14 years later.... yeah 111 goes under the ROW with a nice elevated pedestrian bridge. The first time I pedaled on that trail, I went from Stoneham, all the way up 28 to the state line, then hopped on the ROW and took it all the way to 102 in Derry. It was PAINFULLY obvious that it should be trains on it. And I am an avid cyclist. And I like rail trails. But this is such a no-brainer, it's absurd. Find the money, lay the tracks, pay the MBTA to run trains up the lowell line, over the wild cat, up to lawrence and then up through salem, derry and manchester. I'm pedaling up this path (a few years ago now), this almost perfectly level path. And I'm thinking about how the highway is one steep hill after another. This RoW is such a perfect no-brainer for the state. It's too bad they never got their shit together regarding rail and I guess public transportation in general.
That said, it's a real nice ride, you should check it out. Especially north of the 111 crossing this post was about. It's extremely scenic from that point forward, with ponds scattered around and the feeling of being deep in the woods. Some deep rock cuts and some very tall fills.
There is still the question on what they would do about the 111 overpass IF rail ever did return.
The bridge is arched but beyond that, the trail itself goes up a decent hill to get to the bridge. I wonder if they picked the height such that they would be able to extend the slope to that height from the old 111 crossing so a train could make the hill. Or if they plan on doing the opposite and making it a street level crossing. Maybe they did no planning at all for rail, and only planed for the pedestrian bridge? In the shots below, I'm not sure where the natural level of the ROW lies but my guess would be about halfway up the bridge embankments, making it a really awkward level.