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Potential rail to trail conversion available in Hagerstown, MD

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Could another mile or so of recreational trail be added to the hiker-biker trail system in Hagerstown, Maryland?

CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT), a railroad operator, has announced plans to officially abandon an unused segment of .9 miles. The track lies in CSXT's Northern Region, Baltimore Division, Lurgan Subdivision between milepost BBT 3.9 at the connection to CSXT's main line and the end of track at milepost BBT 3 at Alternate Route US 40, south of Eastern Boulevard South in Hagerstown, Washington County, MD, 21740.

The abandonment, having been discussed for a while, was officially announced on Friday, Dec. 13. You can see the announcement at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-12-13/html/2013-29754.htm. The track has not been used in more than two years.

When railroads abandon lines, they must announce their intent to the Surface Transportation Board and local governments can put in a bid to convert the lines to multi-use trails for commuting and recreational use.

The abandonment can become official on Jan. 14 unless anyone objects or it is withdrawn.

The board's Office of Environmental Analysis plans to issue an environmental analysis of the abandonment by Friday, Dec. 20.

Representatives of the City of Hagerstown, Bike Maryland and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy were unavailable for comment Friday morning.

Watch the video to see a trail conversion in Chicago.

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