If you google image the term gasconady railroad bridge
it shows several pics of the bridge. I'm not sure what shape the line is on the eastern side of the state but near Gunn City its very overgrown. 30 years without use have let trees grow up on the tracks and farmers have run barb wire fence across the lines. There is a small bridge that has been burned down near big creek. There is talk of using the track for scrap but I can't imagine anyone going to that effort. It seems like that ship has sailed already if someone wanted that steel. I'm not opposed to the idea of opening the line up for bicycle traffic but its not like you are just going to throw down some gravel and have a trail. Think of how many deadfall trees fall on a trail in a year, then think what it would be like if it wasn't cleared for 30 years...
The more I read about that Rock Island Line it becomes obvious that the towns who rallied to have the line purchased by Southern Pacific were misled. I can't say that the line would have been a success under different ownership but you can't give folks a false sense of hope then let the ICC say that the line is too expensive to operate. In fact it sounds like SP and the ICC had a deal already worked out and stuck it to the towns along the line.
Its too bad it has taken decades for anything to get done. By the time a decision is made and work actually starts it will be years in the future to complete a trail. What may have cost a couple hundred thousand dollars 10 years ago will cost millions now.
Still..I wonder how the ride would be down those railroad ties on a fat bike at 15 psi..