Janie Sheng (202) 245-0221
FedRelay 1 (800) 877-8339
SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD ISSUES FINAL RULES ON USE OF RAILROAD RIGHTS-OF-WAY AS TRAILS & RAIL CORRIDOR PRESERVATION
The Surface Transportation Board today issued final rules that update the agency's existing procedures on the interim use of railroad rights-of-way for rail banking and recreational trail use under section 8(d) of the National Trails System Act.
The new rules require a railroad and trail sponsor to jointly notify the Board when they reach a rail banking/interim trail use agreement. If an agreement covers only part of the right-of-way at issue, the parties are required to ask the agency to conform the trail condition covering the portion of right-of-way subject to the agreement. The new rules additionally clarify that any party assuming future responsibility for a recreational trail must acknowledge that the interim trail use is subject to future reactivation of the rail line.
In announcing the final rules, Board Chairman Daniel R. Elliott III said,
"The Rails-to-Trails program has been successful in bringing the nation so many recreational gems. The new rules will help us keep better track of these important projects, which benefit so many while also preserving the nation's rail corridors for future use."
The Board issued the final rules in today's decision in
National Trails System Act and Railroad Rights-of-Way, EP 702
. That decision is available for viewing and downloading at the Board's website at