We are pleased to share some wonderful news concerning our campaign to preserve the 145-mile Rock Island Line in Missouri for future conversion to a rail-trail.
The Missouri Central Railroad Company yesterday announced its intention to undertake the necessary steps to have the corridor “railbanked,” and to work with the State of Missouri to have it preserved for trail development.
This moment represents one of the great victories of the rail-trail movement over the past decade, and is a testament to the strong voice of rail-trail advocates and the growing recognition of the importance of trails and trail-use to communities everywhere.
Railbanking this corridor was the number one goal of our involvement with the Rock Island Line project—to make sure this remarkable asset was not lost but instead preserved in public ownership and made available for public use.
There is no doubt that the massive groundswell of public support for a rail-trail that RTC and local advocates mobilized in recent months convinced Ameren, the owner of the corridor, just how important this trail was to communities in Missouri. It is the reason we celebrate this victory today. As a supporter of RTC, you are part of that groundswell and you are the reason we celebrate this victory today. Thank you.
We thank Ameren for being so responsive to the hopes and ambitions of Missouri’s people and communities. We are also proud to work with local activists who envisioned the many benefits this trail will bring to their communities. Their hopes and ambitions include preserving public land for recreation and transportation, and bolstering local economies with trail tourism. These are also the hopes and ambitions of the national rail-trail movement, and you are a part of it.
We will pass on details of plans for the Rock Island Line as soon as we know more. But for now, this is a moment for you to reflect on, and feel great about, what raising your voice for trails can really achieve. The rail-trail movement is stronger than ever, and we’re glad you are with us.