Posts Tagged ‘abandoned railroad right of way’

Rail to Trail Project gets City of Akron Grant

September 22, 2020

This former A&BB elevated line will become part of a trail being developed in Akron.

A rails to trail project has received a $75,000 grant from the Akron City Council to match a grant being offered by the Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition.

The trail, to be known as the Rubber City Heritage Trail, will use a portion of abandoned Akron & Barberton Belt right of way.

The location extends from near River Street from Third Avenue to Exchange Street.

The right of way is elevated and the Erie Canalway Coalition said the trail will resemble the High Line in New York City that is also built on an abandoned elevated railroad right of way.

The Akron trail will be 10 feet in width and designed to accommodate hiking and biking.

The trail is being designed in phases and will eventually extend from the Middlebury neighborhood to the University of Akron, downtown Akron, Summit Lake and the Kenmore neighborhoods.

Work is expected to take eight to 10 years to complete with the first phase opening in 2022.

The A&BB line once served tire makers Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Firestone and General.

The city now owns the railroad right of way being developed into a trail and  was last used for rail operations more than a decade ago.

Dayton Trying to Buy NS ROW for Downtown Trail

February 19, 2020

Dayton and Norfolk Southern remain at loggerheads over the city’s desire to buy a section of unused right of way that would be used to create a hiking a biking trail.

The city wants to buy a 6.5-mile segment of elevated right of way between East Oregon and Kettering that would connect downtown Dayton with its eastern neighborhoods.

A major sticking point has been price with NS demanding more than the city is willing pay.

An appraiser hired by the city put the value of the property at $785,000 while appraisers hired by NS placed its value at $3.5 million.

The proposed Flight Line trail would provide panoramic views of the city, officials say.

“It’s a huge missing connection that would connect downtown Dayton to 300-plus miles of Miami Valley trails,” said Susan Vincent, a planner with the city of Dayton.

NS said in 2017 it intended to abandon the line in question and talks over the city buying the property have been ongoing since then.

City officials say the Flight Line trail would be similar to “high line” trails and parks in New York City and Chicago.

Some city leaders believe the trail could be a “transformational” project that improves access to neighborhoods and improves the quality of life in them.

A Dayton city attorney, John Musto, said the city is the only serious buyer for the property.

NS in the meantime has agreed to pause the abandonment process, which will prevent the property from being broken up and sold piecemeal.

The railroad also has offered a “phased acquisition” option to help with a purchase.

Dayton officials are considering seeking Clean Ohio Trailways funds to help fund the Flight Line.

The Northern Arrow Doesn’t Run Here Anymore

September 23, 2019

I’m standing on the former right of way of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, which was part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system.

The view is looking north toward Lynn, Indiana. That is U.S. 27 to the right.

The paint has long since worn off this rather substantial PRR milepost and after inspecting it I can see why the workers who pulled up the rails years ago left it in place.

At one time, these tracks hosted the Northern Arrow, a seasonal service that ran to Mackinaw City, Michigan, and served the resort territory on the west side of the state.

It carried through cars for Chicago, St. Louis and Cincinnati. In its final years of operation, the Northern Arrow did not operate daily.

It began its last northbound trek on Sept. 1, 1961, and its final southbound journey on Sept. 4.

The Northern Arrow was the last passenger train on this segment of the GR&I.

The GR&I route between Richmond and Fort Wayne also at times hosted the Chicago-Florida Southland. It was moved off this route in 1950.