JEFFERSON CITY, MO, FEB. 11, 2019 – On Feb. 7, 2019, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board approved a request submitted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Missouri Central Railroad seeking an additional 180 days to negotiate an agreement to railbank 144 miles of the former Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad corridor stretching from Windsor to Beaufort, Missouri.
"We are glad to know the Surface Transportation Board has granted the extension." said Mike Sutherland, deputy division director of Missouri State Parks. "This will allow us to continue talking with Missouri Central Railroad Company. The corridor could be an asset, but we have to look at many aspects, including potential costs."
The extension request emphasized the importance of preserving the Rock Island Line corridor and recognized the significant size, liabilities, costs, benefits and opportunities of undertaking trail sponsorship. The request also indicated that Missouri State Parks and the Missouri Central Railroad Company are committed to working toward the goal of signing an Interim Trail Use Agreement in the future, if mutually agreeable terms can be reached.
"We are open to being a trail sponsor as long as it doesn’t impact the rest of the system." said Ben Ellis, division director of Missouri State Parks. "This trail would take lots of money and people. We are looking for help to support it."
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Central Railroad Company now have until Aug. 20, 2019, to enter into an Interim Trail Use Agreement and provide notice of that agreement to the Surface Transportation Board.
For more information about Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites, visit the web at https://mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.