"Recycling" Old Rail Lines

Nov 18, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Railroads were the backbone of American growth but in recent years shipping by truck has supplanted their use. According to the rails to trails movement, by 1984 from 4000 to 8000 miles of track were being abandoned each year. This left corridors that went through neighbors, down busy city streets, and through miles and miles of agriculture and timberlands unused. In Washington, DC, a group of people interested in history, cycling and walking, railroad aficionados and representatives of environmental groups started a brown bag lunch campaign to design adaptive uses for these many miles of steel tracks. Eventually, the Rails to Trails Conservancy dedicated to I’m quoting here “recycling of a whole transportation system.” The goal was to create safe places for walking, cycling, running and skating that would unite different parts of communities and areas of the country.