shop   |   eNews   |   find a trail Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity
Share this page:


Latest Abandonments

 See a list of the latest abandonments
Abandonment notices are posted on RTC TrailBlog. Here is an archive of the latest abandonments.

Sign Up to receive Early Warning System Notices for your state
Each time a railroad abandons a corridor in your state, you will receive an email alert from RTC, providing you with the tools you need to begin the process of converting the corridor to a trail.


RTC Resources

Acquiring Rail Corridors: A How-to Manual A How-to Manual, Chapter 6, "Can You Take Advantage of Railbanking?"

Secrets of Successful Rail-Trails, Chapter 7, "What to Do if the Line is Soon to be Abandoned"

Report: Railbanking and Rail-Trails: A Legacy for the Future

Fact Sheet: Railbanking

"Rails-to-Trails Conversions: A Review of Legal Issues" by Andrea Ferster

Visit the Trail-Building Toolbox to learn more about railbanking...

Ask Our Listserv: Learn about trail development from the experts! Join our listserv to be connected to over 900 trail managers, advocates, and builders across the country.

Visit RTC's Trails and Greenways Publication Library

For more information, please contact the appropriate regional or national office.


Additional Resources

Surface Transportation Board: Public Information: Resources: Rails-to-Trails

General Accounting Office (GAO): "Issues Related to Preserving Inactive Rail Lines as Trails"

American Trails: Rails-to-Trails

The National Park Service:
The National Trails System Act

Early Warning System
Alerting local communities of rail abandonments for corridor preservation and future trail use


Rails-to-Trails Conservancy monitors requests filed with the Surface Transportation Board (the Federal agency which oversees rail transactions) and notifies community activists and officials of impending abandonments. Notifications through the Early Warning System include the tools and information needed to successfully preserve rail corridors for public- and trail- use through railbanking.

Federal regulations require interested parties to request railbanking within 30 to 45 days, so without this program, many community leaders would learn of rail abandonments too late.

If you would like to receive notice of pending rail abandonments in your area via RTC's Early Warning System, please join our Early Warning System notification list. By joining, you will receive:

  • Notifications of railroad abandonments in your state;
  • Tools needed to successfully preserve rail corridors for trail use;
  • Contact information for state agency representatives active in trail development.

Working together we can help preserve railroad corridors and create a robust network of trails that shape how people live, work and play in communities across this country.

In 1995, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) launched the Early Warning System with the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program of the National Park Service. Today, this system is run solely by RTC.

Early Warning System gets results!
Communities across the nation have reacted to our alerts and taken action to railbank corridors for trail use. Communities that have taken advantage of our Early Warning System include:

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Ct., NW
5th Floor
Washington, DC 20037