I was pleased to see the article in last week’s Post about the pair trying to save the railroad. I hope these two men are successful in their effort.
Three years ago when the supervisors wanted to abandon the rails, I went to all of the meetings. At the time, Spencer Murray said the steel in the rails was too brittle to use. Now the steel is “very good” quality (obviously, since rails were removed in Bloxom to repair a siding in Hallwood), and he is in a hurry to cash in on them.
The article states sale of the rails will offset the cost to remove them. It does not, however, address where the money to put in Rails to Trails bike path will come from… if ever. A bike path will be expensive to build, a railbike path is already there if they just leave the rails in place. There are a million bicycle paths in this country and to draw tourists you need an attraction in addition to the path. I don’t think Route 13 on one side and soybeans on the other are that attraction but a railbike path is its own attraction and all of the hardware needed is right there!
If they can bring back railroad use so much the better. The railroad did not fail because of lack of customers, it failed because it gave such poor service that its customers had to find other transport.
The article states they are seeking protection for the right of way for broadband and ANEC and Hampton Roads Sanitary District proposed forced main. What they are not telling you is that sewer lines are not an allowable use under Rails to Trails.
Why be in such a hurry to destroy 150 years of Eastern Shore history? Let these guys have a chance with the railbike (I will try it) and if they are successful with the trains, to run a tourist train. I will be the first person to buy a ticket.