I have noticed that some rail trails in my home state of New Hampshire pay little attention to the historical right-of-ways that they are given. For example, the only allusion that the Londonderry Rail Trail was ever a Railroad line on their website are the words "rail trail" themselves. No pictures of former operations, no timeline, not even a mention of the B&M. Most times the historical remnants (stations, freight depots) along the trails are the responsibilities of the historical societies of the towns and not the trail groups. Many recreational users have no idea of the origin of what they ride on. This is not even mentioning the disappointment they show when they cannot turn a line into a trail due to future potential (Mountain Division) or their apparent eagerness to disregard any possible potential of a future revival. Are the trails a blessing in that the right of ways are preserved (albeit not recognizable) or a curse in the way they destroy and remove artifacts (rails, switches, crossing signals), end future potential, and continue the ignorance of the users towards the history of these lines? Now some trail organizations do preserve history quite well, and they are finding a new way to use abandoned lines. But are we becoming too rail trail obsessed?
"Every foot of track of the B&M, mainline or branch, rain or shine, needed or not, was the scene of legitimate human endeavor." -Robert Willoughby Jones