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Re-opening railways

Journeymouse

Cyburbian
Messages
443
Points
13
In Britain, some of the railways are being re-opened. The best example I can give, seeing as I am now the proud owner of some shares in it (i.e. one bolt), is the Wensleydale Railway in North Yorkshire. Is anything similar happening State-side?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
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33
Ummmm

All of our rail lines have been torn out decades ago, and in most cases recreation trails have taken their place. Even the station structures are long gone. It's sometimes sad, that for a community with such a rich history, there are so few physical remnants.

In the 'roaring 20s' our community was a resort town, and the city folk took the interurban line 'out here' to the dance halls.
 

Journeymouse

Cyburbian
Messages
443
Points
13
Re: Reopening Railways

I thought I'd better explain how come the Wensleydale (and others) railway had closed.

It's all to do with a horrible man by the name of Dr Beeching (story here) who wrote a report in 1963 saying that railways should be closed. The result was the closure of a lot of railways, particularly the less populated ex-Industrial North of England (and I guess Wales and Scotland, too). About half of them became recreational trails because the tracks were taken up, but the other half have sat and rusted but are in the process of being reclaimed and reopened.
 

Richi

Cyburbian
Messages
432
Points
13
I must disagree with bturk

Actually we are reopening a few lines although far too many have been converted to trails or worse yet the r-o-w was left to revert to original owners. Actually many of the bike trails were purchased by state DOT's with the provision that they can be converted back to railroads (ways as they say in UK) should that be justified.

Three I can think of off hand:

The Three Rivers Railroad is relaying track on 18 miles of former ACL line west from Alachua (near Gainesville, FL) This line was pulled up 10 or so years ago.

The BN (now BNSF) reopened the Stevens or was it Stampede Pass line seveal year ago, and

They are reopening the line into Plains GA
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
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10,624
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33
response to cracker

I think you mis understod my post. When I said "All our rail lines" I meant my community, not My country. ... and there is no chance in Hades of our trails being converted back to rails!
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
So there won't be any confusion

"My" rail lines are currently being torn out and new light rail tracks are being put down in their place-
I'll be able to get to the better drinking area of Dallas (Lower Greenvile) and never have to drive.. I'll just leave my office, walk across the street, and hop on the train!!
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,175
Points
51
Journeymouse wrote:
In Britain, some of the railways are being re-opened. The best example I can give, seeing as I am now the proud owner of some shares in it (i.e. one bolt), is the Wensleydale Railway in North Yorkshire. Is anything similar happening State-side?
In the Buffalo area, where I grew up, there was extensive competition between several railroads along busy routes -- four main lines between Buffalo and Rochester, for example. Lines that were abandoned were usually redundant, duplicating the service provided by another that remained open. Rights-of-way were often bought by the transit authority, for possible use in a future rail corridor.

Here's what happened to the right-of-way that goes through the town where I work. It's part of a 30 km long paved trail system, located west of Orlando, and used by more than 50,000 people a month.










 

dbarch

Cyburbian
Messages
52
Points
4
Here in the southern capital of sprawl (Atlanta), there is a proposal being floated to reuse old freight and heavy passenger rail rights-of-way for light rail transit AND bike/walking paths. It's still a very theoretical discussion, but it has some possibilities of satisfying more constituents.

See the attached article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/horizon/040102/saporta.html
 
Messages
54
Points
4
Buffalo, and abandoned rail

Buffalo is exploring re-using abandoned railways as light rail as an expansion of our metro sytem, the amount of old railroad in our community is astounding, near my city home we have a track that runs 20 miles from the furthest northern suburbs to the furthest soutern suburbs and then through to our airport west of town. This is the main stretch that we are looking at re-using. Check out Buffalo's plans for the future at www.downtownbuffalo2002.org I should say they are our hopefully implementable plans, because our govt is broke.
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
28
Here in the DC metro area they are using light rail for commuter stuff to the metro *subway* lines. putting in new subway and rail lines now and more plans for them.

Danie
who LOVES trains
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
34
Journeymouse wrote:
In Britain, some of the railways are being re-opened.
Snip!
Is anything similar happening State-side?
I finally got around to thinking about this...others have posted on the re-use of abandoned rail corridors in North America, but I don't think Journeymouse's question has really been answered. I'll do that now :)

Railways are structured differently in North America than they are in the UK (and Europe for that matter). Whereas in the UK, they have had a nationalized rail system for the last 50 years (the infrastruture is still owned by one entity, even if there are multiple operators on the tracks), in North American railways (railroads in the USA) have been run by and large as private enterprises. We have many examples of the "Wensleydale" railway - they are called Short lines. Typically, they buy up lines that larger railways want to abandon. Due to their more flexible work operations (less overhead, non-union staff) they are able to make a profit where the larger railways are not. There are actually several large coporations (RailAmerica for one) that one and operate many shortlines across North America. In other cases, a local government may partner with businesses to maintain rail operations to serve local industries. There are also many tourist lines (like the Bluebell or Severn Valley lines in the UK) that run steam trains on old sections of railways that have been abandoned.

Typically, once a railway line is abandoned, it is very hard to get it back into service as a railway. Other than the examples mentioned by Cracker, I can't think of any - and the BN line was never officially abandoned, only mothballed. Railways tend to try to sell the rail corridors as quickly as they can to reduce liability and make some sort of return.

Dr. Beeching has been given a really bad rap - he's not my favourite either (he shut down the Swange line, which thankfully has recently been re-opened as a tourist railway), but if you look at the rail system in the UK at the time, there was a lot of waste and duplication. Unfortunately, things don't seem to have gotten much better since then...

Sorry for the long post folks, but Journeymouse's question is on a topic which is near and dear to Tranplanner's heart.

PC
Who really REALLY loves trains.
 
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