The North Carolina Department of Transportation has approved a $6.4 million grant for the purchase of the TR Line. The rail line has not seen any action since the Ecusta cigarette paper plant closed in 2002. Now, residents are hoping to soon see the proposed Ecusta Trail one day completed. The trail will be 19 miles long between the cities of Hendersonville and Brevard, N.C.
Conserving Carolina, which was awarded the grant money, Friends of the Ecusta Trail and other partners will need to put together $1.6 million in matching funds for the project to move forward.
North Carolina Rep. Chuck McGrady believes the grant money is a very big next step for the trail, but says there are still a lot of work to be done and a lot of processes to be worked through.
Blue Ridge Southern Railroad will still own a mile of the line, which was reactivated for service. Blue Ridge Southern will use the section to switch rail cars that are stored along the rail line running along Spartanburg Highway through East Flat Rock.
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