Ameren abandons rail line, paves way for trail
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A move by Ameren Missouri to abandon an unused rail line is being touted by bicycle boosters as a victory for efforts to create a 145-mile, cross-state biking and hiking trail.
The Columbia Missourian reported Ameren announced its intentions last week after rejecting a purchasing bid by the national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. The nonprofit had the support of the state parks system.
The east-to-west path would run parallel to the 236-mile Katy Trail, the nation's longest off-road route carved from a converted railroad line.
The planned trail would stretch from Windsor in the west to the Franklin County town of Beaufort and twice cross the Katy, creating a network of nearly 400 miles.
The Rock Island Corridor rail line has not had train traffic since 1981.