Are Trails And High Speed Rail Compatible?

Multiuse trails located adjacent to active rail lines, have become increasingly common in the United States.
January 18, 2004, 11am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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While the idea of shared use corridors has gained acceptance, what of the idea of Rails with Trails with high speed trains? Are these two uses compatible? Alta staff, through various field trials, concludes that at a distance of 30 feet, a train moving at 90 mph does not create significant negative impacts on trail users. These results only confirm the previous conclusions of the Federal Railroad Administration which conducted its own test, using an even higher testing speed (150 mph). Bottom line: the presence of high speed rail is not a legitimate reason for objecting to a rail with trails project.The article concludes with several recommendations on what measures can be undertaken to create a safe and useful trail facility, without compromising train operations or safety. [Editor's note: The link below is to a 150K PDF document.

Thanks to John Williams

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Published on Saturday, January 17, 2004 in National Center For Bicycling And Walking
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