• MA - Bruce Freedman Rail Trail

  • General discussion related to Rail Trails nationwide, including proposed rail trail routes. The official site of the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy can be found here: www.railstotrails.org.
General discussion related to Rail Trails nationwide, including proposed rail trail routes. The official site of the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy can be found here: www.railstotrails.org.

Moderator: railtrailbiker

  by B&MYoshi
 
Hello Everybody!

The old NH main from Framingham, MA to Lowell, MA is becoming a bike trail! It is being done in 3 stages, the progressing south from Lowell.

Just a bit of History on the Line: It was originally an NH Line, and came under the control of Conrail. Conrail sold a small portion to the Bay Colony sometime in the 90's and abandoned the rest. Now, it is entirely abandoned

  by RussNelson
 
They've been working on turning this into a trail for TWENTY years. Portions still have the rails. Too bad they can't leave them in place, and turn it into a railbike concession. Now THAT would be cool.
  by bbffrrpp
 
Hello. I live very near this "rail trail" and I can say that it is now open, and being used. I see people and families on their bikes on it almost every day.

I don't know about the part which comes down from Lowell to "Chelmsford Center" (aka "Central Square"), but the part from Rt. 110 (coming from Rt . 495) and going down through the Center, and heading out towards Westford is being used.

When we occasionally drive on Rt. 27, we see the part of the rail trail which runs beside it. One of my thoughts one day is that it is a long stretch of "trail" where there are no "facilities." If someone had the wherewithal, a "snack stand" / port-a-potty" could be built there.

Last month, I borrowed 2 books from the library: The Rail Trails in northern New England, and in southern New England. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to read them and returned them. When I have a chance, I'll borrow them again.

I know the Rail Trail which goes through Arlington, MA, and I think Lexington, MA, is a much-used trail !

.. There is a larger history of these "former tracks" but I don't remember where I found that information. It had something to do with a "NY and CT Railroad" which used to exist in MA.


Betty (near Lowell, MA)



:-D
  by Ron Newman
 
It's the Bruce FREEMAN, not Freedman, trail. Can someone fix the subject header?
  by BostonUrbEx
 
The second phase of the rail trail was completed last year. The rail trail is now continuous from the Lowell/Chelmsford border to just about the Concord/Sudbury border, except for a segment near Rt 2. That area will be linked up once MassDOT builds a bridge over Rt 2.

I'm not sure where Phase 3 is at in the funding universe, but Phase 3 will finish off the trail through Sudbury and Framingham. I'm not sure where the trail will end in Framingham, but it would eventually run into the lightly-used-but-still-active Fitchburg Secondary a good 2 miles before reaching downtown.

Sudbury will become a major crossroads of long-distance rail trails in the coming years. There, the Bruce Freeman Trail will intersect the Mass Central Rail Trail, which is a massive Boston-to-Northampton rail trail that is being built piecemeal.
  by tvon
 
Passed this area on Rt 2 the other day and they are digging up the rails now for the next phase. Interestingly enough, there are still rails in the median between westbound/eastbound traffic on Rt 2. Obviously a bridge is a long way off from being completed. Always kind of sad to see cool old overgrown railbeds dug up.