State to double rail-trail inventory

December 4, 2007
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Rail trailThe state has reached a deal to buy more than 150 miles of abandoned rail lines for new trails, a deal that would nearly double Indiana's 170 miles of rail-trails. The governor is expected to announce the agreement at a luncheon today. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources brokered the deal, and the Indiana Department of Transportation plans to purchase the former Penn Central Rail Line properties. A price was not available this morning. The land is spread over 39 Indiana counties, including Shelby and Tipton. The deal does not include properties in Marion County.
  • great news for Super-sized Hoosiers!
  • I think that is pretty awesome. After getting a bike as a birthday present this year, I was finally able to experience the Monon from downtown up to 146th Street. What a fantastic amenity to the city, and if we're getting more of the same all over the State, then it is a win/win for everyone.
  • This is totally off topic, but I can't find another way to ask a question here. What is up with that big abandoned building on East and Washington St? Are there any plans for demolishing it?
  • I believe Smoot owns that building (the old Bank One Operations Building) and that the land might be used in conjunction with the Kosene MSA proposal.
  • Ok since the rails are being bought, why aren't they being considered for mass transit? I am supportive on the idea of developing trails to encourage folks to exercise more, but at the same time... The city really really needs mass transit. It's a joke. Compared to other mid-tier cities, Indy has a lot of advantages that a lot of mid-tier or even larger cities have in terms of entertainment, sporting events, shopping, dining. (maybe or maybe not), but most of the other cities actually have something that is helpful to the transportation system. What is wrong with Indy? I don't get it. All the money is being invested into hotels, condos, the Lucas Stadium, and now the library is facing a huge deficit? Ridiculous.
  • I was just waiting for that first 'Why aren't we using them for Mass Transit' post. LOL. I'm all for mass transit options, but the belly aching just gets so old.
  • I think they aren't being considered for mass transit because none of the rails are in Marion county.
  • Dustin, if you read the release and blog, you will find that none of the trails are in Marion County or Central Indian for the most part -- these are largely rural and abandoned rails....mass transit would and should not be feasible or viable for these.....but this is a good deal for all Hoosiers. Congratulations to the administration for pursuing this....
  • Dustin, I'm always amazed that you know how to write, since you never demonstrate the ability to read. The post clearly states that none of these are in Marion County. But I'm sure they need mass transit on some abandoned railroad out in the boonies.
  • Question; where are the rails being purchased? Where can we find out if the B&O in the boonies in Hendricks County is part of the purchase? After all us dumb hicks in the boonies are too ignorant to drive to the big city we will probably walk barefoot on the trails to town.
  • Awesome step in the right direction. Indiana's leaders are making a great statement about changing priorities and not keeping things in the Baur mode at the government level. I say congratulations.

    Perhaps when they get trails connected into distant counties, perhaps Dustin can come back to Indiana and pretend he's riding a trail to Zanadu!
  • I don't know why the state keeps leaving Indianapolis & Marion County out of these Greenway/trails notices. Last month 25Million or so of dollars are passed out but none to Indy and now the state is buying up land but none for Indianapolis. I'm sure there is abandoned rail lines that can be purchased in Indianapolis. Most of the trail or greenways plans i have seen will either have to lead to Indy or cross a trail to and from Indy. Doesn't make since.
  • It's most excellent that these right-of-way's are being used for trails and greenways. We definately need more of that around here.

    That being said, I hate to admit that Dustin almost had it right... Anyone thinking of down the road like 50-100 years, when those right-of-ways could also be used for elevated high speed inter-city rail lines? Imagine a 30 minute trip to Fort Wayne on an elevated electric powered train (yeah, i know, Jetsons... but why aren't we there yet?).

    Not long ago, i envisioned even the monon trail having a light rail line traveling above it. this would provide not only the mass-transit that the city and state will need, but could also be built in a fashion to act as a sort of roof over yer head for all-weather use of the trail.
  • Here is the path to the land acquired:

    Actually this is just what Supersized Hoosiers need and thats alternatives to using the car and sitting home. Creating a network of trails and access can only be benificial to improving the lifestyle in this state but it may be a few generations before this benifit will pay off.
  • It's nice to have these as rails-to-trails, but who thinks they are an alternative to cars???

    Driving is for reaching a destination (Our society is much too busy to joy-ride!), and trails are for exercise and relaxation.

    I do wonder about safety on these trails, though, as the years go by.
  • More trails and more greenspace will hopefully equal more exercise and a better quality of life. I think it's a great idea!
  • I think this is great news! The trails being purchased are abandoned, no longer used. And since they will only be configured for another use rather than demolished, they still hold the potential to provide future routes for mass transit. Indiana's Rails to Trails initiative, and greenway plans in general, are held up as models of innovation to the rest of the country, I wish more people could appreciate what we have.
  • Woops, people I'm sorry for the honest mistake I caused you all to exceedingly point out how illiterate I was. I actually read through the brief article too quickly. But I'm sure you all will congratulate yourselves over it :) Have a good one!
  • Perhaps berwickguy can finally realize he has no agenda to follow. It must be very lonely being him. I wonder if he has friends or some sort of support system to aid his decrepit morale?
  • Forget mass transit. They should just save some of these right of ways for use for future landing strips for our future flying cars and personal jet packs. You know they're just around the corner any day now.
  • I get tired of people talking about fat or supersized hoosiers needing the exercise. Give it a rest, will you? People all over the country are bigger than they've ever been - Indiana is not the only fat state. In addition, it's just rude. And no, I'm not one of those supersized hoosiers you are referring to. Many or our counties are criss crossed with country roads that people can use to bike or ride on, should they choose. I just don't know how many people in rural Indiana will give a hoot about trails, when they already live in the country. I think trails are the craze for city folk who have less opportunity to walk and be in any kind of nature setting. Not that I'm opposed to them for this use, I just don't know how wise it is to spend this kind of money on them when they may not be that popular.
  • Marshall is right on. What this is doing is providing trails for now and banking the land for future use for mass transit, high tech infrastructure such as fiber optics or whatever the future holds etc... A good example is the stretch on SR 44 from Rushville to Shelbyville. No real demand for mass transit there now. But without buying and protecting these corridors, they can be built on and lost forever.

    In 10 years or 50, when high speed rail comed to Indiana the SR 44 rail corridor can be used to run small intercity trains or trams from Rushville to Shelbyville to feed the high speed Cincy to Chicago train. Additional links can run people from Richmond, New Castle, Connersville etc.... through Rushville onto the Shelbyville stop. Again, not needed now, but saved for future use. Great forward thinking from Mitch.
  • This week Cumberland (eastside Indy) was awarded it's SECOND $1 millon TEA grant from InDOT for the Buck Creek Trail, which will conncet to the soon-to-be-underconstruction Pennsy Trail.

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