Appraisal begins on tracks of Shenandoah Rail Trail

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 6:29 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 6:37 PM EDT
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SHENANDOAH COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Work on bringing the Valley Rail Trail into fruition is running full speed ahead as all three counties the trail would run through allocated money for an appraisal of the tracks.

The 50-mile-long trail would go through parts of Rockingham, Warren, and Shenandoah counties.

Don Hindman with the Shenandoah Valley Rail Trail Exploratory Partnership says each county allocated $15,000 each, and along with donations they are able to move forward with an appraisal.

Hindman says a group from Roanoke will begin working this week to determine how much the tracks are worth, as they’re still owned by Norfolk Southern.

“The engineering firm will be looking to see what is it worth now and what the engineering costs to convert it from a railroad into a safe pedestrian rail trail,” Hindman said.

Hindman says this is a marathon, not a sprint and that there are still many steps to be taken before the trail is official. In the coming weeks, the partnership will have the findings of an environmental study of the trail.

The partnership will also soon be talking to residents and farmers along the tracks about their concerns for the potential project.

He says Norfolk Southern has expressed interest in selling the tracks to be made into the trail, but no sale has happened yet.

Hindman says a lot of things need to fall in place, and they are as he looks at a 2030 total completion date of the trail.

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