New York state law required unused rail beds to become property of the landowner through which the line passed, while Vermont law resulted in it being turned over to the state, which has maintained it as an unpaved trail. Litigation followed in New York in the 1990s, and the rail bed has been left unused where the landowners fought the trail.
This cost is a fraction of the proposed light rail project that the Building Owners and Managers Association of Nova Scotia is promoting. Their plan, for electric trains shuttling commuters between Halifax and outlying communities such as Enfield, would cost up to an estimated $3 billion and use existing rail beds, but will require laying 70 kilometres of new railroad tracks, said Outhit.
It’s ironic that some train tracks are being ripped up to make gravel pathways for even slower modes of travel - from walking to biking. I don't mean to say it's a bad thing. Vermont cyclists are enjoying the new Lamoille Valley trail, which so far connects St. Johnsbury to Danville. But as much as I enjoy pedaling on resurfaced rail beds, I long for the days when you could step aboard a clean train, head for a dining car with white tablecloths, and go somewhere in real comfort and on time.