Rails To Trails Right-Of-Way Being Secured - Halifax
- More good news on the trails front!
From the Gazette-Virginian Online
To Trails Right-Of-Way Being Secured
Written by Staff
Halifax County is in the process of acquiring 14.6 miles of 100-foot
corridor width right-of-way from the Norfolk Southern Railway Company for
the Rails to Trails project to be deeded to Roanoke River Rails to Trails,
Inc. No county funds are being used, according to County Administrator
George Nester, who pointed out a Tobacco Commission grant will be used to
purchase the right-of-way property.
The process began several years ago when the proposal to secure the right of
way for the project was sent to the Virginia Attorney General, and
supporters for this project were delighted the proposal gained approval.
In addition to the 178 acres in Halifax County, approximate acreage in the
acquisition includes 49 acres in Greensville, 241 acres in Brunswick and 213
acres in Lunenburg, according to C. J. Dean, town manager for the Town of
Norfolk Southern Railway Company recently sold the right of way in Brunswick
County for the Rails to Trails project to the Roanoke River Rails to Trails,
Inc. for $297,987.58, Dean said.
The Lawrenceville town manager, who also serves on the Roanoke River Rails
to Trails board of directors, said the total contract price was
approximately $760,269 to secure the right of way in Halifax County,
Brunswick County, Greensville County and Lunenburg County.
The Halifax County administrator explained the right of way here is for the
100-foot right of way along the old Norfolk and Southern rail line that
starts at Cotton Mill Park and runs westward to a portion of land that ends
at Route 656 at Kern's Mill Road.
Part of the land is in the Town of South Boston, and the remainder is in the
county, he further explained.
"Norfolk Southern Railway has agreed to deed it to the local government for
the Rails to Trails project, and the board has accepted it and is in the
process of having it designated as being tax-exempt," Nester said.
The county administrator said he received the request in mid-December and
expects the board to act on the "housekeeping matter" at its February board
"The board already has agreed to it previously," he added, "and they are
expected to set a date for a public hearing at their February meeting.
Attached to the right-of-way is a restriction that it be used for
recreational use, the county administrator said.
"This is very good news for the Rails to Trails project. It means the right
of way will be preserved for future generations. Now we can transition from
acquisition to construction. The funding for acquiring the rights of way
have been expended, and now the real trail work begins" the Lawrenceville
town manager said earlier this week.
The Tobacco Heritage Trail is a regional initiative to develop a series of
public trails within the counties and towns of the Southside Planning
District and neighboring counties that will ultimately be linked to form a
long distance network of approximately 160 miles of recreational trails.
The trail is envisioned as an economic development and quality of life tool,
valuable to bring in tourism dollars and valuable to residents for health
and recreational benefits.
The off-road trail is intended to be non-motorized and multi-use, for
hiking, bicycling and horseback riding with handicap accessible portions.
The system will utilize primarily abandoned railroad right of way and other
The Rails to Trails project is part of the Tobacco Heritage Trail.