Funded by a $78,000 grant from the N.C. Clean Water Management Fund and a $28,000 grant from the Pigeon River Fund, the yearlong assessment of the watershed’s health will include water quality monitoring, identification of pollution sources and suggestions for infrastructure changes. The goal is to provide long-term, meaningful protection for waterways such as Town Branch, also known as Nasty Branch.
Community and business representatives from across the rail industry gathered in Asheville on Sept. 22 for the Railroads & Regional Economic Development Conference. Organized by the WNC Rail Committee, the conference revealed some hints of how railroads may adapt to changing times.
Americans love to celebrate the iconic “hobo” lifestyle, yet we’re often quick to stereotype or judge the modern-day iteration of the traveler. Despite the risk of legal repercussions and personal injury, contemporary traveling culture continues to attract people from all walks of life to the rails and the road in search of the next horizon.
For more than 20 years, the WNC Rail Corridor Committee has worked tirelessly to prove the economic viability of restoring the historic rail link between Salisbury and Asheville. With changes in the rail industry looming and younger travelers showing increased interest in train travel, the committee is partnering with towns and municipalities and freight rail companies to pursue a new, three-pronged strategy.
“For most people living within half a mile of the Biltmore crossing, especially in older homes without triple-pane glass and air conditioning, sleeping through the [train] horn blasts is not an option.”