RAILS-TO-TRAILS CONSERVANCY
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V.
RAIL-WITH-TRAIL CASE STUDIES
Pine Creek Rail Trail—Jersey Shore Connector
Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania
Status:
Open. The rail-with-trail connector to the Pine Creek
Rail Trail opened in September 2012.
Description:
Pine Creek Valley and Pine Creek Rail Trail are
significant tourist destinations in the state, bringing thousands
of visitors and millions of dollars to the region each year. The
new 1.4-mile section of trail was designed to connect the popu-
lar and scenic 64-mile Pine Creek Rail Trail to the retail center
of the Borough of Jersey Shore. The Jersey Shore Connector
was also developed to provide private residents of the area with
easy access to the main trail without the need to use a car.
The route runs adjacent to the active railroad tracks for 0.4
mile, from the main southern trailhead for the Pine Creek Rail
Trail at the edge of the borough, and includes one crossing
of the active rail line. The trail then turns south onto Semi-
nary Street (a designated shared-road route) and leads to the
Susquehanna River waterfront.
Funding partners for this project included the Borough of Jersey
Shore, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT),
Lycoming County, Susquehanna Economic Development
Association-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) Joint Rail
Authority, and the Lycoming Community Foundation.
Design:
Just under 0.5 mile of trail runs adjacent to the Class
II active tracks. The width of the rail corridor averages 60 feet.
The trail is 12 feet wide with a 20- to 30-foot setback from the
active tracks. The trail is separated from the active tracks by a
six-foot-tall black vinyl-clad chain link fence. There is one at-
grade crossing delineated by a fence and signed with stop signs.
This section carries one train daily, traveling at between 20 and
30
mph.
The Borough of Jersey Shore was able to work directly with
SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority (JRA) on this project
because JRA has an existing rail-with-trail policy. The policy
specifies design details of what the rail authority is willing to
accommodate and its requirements. The Borough of Jersey
Shore received a state grant of $418,000 for the design and
engineering of the trail connection through Jersey Shore. The
approximate cost of the trail corridor acquisition was reported
to be approximately $1 million. Total cost for the entire 1.4
mile of trail was approximately $2 million.
Comments:
JRA owns five short line railroads and approxi-
mately 200 miles of track. It serves an eight-county area in
north-central Pennsylvania under contract with a private
operator, the North Shore Railroad Group. The company hauls
raw material for local industries and presently supports 70 cus-
tomers in the region. The area is an active location for natural
gas drilling, and this industry is supported by several Class I
and Class II railroads. JRA has been a recipient of TIGER
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grants as well as PennDOT Bureau of Rail Freight funding to
build additional track and siding.
Detail from the SEDA-COG rail-with-trail policy:
(
Borough of Jersey Shore)