March 9, 2018

This week's post looks at 5 case studies on rail revitalization. From elevated parks and trails to meeting venues, communities across North America are finding innovative ways to recognize their rail heritage and adapt these assets to continue to contribute to the local economy and quality of life.

5 on Friday -Aileen Murray on Vimeo.

5 Rail Revitalization Case Studies

Caso Station The Canada Southern Railway Station is a former railway station in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada. The station was built by the Canada Southern Railway and last had train service in 1979. The revitalized station is home to the North America Railway Hall of Fame and is a preferred location for community, cultural and corporate events and weddings.

St. Thomas Elevated Park  Canada’s first elevated park, the former Michigan Central Railway Bridge will provide a dramatic gateway entrance to the City, celebrate the City's rail heritage and provide a unique park and signature tourist attraction. The elevated park connects with the Rail trail along the abandoned Canada Southern Rail line through Elgin County.

Atlanta Beltline The Atlanta BeltLine is a sustainable redevelopment project that will ultimately connect 45 intown neighborhoods via a 22-mile loop of multi-use trails, modern streetcar, and parks – all based on railroad corridors that formerly encircled Atlanta.

Brockville Railway Tunnel Canada’s first railway tunnel was constructed between 1854 and 1860. The tunnel reopened in 2017 and is now the hub of the City’s Brock Trail with 7 kms of trails along the Brockville riverfront.  The Railway Tunnel was recognized at the EDCO awards in February for its contribution to Brockville’s recreation, tourism and economic development.

The High Line. New York's High Line is the one of the first of its kind and the inspiration for many of the rail revitalization projects happening across North America. The  former railway line on the west side of Manhattan is now a public park. The High Line was an economic development infrastructure project when it was built in 1934 to bring goods to the industrial district.  The last train ran in 1980. The Friends of the Highline was founded in 1999 and the park opened 10 years later in 2009. The High Line is now one of the top tourist attractions in New York for recreation, shopping and special events.