MALVERN The second phase of an effort to convert an abandoned rail line into a walking and biking trail is open in Chester County. The nearly six-mile trail, which connects to a four-mile segment opened in 2010, runs from the Uptown Worthington development in Malvern to Old Eagle School Road in Tredyffrin Township, according to a release from the county.

The first trail, which runs from Exton Park in Exton to Route 29, has been used by 350,000 people annually, officials said.

"Clearly our citizens want this trail, not just for recreation but for commuting as well," Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone said in the release.

The second phase of the project cost about $8.9 million, 80 percent of which was reimbursed through the Federal Highway Administration's Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, officials said.

Construction of a third phase that will add a mile and a quarter of trail is scheduled to start in March, with a one-mile segment expected to follow. Ultimately, the trail is expected to run through East Caln, East Whiteland, West Whiteland and Tredyffrin Townships and the Borough of Downingtown in Chester County as well as Upper Merion Township, the Borough of Bridgeport and the Municipality of Norristown in Montgomery County.

- Tricia L. Nadolny