Proposed trail connection is too close for comfort for Norfolk Southern

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
Norfolk Southern
Plans for a railroad overpass that will take traffic over Norfolk Southern tracks continue to advance.
Norfolk Southern

Manor Township, Pa., believes it can work with Norfolk Southern. Officials want to connect two recreational trails, but the more preferred option runs along Norfolk Southern tracks, and the Class 1 railroad company does not like any recreational activity to take place on its property.

However, a $50,000 study to take a closer look to see if a 5-mile trail can be built between Columbia and Washington Boro to join the two paths continues. Norfolk Southern says safety and liability reasons make the connection risky. Manor Township still wants to work with Norfolk Southern to see if these concerns can be addressed.

In between the 14-mile Northwest Lancaster County River Trail and the 23-mile Enola Low Grade Trail sits a 5-mile area that Lancaster County planners want to fill. Connecting the two trails is one of two options being considered. The second one would take a more roundabout route and is 7 miles long, with some of the trail taking on steep terrain. Connecting the two paths is a more direct route, and is favored among residents. However, the new trail would run close to the tracks. The rail line also would be situated above the trails, and Norfolk Southern is concerned about derailments falling on top of walkers and bikers.

The total project is expected to cost $10 million.

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