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Pgh City Paper: Campaign started to convert old rail corridor to bike trail from Aspinwall to Homewood

View of Brilliant Branch Railroad Bridge from Aspinwall Riverfront Park - CP PHOTO: ABBIE ADAMS

CP photo: Abbie Adams
View of Brilliant Branch Railroad Bridge from Aspinwall Riverfront Park

There is a four-mile abandoned rail corridor that connects Pittsburgh’s East End to Aspinwall across the Allegheny River. Pittsburghers have probably spotted it while driving down Washington Boulevard, where the elevated tracks can be viewed from the road. For years, it has been a dream of urban planners and cyclists to convert the old rail corridor into a bike trail, in hopes of providing a car-free path from eastern Pittsburgh to the Allegheny River communities, and beyond.

Now, there is a chance to make that dream a reality. According to the Aspinwall Riverfront Park, the Allegheny Valley Railroad has agreed to sell the rail corridor to the ARP. And the park group is applying for stimulus funding to purchase the corridor, which is known as the Brilliant Line or the Brilliant Branch.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to connect our communities, improve the environment, create safe recreational trails for all to enjoy,” reads the ARP website.