Wachusett Greenways is the primary force behind the creation of the Mass Central Rail Trail. Since the organization has its own Web Site, what follows is merely a Supplement to the information that is currently available at the Wachusett Greenways Web Site. Additional information may be available at the Massachusetts Bikeways page at the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition Web Site.
The following railroad mileage chart also serves as a table of contents for pictures taken by the Webmaster.
|56.26||West Rutland||-FP||West Rutland||Rutland|
* = Railroad Miles from Boston
Italics = beyond the limits of the current Rail-trail
Svc. (in 1923): T=Telegraph, F=Freight Accounts, P=Passenger Tickets
Dark face = depot presumably existed in 1923
Mileage and Station Names from the Official List of Officers, Agents and Stations of the Boston & Maine Railroad, July 1,1923.
|14||Sterling Jct||Sterling Jct||Sterling|
** = Railroad Miles from Fitchburg
Miles and station names from the chart in Article #40 of The Rail Lines of Southern New England by Ronald Dale Karr, published by Branch Line Press in 1995.
At the conclusion of the Webmaster's field check of the Coldbrook-Winchendon rail- trail on August 28, 2000, the remaining hours of daylight were spent quickly checking the west end of the abandoned railroad bed that is the basis of the planned extension of the Mass Central Rail-trail. A methodical process of checking the railroad bed at every public road crossing was abandoned at Jefferson so that the Oakdale section could be checked and photographed before nightfall.
It is the Webmaster's hope that the information about the Coldbrook-Winchendon rail- trail on this Web Site will spur the westward expansion of the Mass Central Rail Trail to Coldbrook Station where a short on-road bike route between the two different Coldbrook Stations could be used to quickly link the two rail-trails. When that extension is complete (even as a primitive trail suitable for mountain bikes), trail users will be immediately able to continue north through Winchendon and Keene NH to Hinsdale or Westmoreland. Another route north from Winchendon will take them to Jaffrey NH, while a third route southeast from Winchendon will hook back into Gardner MA.
Indeed, rail-trail enthusiasts that like to promote grand plans should be able to fantasize about an inverted 'T' shaped trail system with a cross-bar that extends from the Boston area to Northampton MA, with a leg north to Winchendon and thence via Keene NH to Brattleboro VT or Cold River NH (near Bellows Falls VT). This fantasy should also include the choice of another route via Jaffrey NH to Hillsboro and possibly Henniker NH.
The following brief histories were published in The Rail Lines of Southern New England by Ronald Dale Karr, published by Branch Line Press in 1995:
Central Massachusetts Railroad (Oakdale-Barre) as Article #34.
Fitchburg & Worcester Railroad (Sterling) as Article #40.
Sign images are from the Manual of Traffic Signs by Richard C. Moeur.
Updated on March 31, 2001 by Kenyon F.
Unintentional errors are likely!
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