Mass Central Rail Trail

Wachusett Greenways

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. 

Historic Railroad Mileage Chart & index to Pictures

The following railroad mileage chart also serves as a table of contents for pictures taken by the Webmaster. 

Miles* Station Name Svc. Settlement Municipality
41.54 Oakdale TFP Oakdale West Boylston
46.07 Quinapoxet TFP Quinapoxet Holden
48.36 Jefferson TFP Jefferson Holden
51.64 Muschopauge -FP Muschopauge Rutland
54.27 Rutland TFP Rutland Rutland
56.26 West Rutland -FP West Rutland Rutland
59.94 Coldbrook TFP Coldbrook Springs Oakham
61.65 Barre TFP White Valley Barre

* = 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.

Sterling Rail-Trail

Mileage Chart

Miles** Station Name Settlement Municipality
12 Sterling
(Sterling Center)
Sterling Sterling
13 Washacum   Sterling
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. 

Railroad Abandonment Summary

Item From To Year RR Miles
145 Oakdale Wheelwright 1939 B&M 24.2
119 Sterling Jct Sterling 1937 NH 2.1

   

B&M = Boston & Maine Railroad
New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad
From the "Directory of Rail Abandonments 1848-1994" in the book Lost Railroads of New England, 2nd Ed. by Ronald Dale Karr, published by Branch Line Press in 1996.

Brief History of the Railroad Lines

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:


Sign images are from the Manual of Traffic Signs by Richard C. Moeur.

Updated on March 31, 2001 by Kenyon F. Karl <Webmaster@new-england-rail-trails.org>.
  Unintentional errors are likely!

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