Dear Friends of the High Line,
We are thrilled to share fantastic news with you. Marking the single biggest advance for the High Line project since its inception, the High Line has been railbanked, clearing the way for construction to begin in 2006. (Click here to read the press release.
Railbanking was our most important goal when we started Friends of the High Line in 1999. This is a historic moment for the project.
In order for the High Line to be railbanked, two actions took place.  The City of New York acquired title to the High Line from the railroad, CSX Transportation, Inc.  The City and CSX signed a Trail Use Agreement, permitting the rail structure to be used by the public as a recreational amenity.
Please join us in thanking Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the Bloomberg administration, and CSX Transportation, Inc., for their hard work to achieve this crucial advance. We also thank the Speaker of the New York City Council, Gifford Miller, for his visionary leadership and funding commitments to the High Line; Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton and Representative Jerrold Nadler for the nearly $20 million in federal funds they've brought to the project; and all our elected officials for their longtime support, including Governor George Pataki, State Senator Thomas Duane, State Assembly Members Richard Gottfried and Deborah Glick, Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, and City Council Member Christine Quinn.
On a related note, this weekend is your last chance to Creative Time's "The Plain of Heaven," set in an out-of-use meatpacking plant adjacent to the High Line. It's free to visit the 14 wonderful art pieces (many of them inspired by the High Line's coming transformation). The rail siding on the top level of the exhibition offers a great view of the southern end of the High Line, which is where construction will begin, starting next year. For more information, click here
We could not have reached this exciting place without of all the Friends of the High Line.
Robert Hammond & Joshua DavidCo-Founders
, Friends of the High Line
PS. A note about "Groundbreaking." We had intended to mark railbanking, which paves the way for the start of construction, with a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony this month. But we have chosen instead to celebrate groundbreaking at the start of construction, in a few months time. We will keep you updated about plans for groundbreaking and any related celebrations via this E-Mail Newsletter. To subscribe, visit http://www.thehighline.org
Read the Official Press Release