Pinkerton tunnel on the Great Allegheny Passage trail, Pennsylvania (Photo: Daveynin CC BY 4.0)
The economic, climate and health benefits of turning rails into trails are apparent.
Galloping Goose • Victoria, BC
The 55 km long Galloping Goose Trail in Victoria attracts up to 2500 cycling trips daily and the same number of pedestrians. It has become a very significant aspect of the transportation and recreational network across greater Victoria. Learn more
Kettle Valley Rail Trail • Okanagan, BC
The Kettle Valley Rail Trail was created by lifting the tracks from an old railway that had not been used in a decade, just like the E&N. The community got behind the idea and the finished 492 km trail is carrying more locals and tourists than projected. A right of way preserved as a continuous corridor was influential in this success. The trail has become a major tourism draw in the Okanagan with substantial positive impacts on business. Learn more
La Route Verte • Quebec
La Route Verte is a multi-use trail system in Quebec that National Geographic once named the “World’s Most Beautiful Bike Route”. The economic impact of the trail has been significant. One report shows cyclists on the Route spent $95.4 million CAD annually, supporting 2,000 jobs and generating $15.1 million in annual tax revenues for the Quebec government. Learn more
Great Allegheny Passage (GAP)
The GAP trail is similar in length and settlement pattern to the E&N: it is 241 km long, and has a population of 640,000 along its corridor. The total economic impact of the trail is estimated at $121 million per year. Owners of businesses near the trail indicated that one-quarter of their gross revenue was directly attributed to trail users. "The Great Allegheny Passage receives over a million visits annually, with tourists from all 50 states and over 35 countries." See Economic Impact Report
Other Rails-to-Trails projects can be seen on Rails to Trails Canada
and Rails to Trails Conservancy (USA).