Rock Island Trail supporters drum up support at the Missouri Capitol | MissouriNet

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Several groups wanting to develop the Rock Island Trail railroad path recently held a rally at the Capitol in Jefferson City.

Most of the trail, which is owned by Ameren, has been abandoned for decades. The utility giant purchased the line in the 1990’s with the intention of hauling coal through the corridor. An eastern portion is still being utilized by rail traffic.

Now, Ameren wants to donate a lengthy 144 stretch of its path to the state for what it calls a “possible trail resource”. The site Abandoned Rails calls it “one of the longest continuous disused rights-of-way in the country”. Ameren is still working through the process of railbanking the corridor, where railroad tracks and ties are pulled up.

Greg Harris with the non-profit Missouri Rock Island Trail, one three groups hosting the rally, says the pathway is usable in its current condition. “If you go along the corridor, it looks like a dirty gravel road right now, which would be a great place to hike or mountain bike or ride a horse on” said Harris.

Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy also took part in sponsoring the rally. Brandi Horton with Rails-to-Trails says the purpose of the rally was to nudge the state to accept Ameren’s donation of the corridor.

MoBikeFed comment: Remember to complete the Missouri State Parks Survey in support of the trail--and make sure all of your family members and friends have completed the survey as well.

The Survey is open until August 31st, 2017, and a brief comment saying that you support the trail is all that is needed.

Complete the survey here:

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