Rails and Trails

Our Trail Towns could also be Rail Towns! In December 2023, the Federal Railroad Administration selected the Salisbury to Asheville rail route as part of the Corridor Identification and Development Program. The route is one of seven NC corridors receiving a $500,000 grant from the Department of Transportation to pay for the feasibility studies to decide the viability of the routes.

Salisbury to Asheville is the dashed gold line that passes Long View, Hildebran, Connelly Springs, Rutherford College, Valdese

There is the potential for our Burke County towns to host a train station or be a whistle stop. BRTA will be working closely with the Waiting for the Train nonprofit to make sure our Trail Towns do not miss out. All towns have Norfolk Southern running through town limits – except Rhodhiss and it is on a private spur — so potential there.

Glen Alpine Station – see pictures of all stations at the Piedmont and Western Railroad Museum

What is a Whistle Stop? A small railway station between the main stations where the train stops only on a signal. The whistle stop my just be a platform with no building and not ticket stand. With modern phone apps, it seems you could request the trail stop at a trailhead park at on the day you want to ride.