs parellel to an active rail line. You should be able to find the ILRA pretty easily. It's part of the MDNR system.
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  6. #6
    maudit anglais
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    Quote Originally posted by newplanner19 View post
    yeah this is fantastic.

    i hope to find more specifically on ped/bike trails on active train trestles, but this is good stuff.

    thank you,
    You want the trail on the same structure as the rail line? That might be difficult (but not impossible) to achieve. Toronto has a trail (Railpath) under construction adjacent to active rail lines, but using an abandoned (duplicate) right-of-way. They are reusing the old structures for the trail.

  7. #7
    You want the trail on the same structure as the rail line? That might be difficult (but not impossible) to achieve. Toronto has a trail (Railpath) under construction adjacent to active rail lines, but using an abandoned (duplicate) right-of-way. They are reusing the old structures for the trail.
    yes, basically right now there is an active trestle with several trains per day using it. the two ends are pretty much the ends of two ped/bike paths that we would like to connect. so, the ped/bike path would need to either be built to hang/suspend/somehow attach to one of the sides of the trestle, or be put in on the structure as it is now.

    i'm just starting to do so background research on this, so i'm looking for examples of where this, or similar things have been done. the technicalities of how to build are relevant, but my boss is thinking more about ROW's, legality/safety/, issues like that.

    thanks for anything you can throw my way,

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    The Five Star Trail in Westmoreland County, PA, was built along an active rail. I don't think that it's very active, but you could talk to someone at County Parks or the Regional Trail Corp of the Great Allegheny Passage.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    There are many examples of rails with trails. Davenport, Iowa has one in the downtown area. There is a strech of trail dozens of miles long outside of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Another in Minneapolis.

    While the railroads will sometimes make available a piece of their right-of-way, I am not aware of any instances in which they share structures.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    There are many examples of rails with trails. Davenport, Iowa has one in the downtown area. There is a strech of trail dozens of miles long outside of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Another in Minneapolis.

    While the railroads will sometimes make available a piece of their right-of-way, I am not aware of any instances in which they share structures.
    well i've found the steel bridge in portland oregon has a ped path along a bridge...but i'm more interested in a train trestle, not a full on bridge. it's a stretch but i just want to know if there's anything out there....

  11. #11
    Zoning Lord Richmond Jake's avatar
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    The trestle that crosses at the mouth of the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz CA has a pedestrian/bicycle path on the trestle. It's not much fun if you're on the path at the same time a freight train crosses. Trust me.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    There is a bike path along railroad tracks in Chicago's northern suburbs known as the Green Bay Trail. It runs along the former right of way of the North Shore interurban which runs along active tracks currently used by the METRA commuter rail.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Portage Michigan has a few sections right next to an active freight rail. Kalamazoo has an active Amtrak next to some roadside bike paths.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  14. #14
    this is all good stuff guys, the path in portland along the steel bridge is the closest i've seen so far to what i'm looking for.

    the bridge in harper's ferry is good, but relatively easy seeing as they closed one of the tracks.

    thanks again!

  15. #15
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    San Clemente Beach Trail

    I was the project manager on the San Clemente pedestrian beach trail; it is build 25 feet from center line of the second most active railroad corridor in America in the railroad ROW. It uses a separate bridge from the train trestle to cross canyons or to span around Mariposa Point.

    Here is a link to our construction update page.

    http://www.san-clemente.org/sc/download.aspx?pageid=436

  16. #16
    hmmm very interesting.

    Did you look at adding a pedestrian/bike path to existing trestles when crossing canyons or Mariposa Point at all?

  17. #17
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    The railroad would not consider this as an option, their purpose is to provide rail transportation and sharing the existing bridge presented too many issues with safety and operations. So we did not explore the feasibility of adding something on to an existing RR bridges. It was easier and in our case cheaper to use a prefab bridge but rails with trails may be able to provide an example for you.

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