Workers with C&S Rail Services began pulling up rails and crossties in Elizabethton this week along right of way now owned by Johnson City, which plans to convert the rail line into a bike and walking trail, known as the Tweetsie Trail.
The agreement between Johnson City and Genesee and Wyoming, East Tennessee Railway’s parent company, allows the railroad to salvage the rail lines prior to turning over the property.
The track removal will begin at the eastern end of the line on State Line Road, moving westward through Elizabethton and then on through the western sections of Carter County until it reaches Johnson City.
Elizabethton officials are encouraging residents and business owners to remove any vehicles and other objects within 25 feet of the unused rail bed so as not to interfere with the track removal.
The rail line had once been part of the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad, which operated a 3-foot narrow gauge rail line between Johnson City and Boone, N.C.