Save the Nickel Plate led an effort to try and save a railroad line in Hamilton County, Ind. In the end, however, the Plate just did not have enough meat on it.
The Hoosier Heritage Port Authority has sold 22 miles of track, which will be pulled and sold for scrap in the next 30 days so a scenic trail can be constructed. The hope was the track and trail could be used together.
Other groups joined Save the Nickel Plate in the fight, and petitions, letters and testimony were sent to the Surface Transportation Board over the course of 18 months. U.S. Rail Holdings also asked a federal panel to force cities to sell the tracks so it could run freight on the route.
The trail is now going to be a solo attraction. Over 14,000 tons of heavy metal and wooden ties will be removed. The new trail will be 4.5 miles long in both Fishers and Noblesville, Ind., and 13 miles long in Indianapolis. It will feed into the Monon Trail at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and create a 40-mile loop. The Indiana State Fair was using the track for decades, but the route was shut down three years ago by the port authority due to maintenance concerns.
For more on this topic: Va. track might be turned over to rails-to-trails program; Chicago aims for control of track
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