The Missouri Department of Natural Resources signed a deed transferring ownership of the Rock Island Line Corridor from Ameren to the State of Missouri on Dec. 14, 2021. The department plans to develop the corridor into a hiking and biking trail and proposes to combine the undeveloped 144 miles with the developed 47-mile corridor to create Rock Island Trail State Park. Once the trail is developed, stretching from Windsor to Beaufort, it could eventually connect to the Katy Tail, creating a 400-mile trail loop in Missouri.
The department entered into an Interim Trail Use Agreement with Missouri Central Railroad Company in 2019 to railbank this section of the Rock Island Corridor. Railbanking, established in 1983 as an amendment to Section 8(d) of the National Trails System Act, is a voluntary agreement between a railroad company and a trail agency to use an out-of-service rail corridor as a trail until a railroad might need the corridor again for rail service. This interim trail use of railbanked corridors has preserved thousands of miles of rail corridors that would otherwise have been abandoned.