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shenandoah rails with to trails river valley rail road railroad railway rail way trail rails bike biking walk walking trail 48 mile train trains short line rr corridor line track tracks tourist freight passenger commuter
nv northern virginia daily news record
strasburg mauertown toms brook edinburg woodstock mount mt jackson new market timberville broadway harrisonburg front royal warren winchester warren rockingham shenandoah county counties

  • Isn't this rail corridor a line to nowhere? Isn't it abandoned?
    No! Norfolk Southern Railway Corp. currently owns the corridor and maintains a 30-foot right-of-way on either side of the rails, and has never filed for abandonment. The State of Virginia is currently negotiating to purchase the line. The original asking price was $45 million and is based on the line still being classified in "active" status. This line parallels many tourism sites and industrial opportunities along the beautiful I-81 corridor and still connects to two large freight railroads. See our plan on our "Rails WITH Trails" tab for more info.
  • Why was freight rail service discontinued?
    The current owner of this rail line, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, owns a parallel rail line on the other side of Massanutten Mountain to the east which it has emphasized for its freight rail service in the region, making it unwilling to invest in a lighter density line to the west. Visit 'Our Partners' to become familiar with our alliance of freight shippers.
  • What is a short line railroad?
    Short lines are smaller railroads that run shorter distances at slower speeds and connect shippers with the American freight rail network. End-to-end operation of the 48-mile line will connect Valley industries to two large Class 1 railroad carriers, Norfolk Southern and CSX, in three locations... Front Royal, Strasburg, and Broadway, VA. This dissolves the 40-year monopoly and drives rail car rates down... a huge win for the customer!
  • What about a tourist rail experience?
    We're advocate for a scenic rail adventure for all ages, similar to Virginia Scenic Railroad in Staunton, VA and Western Maryland Scenic Railroad in Cumberland, MD. We expect an attraction of this type to draw a much larger number of diverse tourists of all backgrounds not just those in the cycling community.
  • Do we support a Rails WITH Trails network?
    Yes! We support a trail network, but one that parallels the railroad rather than replacing it. Rails and trails must co-exist to maximize the tourism and industrial stimulus of the corridor and provide sustainable solutions for diverse, growing communities.
  • Are we affiliated with the "Rails to Trails" coalition in the Shenandoah Valley?
    Not currently. While we do not support a full conversion to a walking trail, we have made repeated attempts to work with the Shenandoah Alliance and their Rail Trail Exploratory Partnership. So far, they are unwilling to adopt Rails-WITH Trails, but we trust that they will soon and will do what's right for the Valley. We are always willing to work with anyone on real transportation solutions that will sustain our diverse citizens far into the future! Why should the Valley remove a vital rail corridor when we already suffer from no passenger rail, congested highways and a lack of high-wage industrial jobs?
  • How would a shortline railroad interact with the Valley safely?
    Class 1 carriers like Norfolk Southern operate mega-trains that exceed 15,000ft (almost 3 miles!) and travel at 60 mph! When a "short line" freight/tourist railroad re-opens the corridor, it will be locally managed, and not exceed 25 mph, or ~2,000 ft, keeping crossings open and people and goods moving safely.
  • Can't we just "rail bank" the corridor for future use?
    No. First, the need for rail is there now! Secondly, since 1983, less than 1% of rail-banked corridors have ever returned to rail service. If the Shenandoah Rail Corridor was removed, it would cost $76M to reconstruct in it's current condition. (estimates from Federal Railroad Administration, and private rail consultants)
  • How can I help?
    1. Call your Local and State Representatives and tell them to "Save the rails!" Visit our Support Us tab to find your local reps name and phone number. 2. Like and share us on Facebook! 3. Subscribe to our email list for all updates and calls to action! Thanks so much for your interest!
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