Georges Creek Trail - Work in process
On January 14, 2020: Eighteen Thirty Group, LLC filed for abandonment of the Georges Creek Railway through the Surface Transportation Board (STB). This process through the STB naturally alerted many parties, including Maryland DNR and Allegany County Government, about the process and benefits of railbanking. Maryland DNR communicated to Allegany County Government its interest in the development of a Georges Creek Rail Trail along the former rail corridor North and South of Lonaconing, MD. Allegany County submitted a letter of support to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) endorsing the conversion of the former rail line into a rail-trail in support of the county's comprehensive development plan, as well as for enhancing recreational and economic development opportunities.
On November 19, 2020: Allegany County and Maryland DNR entered into a Memorandum of Understanding of mutual interest in preserving via “railbanking” the portion of the former Georges Creek Railway that was slated for Abandonment by Eighteen Thirty Group, LLC pursuant to approval by the Surface Transportation Board
On February 8, 2021: Eighteen Thirty Group, LLC filed a letter to the STB stating its willingness to negotiate interim trail use/ railbanking.
On February 18, 2021: The STB granted the negotiation of the acquisition of the trail, postponing Abandonment. Maryland DNR has initiated the railbanking process. While it is still early in the process and land negotiations have begun, the GAP, C&O Canal, and the Western MD Rail-Trail have proven successful in increasing business, visitors, and overnight guests in Allegany County. The proposed Geoge's Creek Trail has the leverage to build upon those increases.