The Surface Transportation Board supports the county's decision to create an 11-mi. recreational trail in the Catskills.
KINGSTON, N.Y. (AP) A federal agency has declared a 38-mi. segment of railroad in the Catskills abandoned, clearing the way for construction of a recreational trail.
Ulster County Executive Mike Hein said the decision of the Surface Transportation Board supports the county's decision to pull up tracks on part of the line to create an 11-mi. recreational trail along the shore of the Ashokan Reservoir.
A railway preservation group had filed a petition with the board to stop rail removal.
County officials have said it would be impossible to re-establish rail operations along the entire 38-mi. corridor because of decades of deterioration.
Under the county's plan, tourism railroad operations can continue on the Kingston and Phoenecia segments.