The District completed their Rail Plan last month. The purpose of the Rail Plan "is to provide an actionable and pragmatic roadmap for future rail investment and policies in the District." Included in this is an inventory of current and potential rail trails in the District (as well as an interesting review of DC's rail history). The District currently has 3 rail trails:
- The Capitol Crescent Trail
- The existing Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT)
- West Campus Access Trail - A 0.4 mile trail built on a former spur line of the B&O’s Shepherd Branch, the trail provides access to the United States Coast Guard Headquarters, as well as the campus’ bus bays. "In the future the trail will be extended along West Campus Access Road farther south to a planned terminus south of Malcolm X Avenue SE."
In addition, the Rail Plan identifies several other rail trails or extensions that are underway or in plans.
- Extension of the MBT
- Replacing the section of the MBT along 8th with a rail-with-trail along the west side of the Metropolitan Branch from Franklin to Lawrence.
- A rail-with-trail along the Metropolitan Branch/CSX tracks from roughly Riggs to Oglethorpe. The Environmental Assessment (EA) developed jointly by FHWA and DDOT may be reopened to review alternative alignments in this area.
- New York Avenue Tunnel and spur at Penn St NE/4th St NE & the New York Avenue Bridge and spur at Montana Avenue NE, both included in the draft concept plan for New York Avenue Trail.
- Rail with Trail beside the New York Avenue/Amtrak line from Montana Avenue to the Anacostia River, and along the south side of the line to Hyattsville from Montana to Queens Chapel Road.
- Shepherd Industrial Spur, six miles long from Greenway to Blue Plains SE: Proposed as trail in moveDC.
- The Long Bridge
Finally, there are six other lightly-used corridors where rail trails might work, but they aren't included in any plans yet.
- Both sides of Capital Subdivision rail line from Franklin and 27th NE to Eastern Avenue: Sufficient room within right-of-way on the north side, but need to determine appropriate connection.
- Small portions of the Chesapeake Beach Railway from Lee and 44th NE (Chesapeake Beach Junction) to Eastern and Dix NE.
- Small portions of the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Railway (WB&A) from Nannie Helen Burroughs and 50th Street NE to Eastern and Dix.
- Unused/lightly used right-of-way on south side of rail line and bridge on the RF&P Subdivision at the Capital Subdivision Split between 2nd and E SW and New Jersey Ave SE with spurs/underpasses to Splash Car Wash and to H and New Jersey Avenue.
- Unused/lightly used right-of-way on north side of RF&P Subdivision from the west side of the L’Enfant Station to parking lot at southeast corner of 14th and D SW.
- Spur from the Landover Subdivision just east of the Minnesota Avenue Metro station to the old PEPCO plant site using a bridge over the Anacostia Freeway (could connect to Metro Pedestrian underpass).