The Quakertown Rail with Trail project is a proposed section of the Pennsylvania Highlands Trail in Upper Bucks County, which would connect the newly completed Upper Bucks Rail Trail to Quakertown Borough’s downtown center.
In addition to completion of a section of the Highlands Trail, development of the rail with trail project will also expand the greater Philadelphia area’s Circuit Trail Network, which has a goal of 800 miles of connected trails in the region. Rail with trail development will allow for direct trail access to the growing downtown Quakertown area, which has seen major public and private investment in the redevelopment of former industrial properties immediately adjacent to the proposed trail corridor. Pennsylvania’s travel and tourism industry generates over $43 billion annually from visitor spending and supporting over a million jobs. Trail development will also leverage this economy, as Quakertown will realize an immediate and direct economic benefit from area residents and tourists that use the trail and stop to explore Quakertown businesses, its antique and historic districts, and attend community events, such as the highly successful Arts Alive! and Autumn Alive! Festivals, the Upper Bucks Brewfest, and the summer concert series. Additionally, residents and business owners will realize an economic benefit as property values for properties near the trail typically increase in response to trail development. Furthermore, the trail will provide a needed transportation alternative for an area that is not currently served by passenger rail or bus service.