Abandoned Rail Corridor Survey

The Webmaster of this Web Site invites every visitor to this Web Site to contribute to an ongoing survey of abandoned railroad beds in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.

The best map and listing of abandoned railroad beds in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine is the Directory of Rail Abandonments 1848-1994 in the book Lost Railroads of New England, 2nd Ed. by Ronald Dale Karr, published by Branch Line Press in 1996 at $12.95. This book is currently being reprinted, so that the current edition should remain in print for another two years. As a convenience to the owners of the book, the results of this survey will be numbered and arranged to correspond with that very important directory.

Please note that the whole intent of this form is to collect information about rights-of-ways that are potentially available for rail-trail purposes. Accordingly, survey data is urgently requested for every abandoned railroad right-of-way in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, regardless of whether it is listed in the directory. Since trails alongside active railroad tracks have a proven safety record, information about potential 'rail-with-trail' projects are also welcome. Finally, the Rail-trail concept must be extended to include abandoned and currently used rights-of-ways of all kinds (roads, canals, utilities, etc.) that might be suitable for multi-purpose trail purposes!

Conversely, because the directory of abandoned railroad lines will forever be a matter of public record, survey data is also urgently requested for railroad lines that are no longer usable for trail purposes due to highway construction, land development, and the like. Careful cataloging these loses is necessary in order to underline the importance of public acquisition of abandoned railroad lines in a timely manner. However, survey contributors must not use undue haste in catagorizing 'lost opportunities', since many formidable barriers can be temporarily bypassed in acceptable ways. Also, funding for expensive improvements often becomes available once the trail has proven its popularity. Usable fragments of a broken route are often valuable for local trail and fishing purposes.

The Webmaster urges the membership of the New Hampshire Railroad Revitalization Association and other interested railfans to participate in this survey as a means of tracking abandoned railroad beds that are still available for railroad use. These participants are expected to note barriers to future railroad usage even though they are of little consequence for trail users. Conversely, these participants must remember that 'interim Rail-trail usage' must be considered as an important means of preserving an abandoned railroad bed use in future decades.

The Webmaster has decided that incomplete, inaccurate, and improperly arranged information is a vast improvement over no information at all. Accordingly, all coherant information about abandoned railroad beds in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine will be posted as it is received, regardless of its format. Since this survey will become a permanent part of the Rail-trail Web Site, subsequent participants will be asked to review the currently posted information so that they can provide important additions, corrections, and updates to previously posted information. Thus, the following form is offered merely as a guide to the kinds of information that is requested for this survey!

This form was provided by Fran Gotcsik <fogvg@netacc.net> of the
New York Parks & Conservation Association, 35 Maiden Lane, Albany, NY12207

Abandoned Rail Corridor Survey

Please fill out one survey form for each of the corridors located in your county or region using the numbers found on the map. Provide as much information as you can. Where you are asked to check answers, select as many as apply. Please use the reverse side or additional pages to supply any other information that you believe would be helpful. If you know of other abandoned corridors, please sketch them on the map and return a copy to us. We understand that you may know very little about some of these corridors, but all information is valuable and will make an important contribution to a database that can be used and added to for years to come. Thank you for your help! ! ! !


Historic Name of Corridor (if any):



Approximate mileage:

Towns included:

Counties included

1. Ownership:

2. Corridor:

3. Corridor environment(s):

4. Important natural resources:

5. Important historic and cultural resources:

6. Important linkage possibilities:

7. Opportunities for links to existing trails:

8. Corridor economic potential:

9. Condition of corridor:

10. Physical and/or political obstacles to future greenway development and multi-use trail use:

11. Do you forsee a use for the corridor other than recreation/alternative transportation?

12. What recreational uses would be most suitable for this corridor?

13. Is the corridor included in any local, regional, or state plan?

Name of plan

How is it characterized?

14. What level of support would there be for development of this corridor as a greenway/multi-use trail?

15. Other comments (use back of page if needed)






Please list the names and addresses of other groups or individuals that should receive this survey.

Completed returns for New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine should be returned by E-mail to <railtrails@crosswinds.net>. Where information must be returned by snail-mail, please use the following addess:
Kenyon F. Karl
RR 1 Box 162
Warren, NH 03279-9502

Updated by Kenyon F. Karl <railtrails@crosswinds.net>. Unintentional errors are likely!

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