Jeff Smith wrote:As for the Chatham possibility, it may be a 'rail trail', but I don't believe the property was ever land-banked. Even if it's publicly owned, that makes it 99.99% impossible to reactivate because it's purpose as a rail line would NOT have been preserved. Which means, outside of having a fairly intact ROW, you'd have to basically start from scratch, studies, EIS, yada yada. The only thing going for it is a fairly intact ROW, and the lack of density of population that might NIMBY it. Which sort of argues against it.
And does the trail actually go beyond Millerton? I don't see it on Google Maps.
The land ownership above Millerton is a mixed bag. Beyond Millerton I'm pretty sure bikers have to travel on roads for a lot of the way.
IMO the Harlem should have been rail-banked like CT did with the Berk. It was beyond stupid to tear it up.
Jeff Smith wrote:When MNRR looked at restoring what was left of the line (to Millerton), which they owned (upon Conrail abandonment) they stopped at Wassaic (actually above Wassaic but before Amenia, to allow for a yard that wasn't in a town center) because they figured Millerton would not go for it.
I'm pretty sure this is incorrect. When MNRR did the extension, the wheels were well into motion for the part above Wassaic to be a trail, and the railroad did not want to get into a battle. In fact I believe there was even some sort of land "swap" made with the trail folks to get the yard trackage above Wassaic. I have read that MNRR really did want to go as far as possible, which ended up being Wassaic.
Jeff Smith wrote:It would be interesting to know how Penn Central disposed of the ROW north of Millerton.
I'm pretty sure it was sold to one entity, who proceeded to sell off pieces of it - which is how it got broken up.