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The Bethesda Trolley Trail, at one time known as the "North Bethesda Trail," is a 5.9-mile (9.5 km) long rail trail from Bouic Avenue next to the Twinbrook Metro Station in the city of Rockville to Battery Lane Park in Bethesda, Maryland.
The trail runs primarily on the abandoned right-of-way of the Tennallytown and Rockville Railroad, also known as the Washington and Rockville trolley. Where the trail is not on the right-of-way, it runs on-road, on sidewalks or on sidepaths.
Streetcars started running on the line in 1890 and ran until 1935 when it converted to buses, after which some of the right-of-way lay fallow for years. Building a trail on the unused part of the right-of-way was first suggested in Montgomery County's 1978 Countywide Bikeways Master Plan. Planning for the trail began in the early 1990's, but construction was held up for many years due to opposition from neighbors and funding issues.
Construction of the trail began in 2002. Bridges over I-270 and I-495 opened in 2003, adding to narrow sections that existed prior to 2003 between Nicholson Lane and Beech Avenue. Money to reconstruct those sections of the trail was diverted to the Forest Glen Metro overpass project, delaying that work. Construction on paving and rebuilding the trail from the intersection of Cedar Lane to the intersection of Randolph Road with Rockville Pike began in November 2005 and continued into 2006. Between Charles Street and Cedar Lane and north of Nicholson Lane, the trail was on sidewalks. Around the same time, NIH built a trail along the south edge of their facility connecting Rugby Avenue to the sidewalk along Old Georgetown Road. In 2008, the new sections of the trail, including the sidewalks, were signed. As part of the Montrose Parkway West project in 2009, a section of trail - as sidepath along Rockville Pike - was constructed from Per Sei Place to Hubbard Drive, north of the Whiteflint Metro Station. That section connected to a path built along Montrose Parkway at the same time.
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