DutchRailnut wrote:Has it ever happened, no, and the legal battle is not easely won.The railroads have been spending what little money they have in capital improvement budgets to improve what they have, not to add back segments that were shut down. Railbanking is new, and the realization that American railroads were allowed to shut down too much of the network has not been made by all. Add to this that fact that putting segments back online takes a big wad of money, money that has not yet been identified, and it makes sense that trails have not yet been converted back to rail use. You can't draw any correlation between the lack of conversions in the past and what will happen in the future, because at some point political and economic conditions will change.
So rails for trails is pretty much a dead sentence for trains.
walt wrote:Right now it is possible, for the reasons indicated in prior posts, but not likely. In addition to the other factors mentioned, those who would keep them as trails have proven to have significant political clout and ususally oppose any attempt to convert a trail back into an operating railroad. Whether this will continue to be the case remains to be seen.More importantly there are usually NIMBY property owners who would rather have a trail than trains, both for noise and property value reasons. Until and unless national transportation needs override land owners' rights by law (thus in the courts) few trails are going to be converted back to rails. The process is too complicated, expensive, and politically treacherous.