Locals Embrace Rail-Trail Potential in Tennessee, New Hampshire

Posted 06/06/12 by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in Building Trails, Trail Use | Tagged with Corridors and Railbanking, Demand for Trails, Local Organizing, New Hampshire, Tennessee

Photo of East Tennessee Railway corridor © Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

There is strong support in Johnson City, Tenn., for a rail-trail conversion along a 10-mile section of railbanked corridoronce operated by the East Tennessee Railway.

Designated for interim trail use by the Surface Transportation Board in 2010, and later purchased by the city for $600,000, the corridor runs northeast out of Johnson City, connecting a number of residential neighborhoods on the way to nearby Elizabethton. Among the memorable features of the section are six rail bridges on the line (above right), some of which date back to the late 1940s.

The city has hired Alta + Greenways, which has previously worked on the American Tobacco Trail in North Carolina and the Chickamauga Greenway in Tennessee, among other projects, to generate a master plan for what is tentatively being billed the "Tweetsie Trail" (after the sound of the train whistle).

For more information on the project, and to submit public comment, visit johnsoncityrailstotrails.weebly.com/about-the-project.

Photo of the Derry Rail Trail © Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Further on down the rail-trail construction process, the community of Derry in New Hampshire is this week celebrating the opening of a new section of the Derry Rail Trail (left). Evidence of the trail's popularity with a broad cross-section of the community, Pinkerton Academy construction students have teamed up with two local businesses to build a trailside information kiosk, which was unveiled during a grand opening ceremony on the trail on Saturday.

"Everybody loves the trail," Pinkerton instructor David Howes told the Derry News last week. "We're all working together."

The Derry Rail Trail Alliance, a local nonprofit organization, is working toward creating a trail system in the town that will connect to nearby communities.

For more information visit: www.derryrailtrail.org.

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