Photo CC Michael-Koralewski via Flickr

The first step in your search is to determine the corridor status—does the Surface Transportation Board (STB) recognize the corridor as "active" or "abandoned?"

A line can be ACTIVE if:

  • Trains are running and the railroad is profitable—Consider Rail-with-Trail
  • Trains are using it, but the line is not profitable—Railbanking may be an option
  • Trains are not using it — Railbanking
  • The railroad is undergoing abandonment proceedings with the Surface Transportation Board—ACT NOW: Railbanking

A line is ABANDONED when:

The railroad has applied to the STB for abandonment authorization, the STB has issued an order authorizing abandonment of the line, and the railroad has notified the STB that is has consummated the abandonment authorization.

The Surface Transportation Board:

The STB posts information about railroad abandonments on its Web site. Their searchable database holds full text records of filings (submitted by railroads, independent buyers, trail groups, etc.) and subsequent decisions administered by the STB. To locate filings or decisions related to a specific corridor, visit the STB Web site and follow these steps:

  1. On the top menu bar, scroll over E-LIBRARY and choose "Filings" or "Decisions and Notices."
  2. You can view posted filings and decisions by date, or click on "Full Text Search at the top of the screen to search by keywords.
  3. On the "Full Text Search" screen, choose "AB" from the first dropdown menu box to the right of "Docket #." In the bottom search box, enter keywords that are relevant to the corridor you are researching; county and state names will usually yield appropriate results.

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