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Railbanking by the KY Rails To Trails Council

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:54 am    Post subject: Railbanking by the KY Rails To Trails Council Reply with quote

Railbanking (as defined by the National Trails System Act, 16 USC 1247(d)) is a voluntary agreement between a railroad company and a trail agency to use an out-of-service rail corridor as a trail until some railroad might need the corridor again for rail service. Because a railbanked corridor is not considered abandoned, it can be sold, leased or donated to a trail manager without reverting to adjacent landowners.

Railbanking is done through the Surface Transportation Board in Washington DC for 6 month segments. If done by a governmental agency it is a zero expense; the cost to KRTC as a nonprofit is $350 per six month period.

Railbanking: If you believe that a corridor is suitable for trail use you, or an appropriate local, regional or state agency or organization, can file the following “boiler-plate” letter (found at with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and the abandoning railroad using STB docket number AB-43 (Sub No. 181X)

Filing this letter does not commit you (or the agency which files) to acquire this corridor, it merely gives you time to develop a rail-trail proposal and undertake negotiations with the railroad. Even if you receive notification after the cut off date, there is probably still time for you to contact the relevant parties, since the railroad may have experienced a delay in filing all of the paperwork or the STB may still have jurisdiction over the corridor. However, it is important that you take prompt action. The STB posts all abandonment decisions and notices at

The STB recently imposed a minimum $200 filing fee for all railbanking requests. Entities filing a railbanking request may request a fee waiver or reduction, and government agencies will receive an automatic fee waiver.

Throughout the process, make sure that your local government officials and citizen activists are kept informed of the project’s progress. Recommended that you contact your state trails coordinator:

Jodie McDonald
Office of Grants
Governor’s Office for Local Development
1024 Capital Center Dr. Suite 340
Frankfort, KY 40601-8204

Information from theRails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC)

Following are rail corridors that KRTC has helped to railbanked.

Tyrone Bridge and Rail (Young’s High Bridge). 2.8 miles section of the Norfolk Southern line in Anderson and Woodford Counties including Young’s High Bridge.

The 7th railbank extension was filed by Anderson County and Lawenceburg in Dec 07. KRTC filed the previous 6 and the national RTC (Rail Trail Conservancy) filed the first 5. An 8th extension was not filed.

In July 2008 Norfolk Southern transferred ownership of the right of way to Young’s High Bridge Historical Society. It is understood that the company has a Louisiana address and is a rail salvage company. The deed contains covenants that will allow a trail if the KY Historical Society, City of Lawrenceburg or Anderson County Fiscal Court wishes to pursue it. Keith Lovan to ask the Rail Trail Conservancy in Washington DC to review this transfer.

Dawkins Line. 36 mile abandonment in Johnson, Breathitt and Magoffin Counties owned by the R.J. Corman Rail Group.

KRTC filed an application for an extension of the railbank request in Dec 2007. It was granted and goes until July 21, 2008. Big Sandy ADD then filed the next railbanking request. KRTC has filed the lastest railbanking request that goes till 7/16/2009.
Posted by Dixie Moore, Secretary KRTC
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