[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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