From recreating and preserving railroad infrastructure, establishing short line railroads with tourist train service, and building commercial, retail, and residential areas in, on, around and among railroad attractions, the following cities have embarked on projects with similarities to Headwaters Junction, proving the concept’s merits elsewhere in the country.
SANTA FE NEW MEXICO RAILYARDS
Santa Fe has redeveloped 50 acres of blighted industrial and abandoned railroad properties into a versatile destination including public parks, retail, recreation, and entertainment venues and live/work destinations. The Railyards are populated by locally owned businesses and institutions and is served by a local short line that provides dinner train and tourism service. Funding for this project has been provided by state economic development grants, the City of Santa Fe, and the New Mexico Finance Authority.
OLD SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA
Old Sacramento encompasses the California State Railroad Museum and an urban core on 28 acres of a National Historic Landmark District. Set to the backdrop of the California Gold Rush and Transcontinental Railroad, the district contains shopping, dining, entertainment, historical attractions and museums. The railroad operates strictly passenger trains on 6 miles of track along the Sacramento River. 300,000 visitors explore the museum, 70,000 ride the train, and 650,000 attend events at the museum every year.
Nearby, the Sacramento Railyards will become a “240-acre master-planned, mixed-use transit-oriented infill project located at the former Union Pacific Railyards. Bordering the Sacramento River, the site is adjacent to and just north of the Sacramento Central Business District. The property is entitled for over 3 million square feet of housing, office, retail, hotel, as well as historic and cultural uses.”
NEW YORK HIGHLINE, NEW YORK CITY
Population: 18.9 Million
The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. Founded in 1999 by community residents, it is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy. The High Line has catalyzed development throughout its neighborhood and attracted 3.7 million visitors in 2011.
PORTLAND, OREGON WATERFRONT DISTRICT
A brand new riverfront redevelopment district adjacent to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the master plan for this district “envisions a pedestrian plaza that connects tourist attractions with proposed retail and educational facilities.”
Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish describes it as “a major attraction zone. By investing in this project, Portlanders are helping build a district where science, education, and transportation intersect to offer families a unique recreational experience.”
The project also gives home to Portland, Oregon\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’s very own steam locomotives in a high-profile, public space and on a nearby shortline railroad. Fort Wayne and Portland share the distinction of having their own operating steam locomotives.