Rails-with-Trails: Lessons Learned (US DOT, 2002)

Prepared by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2002, near the beginning of the Rail-with-Trail movement, this comprehensive report provides information and recommendations on the feasibility, potential benefits, legislation, liability, planning, designing, operation, and maintenance of rails-with-trails, and has been a helpful go-to guide for trail planners over the past decade and a half.

This report offers conclusions about the lessons learned in the development, construction, and operation of “rails-with-trails” so that railroad companies, trail developers, and
others can benefit from the history of trails in existence today. “Rail-with-trail” (RWT) describes any shared use path or trail located on or directly adjacent to an active railroad
corridor. […]