In Hagerstown, CSX recently announced that they were formally abandoning 0.9 miles of rail that runs SW to NE through the south part of town.
The track lies in CSXT's Northern Region, Baltimore Division, Lurgan Subdivision between milepost BBT 3.9 at the connection to CSXT's main line and the end of track at milepost BBT 3 at Alternate Route US 40, south of Eastern Boulevard South in Hagerstow
The board's Office of Environmental Analysis plans to issue an environmental analysis of the abandonment by Friday, Dec. 20.
City officials are looking into railbanking the spur.
But looking much farther out and - much more speculatively - several Maryland power plants are shutting down their coal operations.
NRG Energy requested permission from a federal agency last week to deactivate the coal units at two of its Maryland facilities. The generators at Dickerson in Montgomery County and Chalk Point in Prince George’s County will continue to burn oil and natural gas....NRG would deactivate the units in 2017.
The Chalk Point facility is the last customer on the railroad line from Brandywine, the same line that the Three Notch Trail is being built on. It's entirely possibly that closing the coal units will have no impact on the rail line, but if it were abandoned it could then extend the Three Notch Trail to Chalk Point and/or as far as Brandywine.
The Dickerson plant is near the C&O Canal, and would yield a much shorter, parallel route if it's spur were converted. The Williamsport facility also mentioned in the article had coal delivered by truck, but since it is within the C&O Canal National Park, it's closure could make the trail a bit nicer.