Rail banking is a federal law administered by the Surface Transportation Board (STB). It allows public agencies to acquire railroad right-of-ways from an operating railroad and, “bank,” it until future rail use is applied for at the STB. The purchasing agency has all the property rights held by the railroad including easements for rail use. The line is thus not officially abandoned, and irreplaceable infrastructure is preserved.
Railroads have taxes to pay, and lines to maintain. It often makes good economic sense to rail bank an unused line, salvage the ties, rail, and other equipment, and work something out with an agency wishing to utilize the corridor until such time that any railroad reactivates the line with a request to the STB. If the corridor is not saved, there cannot be any future rail. In the interim, the corridor can be used as a trail, which helps preserve it.
Parking along the Trail are at designated locations (from south to north):
- Across from the school football field. (South end of Golden Tiger Trail – motorized and non-motorized.)
- Across from Midway Lumber. (Golden Tiger Trail end of paved portion.)
- Herron Creek Rd crossing. (North end of Golden Tiger Trail and south end of Rail Trail non-motorized trail.)
- Black Beach Resort.
- Kiwanis. North end of trestle.
- Curlew. North end of town.
- Lone Ranch
Traveling south to north on the trail:
The towns of Republic, Pine Grove, Malo, Curlew, and Danville.
The resorts of Black Beach and Tiffanys.
Bicycles are available in downtown Republic near the “Mom and Pops” store (1 block south of the Post Office), which is next to Esther’s Cantina. Contact is made via phone to get the lock code for using the bicycle.
Bicycles are also available at Black Beach Resort and at Tiffanys Resort (for a small rental fee).
Phase 5, which represents the center section of the trail from Kiwanis Rd. to Curlew, has been approved for funding and is expected to finish at the end of 2019.