Rail authority reorganizes as rails-to-trails project picks up steam

8:46 am | November 19, 2012

Twenty years after its inception, the East Tennessee Railroad Authority continues to operate, but may be switching to a new route, assisting in the development of Johnson City’s rails-to-trails project.

Photo By Brandon Hicks
Ties removed from the the site of the future rails-to-trails project are stacked along the railbed.

The board met Thursday afternoon to begin the reorganization process, bringing in officials from Johnson City and Washington County due to Johnson City’s purchase of the railroad line to develop the rails-to-trails project.

Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey said the authority continues to assist in the financing of construction and maintenance on the rail line, obtaining funds through various grants.

Former Chairman Bill Carter, who had been the chairman since the authority’s inception in 1992. said that because there are no active rail lines in the county, the authority at its last meeting considered disbanding.

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