There is a crying need for an alternative to US-20 from I-495 to Boston. If they were to restore passenger train service from Berlin to Waltham via the Mass Central Line and build a new junction with the Fitchburg Line, I bet more people would use it than will use South Coast Rail!!
Double-track Rail + Trail + underground power would be an excellent win-win-win.
Over the years, the Sudbury Valley Trustees and the Town of Sudbury have done really amazing work preserving nature and history. (Contrast with their neighbor Framingham) Protect Sudbury appears to be a special interest group focused specifically on stopping this transmission line project. They make some really good points, apparently also suing the state for withholding public documents, but also raise the usual NIMBY hackle. Telling is that they don't mind if Eversource spends an extra $20M of their ratepayers' money building the line under roads rather than railroad. Without looking deeply at this, I will assume that the DCR is happy because they get free site prep for the rail trail, (including possibly bridge repairs???), and the town gets the rail trail sooner rather than later, and gets the power line built underground not above ground.
No links to the STB documents that I can see. When you read for free, you get what you pay for.
The following is very interesting along with photo of abandoned-in-place signal equipment. And that's just the first two pages of 182. Bet there are some Indian burial grounds along the route and colonial era artifacts too. www.protectsudbury.org/wp-content/uploa ... r-2017.pdf
The archaeological reconnaissance survey was conducted for an approximately 9-mile long proposed project route, primarily along an unused railroad corridor/right-of-way, and under roadways for 1.3 miles. Six railroad station sites, a railroad section house and two colonial residential sites have been noted along the Project route. The South Sudbury Station site (SUDHA-26) and the Walker Garrison House (SUD-HA-30) have been previously identified. Other station sites include the East Sudbury Station and Wayside Inn Station sites in Sudbury, and the Ordway Station, Gleasondale Station, and Gleason Junction Station sites in Hudson. The Boston & Maine Railroad Section House site consists of a standing ca. 1890 structure and yard area. A fieldstone-lined cellarhole was also identified in Sudbury in the Memorial Forest. All of these sites are considered to be potentially significant. In addition, the Project route has been assessed for archaeologically sensitive areas with recommendations for further investigation of sensitive areas within the area of potential direct effects.
I googled for 115kV underground power line. I get descriptions of an aluminum cable with thick insulation, not some exotic installation cooled with PCB oil. Underground where it is unaffected by sleet or snow or hurricanes (unless there is flooding, oops). On Protect Sudburys' website, I see a picture of a trencher cutting a slot through roadbed and spewing dirt and dust onto the surface. Will Eversource sift this for arrowheads? Probably not. Also sucks that they will clearcut all the 50+ year old trees, but what do they expect? Will they use pesticides? Of course they will, which is terrible and should be stopped!!