The state of Indiana has announced plans to purchase more than 150 miles of abandoned railways, much of which is slated to become greenspace.
"Under the pact, owners of the former Penn Central Rail Line would sell 400 parcels of land in 39 counties to the state, which would then give the land to local communities for the development of trails."
"Ray Irvin, director of greenways and bikeways for the Indiana Department of Transportation, said the state would spend $1.5 million to buy the abandoned railroads. Daniels' office declined to disclose the price tag, saying that any amount at this point would be speculative until the deal is closed later this month."
"Other parts of Central Indiana stand to benefit from the deal to buy the old Penn Central rail lines."
"Communities in Boone, Hancock, Johnson, Madison, Morgan and Shelby counties would have the opportunity to take over the parcels from the state and develop them into greenways."
"With local budgets stretched and a proposed property-tax reform plan that could make money even tighter, Daniels acknowledged that building the trails likely would require contributions from businesses and nonprofit organizations."