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Having crushed cars, the All Powerful Bike Lobby is opening a new front, the war on trains!

Look out barges, you're next!

I would love to see the high-tension powerline right-of-way running from Dickerson to Rockville have a trail built on it. As long as that plant is running (evidently it will be with nat-gas and oil), the lines need to stay, but it would be nice to be able to share that strip of land.

Perhaps something could be worked with the powerline owner (Pepco?) similar to the agreement with Virginia Power that enabled the W&OD trail.

Also, regarding the Dickerson plant, according to Wikipedia, Montgomery County has a waste-to-energy plant there that utilizes the rail spur, so I have doubts that the rail spur would be abandoned.

"The Dickerson plant is near the C&O Canal, and would yield a much shorter, parallel route if it's spur were converted"

To where? Looking at the map, the spur is about a mile or so long and connects back to the main CSX(?)/MARC line on the same side of the Monocasy river - and in the middle of nowhere, even by the standards of rural Montgomery County (iow, it curves away from the town of Dickerson, while, if it went the other way, would indeed serve as a good rail to trails connection between the town center and the river/canal)

It's very hard to get trails on power line rights of way unless it was stipulated when the line first went in. (The power companies don't want to deal with it, and there's basically no leverage to make them once they have the ROW.) It's definitely something that should be on the radar when they come looking for new lines...

Kolohe, exactly where you described it.

Froggie, I also doubt that the rail spur would be abandoned.

The power companies get no benefit from having a trail, and now have liabilities. There is famous tort case from years ago where a kid was seriously injured by a dangling power line and sued the company.

You need politicians to act on this.

Mike/SJE: hard, but not impossible. Otherwise the W&OD never would have happened.

@Froggie: it's unlikely that the W&OD would happen today. Dominion Virginia has been approached about a number of power line rights of way in NoVA, and is simply not interested. Adding additional liability protection might help, but who knows. The W&OD was an experiment, and the conclusion of the experiment left VEPCO with "what's in it for me?"

There's also a big difference between railroad rightaways, which are already nice and graded, and power line ones, which are not, and where also the ground may already be utilized for some other (often private) purpose.

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