Sunday, December 4, 2016

Tracks-to-trails movement gains speed in North Jersey

Deena Yellin writes for The Record:

Several Northern Valley towns may be on track to join the growing crop of  municipalities converting abandoned railroad tracks into recreational trails for walkers, bikers and runners.

Similar trails, following a nationwide trend, have been created across New Jersey in places like Ramsey, Verona, Mountain Lakes, Chester and Morristown. Efforts are also under way for one in East Rutherford.

Enthusiasts are aiming for local towns to hop aboard the trend by re-purposing the unused rails of CSX's Northern Branch Line from Tenafly eight miles up to the New York state line as a pedestrian trail. A recent online petition at in favor of the project gathered  more than 1,000 signatures in only a few days.

At one time, trains were considered the most efficient way to transport large quantities of people and freight.

"At the peak of the railroad bonanza in the 1920s, there were 300,000 miles of railroad in operation –now we have half that left nationwide," said Tom Sexton, director of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy based in Camp Hill, Pa.

Read the full story here

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