As the Columbus region continues to grow, there is a need to improve the people and freight carrying capacity of our local transportation system. Acquisition of right-of-way for this purpose is increasingly expensive and disruptive to existing land use. Because of improvements in technology and the changing economics of transportation, all or parts of many railroad right-of-ways should be reviewed for other transportation uses.
This document was first produced in 1985, and an update was done in 1995. This 2007 draft is now the third update. The purpose of this study is to examine the rail lines within the 7-county Central Ohio region in order to identify physical constraints and operating parameters which affect the potential use of excess right-of-way for other transportation purposes. This inventory is a planning tool to assist in an objective analysis of a rail line's potential in other uses, such as trails or environmental buffers, as well as assist in intermodal planning, rail crossing studies, and potential infrastructure improvements.
The evaluation contained in this report is general in nature and is to only be used as a starting point for local decision makers who would like to make use of abandoned ROW or excess ROW along active lines but have not had access to data necessary to make this type of evaluation regarding the availability and usefulness of these corridors.