On February 15th Mayor Williams signed the Terrorism Prevention in Hazardous Materials Transportation Emergency Act of 2005 which, among other things, prevents CSX Transportation from moving explosives and flammable and poisonous gases, such as chlorine and propane, within
a 2.2-mile radius of the Capitol.
Since then CSX has changed direction on three deals with the city, each one having a negative effect on the city's bike trail expansion plans.
1) CSX had originally agreed to allow the Anacostia Riverwalk to pass over the tracks near Barney Circle at grade. They then quickly changed their mind - citing safety of course - forcing the city to build an expensive overpass.
2) The city planned to buy the abandoned Blue Plains rail line (aka Shepard Industrial Spur) from CSX for its Light Rail starter line. This would have included a parallel bike trail. But the plan fell apart when the city claimed CSX was asking for too much money and may not have owned the entire right of way anyway. So that pushed the light rail onto city streets and the bike trail off the map.
3) Last year a portion of the Metropolitan Branch Trail was opened for one day when the New York Avenue metro station was opened. Since then it's been closed because negotiations with CSX for land it owns it Eckington has dragged on.
If CSX isn't playing hardball with the city over the hazardous materials ban, they sure don't seem inclined to play nice.
Correction: It seems the negotiations for the land needed to build the Metropolitan Branch Trail are with WMATA and Pepco, not CSX