[Talk-us] Rails with trails
Nathan Edgars II
neroute2 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 27 17:59:59 BST 2012
Currently it's simple enough to find most (correctly-tagged) rail trails
in the database: find anything tagged railway=abandoned and highway=[one
of the trail values]. These trails are usually flatter than roads, and
are therefore well-suited for long-distance cycling.
But another popular kind of rail trail, a "rail with trail", cannot be
found in this manner. Generally the railway company will lease part of
its right-of-way to the trail organization, with a fence separating the
rail from the trail. (This is possible because a large number of main
lines had at least two tracks in railroading's heyday.) This may be a
self-contained trail, or a portion of a longer 'standard' rail trail
that shifts to the side where a short piece of the rail is still in use.
These trails have the same features as rail trails, with the possible
bonus of being able to watch trains on an active railroad. Ideally a map
of rail trails should include them (e.g. the one in Trains magazine's
May 2011 issue), but there's no easy way to determine if a trail is one.
Does anyone have any ideas for tagging? The simplest would be something
like rail_with_trail=yes or maybe railway=adjacent.
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