November 06, 2017

Metro-North and Hudson River Valley Greenway Invite Community to Public Meetings about Proposed Beacon Line Rail Trail in Putnam and Dutchess Counties

Upcoming Public Meetings on November 13 and 14 Seek Input from Community

MTA Metro-North Railroad and the Hudson River Valley Greenway invite local leaders, trail groups, interested organizations, and members of the public to attend one of two important public information meetings on November 13 and 14 to seek input on the creation of the Beacon Line Rail Trail, a vital segment of the new Empire State Trail, Trail, a 750-mile bike and walking pathway from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo that is being built under the leadership of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and will be completed in 2020.  

 
The meeting dates and locations are:
 
Monday, November 13, 2017
6 – 8 p.m.   
Pawling High School Auditorium
30 Wagner Drive, Pawling, NY
 
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
6 – 8 p.m.
Putnam County TOPS Building Auditorium
112 Old Route 6, Carmel, NY
 
The anticipated trail will revitalize a little-used rail line that runs east-west across Dutchess and Putnam Counties, N.Y. The line, known as the Beacon Line or the Maybrook Branch, connects with Metro-North’s Hudson Line at Beacon, and runs parallel with the Harlem Line north of Southeast.
 
Although owned by Metro-North Railroad, the line is not currently used for passenger train service.
 
The Beacon Line Rail Trail will be a shared-use bicycling and pedestrian path running along a 23 mile portion of the Metro-North Railroad Beacon Line Corridor from Brewster, New York to Hopewell Junction, New York, connecting with the Dutchess Rail Trail.   
 
One existing track along this portion of the rail line will remain intact for possible future use, and the line segment from Hopewell Junction to Beacon is not included in the proposed trail.   
 
The proposed trail will typically be 12 feet wide and surfaced with asphalt.  Appropriate treatments will be installed at all road crossings to provide safe trail use.  Metro-North Railroad will oversee design and construction of the project, which is slated to start in the spring of 2019.  
 
At the public information gathering, representatives of the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Metro-North Railroad will:
 
  • Host a workshop to answer questions and receive comments from the community.
  • Discuss the project’s goals, opportunities, and schedule.
  • Provide a detailed description of the Beacon Line Rail Trail’s proposed 23-mile route.
  • Release a draft Beacon Line Rail Trail Concept Plan for public review and comment.
 
Construction of the Beacon Line Rail Trail will be funded by New York State, through funds administered by the Hudson River Valley Greenway as part of the larger Empire State Trail initiative.
 
“The Hudson Line Rail Trail will give bikers and hikers another way to explore the region’s scenic beauty and enjoy an outdoor adventure,” said Catherine Rinaldi, Acting President of Metro-North Railroad. “Metro-North is proud to play a part in the construction of the Empire State Trail, which will support New York’s tourism and economic growth.”
 
The Hudson River Valley Greenway is a unique state-sponsored program established by the Greenway Act of 1991. More than 84% of municipalities within the Greenway area have designated themselves as “Greenway Communities.” The program is designed to encourage projects and initiatives related to the intersecting goals of natural and cultural resource protection, regional planning, economic development, public access, and heritage and environmental education.  It provides technical assistance and catalytic grant funding for planning, water and land trails, and other projects that reinforce these goals. In keeping with the New York tradition of home rule, the Greenway program has no regulatory authority and participation by municipalities in Greenway programs and projects is entirely voluntary.
 
As part of the promise to invest and build infrastructure to support New York’s economy, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is creating the Empire State Trail, which when completed in 2020 will create a 750-mile trail bike and walking pathway from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo. Once completed the Empire State Trail will be the largest multi-use trail in the nation. More information on the Empire State Trail is available here
 
All those interested in the Empire State Trail and the Beacon Line Rail Trail are encouraged to attend.  For more information about the proposed Beacon Line Rail Trail, please visit: www.BeaconLineRailTrail.org

For more information about the Hudson River Valley Greenway please visit:  http://www.hudsongreenway.ny.gov/home.aspx

 

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