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SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD ISSUES FINAL RULES ON USE OF RAILROAD RIGHTS-OF-WAY AS TRAILS & RAIL CORRIDOR PRESERVATION




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>From the Surface Transportation Board, Washington, D.C.
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The Surface Transportation Board today issued final rules that update the
agency's existing procedures on the interim use of railroad rights-of-way
for rail banking and recreational trail use under section 8(d) of the
National Trails System Act.


                                        The new rules require a railroad
                                        and trail sponsor to jointly notify
                                        the Board when they reach a rail
                                        banking/interim trail use
                                        agreement.  If an agreement covers
                                        only part of the right-of-way at
                                        issue, the parties are required to
                                        ask the agency to conform the trail
                                        condition covering the portion of
                                        right-of-way subject to the
                                        agreement.  The new rules
                                        additionally clarify that any party
                                        assuming future responsibility for
                                        a recreational trail must
                                        acknowledge that the interim trail
                                        use is subject to future
                                        reactivation of the rail line.


                                        In announcing the final rules,
                                        Board Chairman Daniel R. Elliott
                                        III said,

                                        "The Rails-to-Trails program has
                                        been successful in bringing the
                                        nation so many recreational gems.
                                        The new rules will help us keep
                                        better track of these important
                                        projects, which benefit so many
                                        while also preserving the nation's
                                        rail corridors for future use."


                                        The Board issued the final rules in
                                        today's decision in National Trails
                                        System Act and Railroad
                                        Rights-of-Way, EP 702
                                        ( http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions/readingroom.nsf/WebDecisionID/41965?OpenDocument )

                                        .  That decision is available for
                                        viewing and downloading at the
                                        Board's website at www.stb.dot.gov.


                                        ###


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