Oireachtas of the Irish Free State
The Oireachtas of the Irish Free State was the legislature of the Irish Free State from 1922 until 1937. It was established by the 1922 Constitution of Ireland, based from the Anglo-Irish Treaty, it was the first independent Irish Parliament recognised outside Ireland since the historic Parliament of Ireland, abolished with the Act of Union in 1800. The Parliament was bicameral, consisting of Dáil Éireann with 153 seats and Seanad Éireann with 60 seats, until the abolition of the Senate on 29 May 1936. From until its abolition the Parliament was unicameral; the King, represented by the Governor-General, was a constituent part of the Oireachtas. The Oireachtas of the Irish Free State were disbanded by the 1937 Constitution of Ireland which created the modern Oireachtas Éireann. Like the modern Oireachtas, the Free State legislature was dominated by the powerful, directly elected Dáil. Unlike the modern organ, the Free State Oireachtas had authority to amend the constitution as it saw fit, without recourse to a referendum.
During the Free State it was the Oireachtas as a whole, rather than the Dáil, that had authority to commit the state to war, although this distinction was not significant in practice. The earliest parliament in Ireland was the Parliament of Ireland, founded in the thirteenth century as the supreme legislative body of the lordship of Ireland and was in existence until 1801; this parliament governed the English-dominated part of Ireland, which at first was limited to Dublin and surrounding cities, but grew to include the entire island. But the Parliament of Ireland was, from the passage of Poynings' Law until its repeal in 1782, subordinate to the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain; this Parliament consisted of the King of Ireland, the same person as the King of England, a House of the Lords and a House of Commons. Under the Act of Union 1800 the separate Kingdoms of Ireland and Great Britain were merged on 1 January 1801, to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Throughout the 19th century Irish opposition to the Union was strong erupting in violent insurrection. The next legislature to exist in Ireland only came into being in 1919; this was an extra-legal, unicameral parliament established by Irish republicans, known as Dáil Éireann and thus existed outside of British law. The Dáil was notionally a legislature for the whole island of Ireland; the First Dáil and the Second Dáil did not therefore have any recognised legal authority outside Ireland. The Third Dáil was elected under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty as a constituent assembly to approve the Constitution of the Irish Free State and pave the way for the creation of the new state. Once the Constitution of the Irish Free State was in effect the Third Dáil served as the lower house of the Oireachtas. Under the terms of the constitution, the Third Dáil carried out the functions of the Dáil during this period until a new chamber could be elected; the first Dáil of the Irish Free State was therefore the Fourth Dáil, elected in 1923.
In 1920, in parallel to the extra-legal Dáil, the British Government created the Parliament of Southern Ireland, a Home Rule legislature during the Irish War of Independence under the Fourth Home Rule Bill. It was designed to legislate for Southern Ireland, a political entity, created by the British Government to solve the issue of rising Irish nationalism and the issue of partitionism, whilst retaining Ireland as part of the United Kingdom, it was made up of the King, the House of Commons of Southern Ireland and the Senate of Southern Ireland. The Parliament of Southern Ireland was formally abolished in 1922 by the Irish Free State Act 1922, as per the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the basis of the Constitution of the Irish Free State which establishmed the Oireachtas. Under the constitution the Oireachtas had exclusive authority to: Legislate, including approving the budget. Create subordinate legislatures. Amend the Constitution. Permit the state to participate in a war. Raise and control armed forces.
There were however a number of limitations to the Oireachtas power: Laws or constitutional amendments were invalid if they violated the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It could not retrospectively criminalise acts; until the 1931 Statute of Westminster, the British Parliament retained the power, in theory, to legislate for the Irish Free State without its consent. The Oireachtas could only legislate for the Irish Free State, not for Northern Ireland. A series of constitutional amendments in 1936 altered the functioning of the Oireachtas: The King ceased to be a part of the Oireachtas, the responsibility for signing bills into law became a formality exercised by the Ceann Comhairle; the Seanad was abolished so the Irish Free State Oireachtas consisted of the Dáil. The original oath was abolished; the requirement for laws and constitutional amendments to comply with the Anglo-Irish Treaty was removed. The power to dissolve the legislature was exercised by the Ceann Comhairle when instructed to do so by the President of the Executive Council.
The Dáil Éireann from 1922 to 1936 served as the directly elected lower house of the Oireachtas of the Irish Free State, from 1936 to 1937 the sole chamber. The Constitution of the Irish Free State described the role of the house as one of a
County Cavan is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region, it is based on the historic Gaelic territory of East Breffny. Cavan County Council is the local authority for the county, which had a population of 76,176 at the 2016 census. Cavan borders six counties: Leitrim to the west and Monaghan to the north, Meath to the south-east, Longford to the south-west and Westmeath to the south. Cavan shares a 70 km border with County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland. Cavan is the 19th largest of the 25th largest by population. There are eight historic baronies in the county. While baronies continue to be defined units, they are no longer used for many administrative purposes, their official status is illustrated by Placenames Orders made since 2003, where official Irish names of baronies are listed under "Administrative units". Castlerahan see Virginia, County Cavan Clankee Clanmahon Loughtee Lower Loughtee Upper – whose chief town, Cavan, is the county town Tullygarvey Tullyhaw – the largest in the county at 89,852 acres Tullyhunco Townlands are the smallest defined geographical divisions in Ireland, there are 1979 townlands in the county.
Cavan - 10,914 Bailieborough - 2,683 Ballyjamesduff - 2,661 Virginia - 2,648 Kingscourt - 2,499 The county is characterised by drumlin countryside dotted with many lakes and hills. The north-western area of the county is sparsely mountainous; the Breifne Mountains contain Cuilcagh, at 665 metres. Cavan is the source of many rivers. Shannon Pot on the slopes of Cuilcagh is the source of the River Shannon, the longest river in Ireland at 386 km; the River Erne is a major river which rises from Beaghy Lough, two miles south of Stradone in Cavan and flows for 120 km to Lough Erne. Other rivers in the county include the Blackwater River, which rises near Bailieborough and flows through Lough Ramor, joining the River Boyne at Navan; the Glyde and the Owenroe source in Cavan. Cavan is reputed to contain 365 lakes. At 18.8 km2, Lough Sheelin is the county's largest lake. A large complex of lakes form in the north and west of Cavan into designated Specially Protected Areas. Other important wildlife protected lakes such as Lough Gowna and Lough Ramor are in the south and east of the county.
Cavan has a hilly landscape and contains just under 7,000 hectares of forested area, 3.6% of Cavan's total land area. The county contains forests such as Bellamont Forest near Cootehill, Killykeen Forest Park at Lough Oughter, Dún na Rí Forest Park and the Burren Forest. Met Éireann records the climate data for Cavan from their station at Ballyhaise. Under Köppen climate classification, Cavan experiences a maritime temperate oceanic climate with cold winters, mild humid summers, a lack of temperature extremes; the average maximum January temperature is 8.2 °C, while the average maximum July temperature is 19.8 °C. On average, the sunniest months are May and June, while the wettest month is October with 104.4 mm of rain, the driest months are May and June with 67.8 mm and 67.9 mm respectively. Humidity is high year round and rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year, with the annual precipitation at Ballyhaise being 1,006 mm On average, snow showers occur between November and March. In 2010, record low temperatures for November and January were recorded in Cavan.
In late December, the temperature at the station fell to − its lowest ever. On Tuesday 21 December 2010, a daily maximum of −9.4 °C was recorded at Ballyhaise, the lowest daily maximum recorded in Ireland. Summer daytime temperatures range between 15 °C and 22 °C, with temperatures going beyond 25 °C; the average annual sunshine hours range between 1,300 hours in the north to 1,500 hours in the south. In medieval times, the area of Cavan was part of the petty kingdom of East Bréifne or Brefney O'Reilly after its ruling Gaelic family; this in turn was a division of the 11th century Kingdom of Bréifne. For this reason the county is colloquially known as the Breffni County. A high degree of defence was achieved by using the natural landscape of drumlin loughs; the poorly drained heavy clay soils contributed as an obstacle against invasion. Cavan was part of the western province of Connacht, but was transferred to Ulster in 1584 following the composition of Breifne. In the south, the Lough Sheelin area was part of Leinster until the late 14th century.
Parts of Cavan were subjected to Norman influence from the twelfth century and the remains of several motte and bailie fortifications are still visible in the east of the county, as well as the remains of stronger works such as Castlerahan and Clogh Oughter castle. The influence of several monastic orders owes its origins to around this time with abbey remains existent in locations such as Drumlane and Trinity Island; the Plantation of Ulster from 1610 saw the settlement and origins of several new towns within the county
Longford railway station
Longford railway station serves the town of Longford in County Longford, Ireland. Longford is the terminus of Iarnród Éireann's Dublin Connolly–Longford Commuter service, is a stop on the Dublin Connolly–Sligo InterCity service. Longford is 91 kilometres from Sligo and 122 kilometres from Dublin. Journeys to the capital by rail take about an hour and three quarters. Numerous Bus Éireann Expressway and local bus routes stop outside the station. Independent Cavan operator Whartons Travel operates a route to the station via Crossdoney and Drumlish. Longford railway station was opened by the Midland Great Western Railway on 8 November 1855 as the terminus of the extension of its line north-west from Mullingar; the line was further extended to Sligo in 1862. Connecting trains in Dublin Connolly run on the Belfast Line via Drogheda, Newry, Portadown to Belfast Central and on the Rosslare Line via Bray, Wicklow, Enniscorthy, Wexford to Rosslare Europort. List of railway stations in Ireland Irish Rail Longford Station Website
County Mayo is a county in Ireland. In the West of Ireland, in the province of Connacht, it is named after the village of Mayo, now known as Mayo Abbey. Mayo County Council is the local authority; the population was 130,507 at the 2016 census. The boundaries of the county, formed in 1585, reflect the Mac William Íochtar lordship at that time, it is bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. Mayo is the third-largest of Ireland's 32 counties in area and 15th largest in terms of population, it is the second-largest of Connacht's five counties in both population. Mayo is located along the west coast of Ireland, 7,400 km in length. There is the east of the county; the west consists of poor subsoils and is covered with large areas of extensive Atlantic blanket bog, whereas the east is a limestone landscape. Agricultural land is therefore more productive in the east than in the west; the highest point in Mayo is Mweelrea, at 814 m The River Moy in the northeast of the county is renowned for its salmon fishing Ireland's largest island, Achill Island, lies off Mayo's west coast Mayo has Ireland's highest cliffs at Croaghaun, Achill Island, while the Benwee Head cliffs in Kilcommon Erris drop perpendicularly 900 feet into the Atlantic Ocean.
The northwest areas of County Mayo have some of the best renewable energy resources in Europe, if not the world, in terms of wind resources, ocean wave and hydroelectric resources Mayo County Council is the authority responsible for local government. As a county council, it is governed by the Local Government Act 2001; the County is divided into four municipal areas Castlebar, Ballina and West. The council is responsible for housing and community and transportation, urban planning and development and culture, environment. For the purpose of local elections the county is divided into its four municipal districts, replacing the former six local electoral areas: Ballina, Castlebar, Claremorris and Westport; the county town is at Áras an Contae in Castlebar, the main population centre located in the centre of the county. For national elections, half of the Claremorris Municipal District is in Galway West, stretches from Ashford Castle to Ireland West Airport; the Municipal Area populations are as follows: Ballina – 32,979 Castlebar – 34,000 Claremorris – 32,469 West Mayo – 31,190 There are nine historic baronies, four in the northern area and five in the south of the county: North Mayo Erris Burrishoole Gallen Tyrawley South Mayo Clanmorris, Costello etc.
Murrisk Kilmaine Carra Castlebar – 13,496 Ballina – 10,623 Westport – 5,894 Claremorris – 4,487 Ballinrobe – 3,685 Castlebar and Ballina are the two most populous towns in the county, 12,318 in Castlebar located at the centre of the county and 10,361 in Ballina located at the north-east of corner of the county. These are followed by Westport, which has 5,543 residents and Claremorris, with a population of 3,412 in the 2011 census returns. A survey of the terrestrial and freshwater algae of Clare Island was made between 1990 and 2005 and published in 2007. A record of Gunnera tinctoria is noted. Consultants working for the Corrib gas project have carried out extensive surveys of wildlife flora and fauna in Kilcommon Parish, Erris between 2002 and 2009; this information is published in the Corrib Gas Proposal Environmental impact statements 2009 and 2010. County Mayo has prehistory. At Belderrig on the north Mayo coast, there is evidence for Mesolithic communities around 4500 cal. BC. while throughout the county there is a wealth of archaeological remains from the Neolithic period in terms of megalithic tombs and ritual stone circles.
The first people who came to Ireland – to coastal areas as the interior was forested – arrived during the Middle Stone Age, as long as eleven thousand years ago. Artefacts of hunter/gatherers are sometimes found in middens, rubbish pits around hearths where people would have rested and cooked over large open fires. Once cliffs erode, midden-remains become exposed as blackened areas containing charred stones and shells, they are found a metre below the surface. Mesolithic people did not have major rituals associated with burial, unlike those of the Neolithic period; the Neolithic period followed the Mesolithic around 6,000 years ago. People began to farm the land, domesticate animals for food and milk, settle in one place for longer periods; the people had skills such as making pottery, building houses from wood and knapping. The first farmers cleared forestry to grow crops. In North Mayo, where the ground cover was fragile, thin soils washed away and blanket bog covered the land farmed by the Neolithic people.
Extensive pre-bog field systems have been discovered under
Great Southern and Western Railway
The Great Southern and Western Railway was an Irish gauge railway company in Ireland from 1844 until 1924. The GS&WR grew by building lines and making a series of takeovers, until in the late 19th and early 20th centuries it was the largest of Ireland's "Big Four" railway networks. At its peak the GS&WR had an 1,100-mile network; the core of the GS&WR was the Dublin Kingsbridge – Cork main line. The company's headquarters were at Kingsbridge station. At its greatest extent the GS&WR included, in addition to the Dublin – Cork main line, the Dublin – Waterford and Mallow – Waterford lines and numerous branch lines. William Dargan, Ireland's foremost railway contractor, built much of the GS&WR's main line and a number of its other routes. Construction of the Dublin – Cork main line began in January 1845; the project included a branch line to Carlow, completed in August 1846. In July 1848 the main line reached Limerick Junction, where it met the Waterford and Limerick Railway and thus linked Dublin and Limerick by rail.
In October 1849 the main line reached the outskirts of Cork, where the GS&WR opened a temporary terminus at Blackpool. The final 1-mile of line from Blackpool to the centre of Cork includes a 1,355-yard tunnel and was not completed for another six years. Services through the tunnel began in December 1855, running to and from a second temporary terminus beside the River Lee; the present Cork terminus in Glanmire Road opened in July 1856. The Irish South Eastern Railway opened between the GS&WR station at Carlow and Bagenalstown in 1848 and reached Lavistown in 1850. From the outset the ISE was worked by the GS&WR; the Waterford and Kilkenny Railway had reached Lavistown, thus completion of the ISE enabled GS&WR services to reach Kilkenny. The W&KR reached Waterford in September 1854 but its relations with the GS&WR were poor, which impeded traffic between Dublin and Waterford by this route. In 1877 the W&KR took over the Central Ireland Railway and became the Waterford and Central Ireland Railway.
The GS&WR took over the W&CIR in 1900, thus belatedly bringing the rail route between Dublin and Waterford under the control and operation of a single company. The GS&WR competed with the Midland Great Western Railway for many years. Both ran services between Dublin and the west of Ireland: the GS&WR running southwest to Limerick and Waterford, the MGWR running west to Galway, Westport and Sligo; the GS&WR had designs on rail traffic to the west of Ireland. In 1859 the GS&WR opened a branch line from the Dublin – Cork main line to Athlone where it connected with the MGWR's Dublin – Galway main line. In the latter half of the 20th century Córas Iompair Éireann made this GS&WR branch part of its Dublin – Galway main line. In 1901 the GS&WR bought the Waterford and Western Railway, which gave it both the Waterford – Limerick – Athenry – Claremorris – Collooney cross-country route and the North Kerry Line and branches; the WLWR dubbed the Western Rail Corridor, crossed MGWR territory. It complemented the radial MGWR lines from Dublin, enabling Limerick – Galway and Galway – Sligo traffic, linked intermediate destinations in the west of Ireland.
For a short time the MGWR exercised running powers over the Athenry – Limerick section of this route. The line was opened in 1877 to resolve limitations in the GS&WR not having rail access convenient to the cattle market at Cabra nor to the docks at North Wall for goods and passenger purposes; the London and North Western Railway was supportive of the venture as was the MGWR who were to receive tolls for part of the route. The branch opened on 2 September 1877 diverging from the main GS&WR line at Islandbridge Junction before tunnelling under Phoenix Park to Cabra where cattle sidings and pens were constructed; the MGWR line was subsequently before the GS&WR Church Road junction diverged to new cattle pens and sidings at North Wall. Link spurs where made to Amiens Street station and to the LNWR station at North Wall for passenger ships to Great Britain In an effort to encourage tourism the Killarney Junction Railway, operated by the GS&WR, opened a hotel next to Killarney station; this was in 1854, which made it the first railway-owned hotel in Ireland and one of the first of its kind in the World.
In the following years the GS&WR established further hotels in County Kerry at Caragh Lake, Kenmare and Waterville. The company owned small commercial hotels at Limerick Junction and near its stations in Dublin and Cork. In 1925 the hotels became part of a subsidiary of Great Southern Railways; the Great Southern Hotels Group was dissolved in 2006, when its hotels were sold off separately to private investors. In September 1911 the workers of the Great Southern and Western Railway went on strike nationally after two checkers at Kingsbridge goods station in Dublin were suspended for refusing to handle timber, delivered by "blackleg" lorry drivers during a strike by the timber merchant's workers; the British Army was brought in to guard tracks and trains, Protestant strike-breakers from elsewhere in Ireland to do the work of the strikers. The strike was savagely broken in two months, with the railway's proprietor, William Goulding, sacking 10% of the workers for their participation in the strike.
Goulding told his associates, "Now that we have the men defeated, we'll never have any more trouble." At different times in its history the GS&WR variously used the titles Locomotive Engineer, Locomotive Superintendent or Chief Mechanical Engineer to describe the same post. 1844–47 — John Dewrance 1847–64
Great Southern Railways
The Great Southern Railways Company was an Irish company that from 1925 until 1945 owned and operated all railways that lay wholly within the Irish Free State. The period was difficult with rising operating static to failing income; the early part of the period was soon after infrastructure losses of the Irish Civil War. The Emergency or Second World War at the end of the period saw shortages of coal and raw materials with increased freight traffic and restricted passenger traffic. Provision for the creation of the company was made by the Railways Act 1924, which mandated the amalgamation and absorption of all railways wholly within the Irish Free State. Only cross-border railways, most notably the Great Northern Railway, remained outside its control; the Great Southern and Western Railway Company, the Midland Great Western Railway Company of Ireland and the Cork and South Coast Railway Company agreed to terms for amalgamation, forming the Great Southern Railway Company by way of the Railways Preliminary Amalgamation Scheme of 12 November 1924.
The Great Southern Railways Company was formed when the fourth major company, the Dublin and South Eastern Railway, joined these companies under the Great Southern Railways Amalgamation Scheme of 1 January 1925 and the Great Southern Railways Supplemental Amalgamation Scheme 1925. The DSER was British owned and had wished to merge with the GNR but was overruled; the smaller companies were absorbed under several successive statutory instruments. From 1929, when it acquired a stake in the Irish Omnibus Company, the company ran bus services; these operations became the responsibility from 1 January 1934 of the Great Southern Railways Omnibus Department. In 1990 the hotel group was transferred from Córas Iompair Éireann to Aer Rianta where it remained until 2006; the hotel group formed by the company, Great Southern Hotels, continued to bear the company's name until its privatisation in 2006. Only the Sligo hotel continues to use the Great Southern name as of 2016. In January 2018 The Malton Hotel in Killarney reverted to its original name of the Great Southern.
CIÉ maintained a full online list of the twenty five companies which constituted the Great Southern Railways in 1925. This is not accurate, as it includes the Fishguard & Rosslare Railways & Harbours Company which still exists today, although GSR took over 50% of its shares upon its creation, the other 50% being held by the UK Great Western Railway; the respective shareholdings in the company, now a shelf company, are held today by Iarnród Éireann and Stena Line. The Transport Act 1944 dissolved the Company and transferred its assets, together with those of the Dublin United Transport Company to Córas Iompair Éireann, from 1 January 1945. In 1925 the total route network was 2,181 miles and by 1944 this has only reduced to 2,042 miles; the stretch of line, double track had reduced from 438 miles to 276 miles in the same period. A wide variety of locomotives and rolling stock was inherited from the constituent companies. 1925 records show 526 broad and 41 narrow gauge steam locomotives remaining inherited from the originating companies.
Locomotives were renumbered into the GSR class number scheme whereby the lowest numbered engine in the class was used as the class identity. There was a parallel Inchicore scheme that used a letter to indicate the axle layout and a number to designate different groups within the class; when the GSR passed into CIÉ at the end of 1944 the total number of broad gauge steam locomotives was about 475 of which 58 had been built by GSR. About 28 narrow gauge steam locomotives remained; the total number of passenger vehicles including post office and brakes vans was 1670 in 1925, reducing to 1337 by 1944. The GSR introduced four Sentinel steam railcars in 1928 with the power unit similar to the GSR Class 280, operating range of over 150 miles and a passenger capacity for 55. All were withdrawn in the early 1940s. A subsequent order from Claytons in 1928 were less successful and withdrawn in 1932, a model exists in the Fry railway collection. Four Drewry petrol powered railcars of which two were narrow gauge were introduced around 1927, with all four being withdrawn by the mid 1940s.
The innovative Drumm Battery Train was operated on the Dublin—Bray route from 1932. General ManagerC. E. Riley W. H. Morton Edgar Craven Bredin Chief Mechanical Engineer/Locomotive SuperintendentJ. R. Bazin W. H. Morton A. W. Harty Edgar Craven Bredin J. M. Ginnetty C. F. Tindall History of rail transport in Ireland Rail transport in Ireland Iarnród Éireann Documents and clippings about Great Southern Railways in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics
A rail trail is the conversion of a disused railway track into a multi-use path for walking and sometimes horse riding and snowmobiling. The characteristics of abandoned railways—flat, long running through historical areas—are appealing for various developments; the term sometimes covers trails running alongside working railways. Some shared trails are segregated, with the segregation achieved without separation. Many rail trails are long-distance trails. A rail trail may still include rails, such as light streetcar. By virtue of their characteristic shape, some shorter rail trails are known as greenways and linear parks; the only carrier to exist in Bermuda folded in 1948 and was converted to a rail trail in 1984. Some of the former right of way has been converted for automobile traffic, but 18 miles are reserved for pedestrian use and bicycles on paved portions; the rail bed spans the length of the island, connected Hamilton to St. George's and several villages, though several bridges are derelict, causing the trail to be fragmented.
The Kettle Valley Rail Trail in British Columbia uses a rail corridor, built for the now-abandoned Kettle Valley Railway. The trail was developed during the 1990s after the Canadian Pacific Railway abandoned train service; the longest rail trail in Canada is the Newfoundland T'Railway that covers a distance of 883 km ). Protected as a linear park under the provincial park system, the T'Railway consists of the railbed of the historic Newfoundland Railway as transferred from its most recent owner, Canadian National Railway, to the provincial government after rail service was abandoned on the island of Newfoundland in 1988; the rail corridor stretches from Channel-Port aux Basques in the west to St. John's in the east with branches to Stephenville, Bonavista and Carbonear. Following the abandonment of the Prince Edward Island Railway in 1989, the government of Prince Edward Island purchased the right-of-way to the entire railway system; the Confederation Trail was developed as a tip-to-tip walking/cycling gravel rail trail which doubles as a monitored and groomed snowmobile trail during the winter months, operated by the PEI Snowmobile Association.
In Quebec, Le P'tit Train du Nord runs 200 km from Saint-Jérôme to Mont-Laurier. In Toronto, there are the Beltline Trail and the West Toronto Railpath. In central Ontario, the former Victoria Railway line, which runs 89 kilometres from the town of Lindsay, north to the village of Haliburton, in Haliburton County, serves as a public recreation trail, it can be used for cross country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter months, walking and horse riding from spring to autumn. The majority of the rail trail passes through sparsely populated areas of the Canadian Shield, with historic trestle bridges crossing several rivers; the old Sarnia Bridge in St. Marys, was re-purposed as part of the Grand Trunk Trail; the former Grand Trunk Railway viaduct was purchased from Canadian National Railway in 1995. The Grand Trunk Trail was opened in 1998 with over 3 km of paved, accessible trail. In 2012, The re-purposing of the Sarnia Bridge was inducted into the North America Railway Hall of Fame. A railroad between Gateway Road and Raleigh Street in Winnipeg, was turned into a 7 km asphalt trail in 2007.
It is called the Northeast Pioneers Greenway, has plans for expansion into East St. Paul, to Birds Hill Park. A considerable part of the Trans Canada Trail are repurposed defunct rail lines donated to provincial governments by CP and CN rail rebuilt as walking trails; the main section runs along the southern areas of Canada connecting most of Canada's major cities and most populous areas. There is a long northern arm which runs through Alberta to Edmonton and up through northern British Columbia to Yukon; the trail is multi-use and depending on the section may allow hikers, horseback riders, cross country skiers and snowmobilers. In North America, the decades-long consolidation of the rail industry led to the closure of a number of uneconomical branch lines and redundant mainlines; some were maintained as short line railways. The first abandoned rail corridor in the United States converted into a recreational trail was the Elroy-Sparta State Trail in Wisconsin, which opened in 1967; the following year the Illinois Prairie Path opened.
The conversion of rails to trails hastened with the federal government passing legislation promoting the use of railbanking for abandoned railroad corridors in 1983, upheld by the U. S. Supreme Court in 1990; this process preserves rail corridors for possible future rail use with interim use as a trail. By the 1970s main lines were being sold or abandoned; this was true when regional rail lines merged and streamlined their operations. As both the supply of potential trails increased and awareness of the possibilities rose, state governments, conservation authorities, private organizations bought the rail corridors to create, expand or link green spaces; the longest developed rail trail is the 240 miles Katy Trail in Missouri. When complete, the Cowboy Trail in Nebraska will become the longest; the Beltline, in Atlanta, Georgia, is under construction. In 2030, its anticipated year of completion, it will be one of the longest continuous trails; the Atlanta BeltLine is a sustainable redevelopment project that will provide a network of public parks, multi-use trails and transit along a historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling downtown and connecting many neigh