RFTA won’t sell rails | AspenTimes.com

RFTA won’t sell rails

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s board of directors declined Thursday a private company’s offer to pay up to $900,000 to salvage the old rail line between Glenwood Springs and Woody Creek.A&K Railroad Materials wanted to purchase and tear up the tracks on the abandoned line and presumably sell them for scrap. The company offered to grade the railroad right of way for use as a trail.”Since the existing track materials do not meet the specifications for any future passenger rail system, RFTA could use the funds received from the sale of the materials to A&K to defray other RFTA costs or obligations,” the salvage firm said in a letter.RFTA Chief Executive Officer Dan Blankenship said the board unanimously rejected the offer because it felt it was important to keep the rails there as a reminder of why the right of way was purchased.The trail being planned from Emma to Glenwood Springs will intrude very little onto the rail bed, so the track won’t necessarily have to be torn up to accommodate the path, Blankenship noted.RFTA also determined the $900,000 offer may have been a high estimate. A&K was relying on an old inspection that indicated rail could be torn up between Glenwood Springs and Woody Creek. Since that inspection, parts of the rail were covered up during construction of a trail by Pitkin County, Blankenship noted.

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