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City of South Bend files petition to have old, unused railroad tracks removed

South Bend, Ind. -The city of south bend is hoping a petition will be granted so it can finally tear up the unused railroad tracks.


Some say they're the train tracks to nowhere. A dilapidated railroad line owned by Norfolk Southern hasn't been used since the mid-90s.

 

The company says it's not using the tracks, but does not want anyone to buy them either.

 

 

 

The city of south bend is hoping a petition will be granted so it can finally tear up the unused railroad tracks.

 

The city hopes this new petition will be the solution to what city officials say is a painfully, long process where the tracks must be deemed abandoned.

Even though, the company has not used the line in years.

The Norfolk Southern branch lines run from South Bend's West side, all the way to the Saint Mary's College campus and then onto the University of Notre Dame.

 

The tracks have not been used in over 16 years, which is why the City of South Bend filed another petition Tuesday with the Federal Surface Transportation Board.

 

The petition asks the board to reopen its 2008 ruling, in which they denied the city's request to abandon the 3.7 miles of rail lines.

 

Even though the railway company has indicated it will not sell the lines to any purchaser, the board denied the initial request because it wanted to make sure no one else wanted to use or buy the railroad.

 

Yet the city argues, "There is no hope of attracting current or future traffic to move over the long-dormant, dead-end tracks."

 

The petition then goes on to say, "The line serves no useful purpose."

 

The city is not alone, several businesses along the tracks support the city and hope the abandonment of the tracks will allow future development in the area.

 

The city says it wants the lines abandoned for exactly that reason, to start new revitalization projects and "encourage local development". 

 

City officials say they are confident that enough time has passed without any interest by anyone to buy the tracks, that the board will approve the petition.

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