Looks like someone merged the threads.
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Mr. Smith suggested 40 hours of community development and planning services evaluation that would include the documentation of the NBRR ownership and management; existing land use conditions of the right-of-way; existing condition of rail crossings; alternative railroad management and financing options; and economic development pluses and minuses.
The planner estimated an assessment report could be generated for $3,260.
In 2014 Mr. Smith and two other CMRPC planners, along with the Providence and Worcester Railroad and the towns of Auburn and Oxford, worked on a Freight Rail Planning Study and Feasibility Analysis.
The article is from last year, and it looks like a shakedown from a planning commission. They already know who owns the ROW (the Town of North Brookfield). They know the existing conditions and conditions of the crossings. They probably need help corralling enough industrial customers/distributors that are willing to to relocate and need rail service. In Leicester there are 3-4 empty distribution center buildings a mile from railroad track and only 10 minutes from the Mass Pike and 290/395. Unclear what "alternative railroad management" is.
I assume Mr. Bigda has some sort of an option on the railroad. At this point I assume the option has to expire before anything real happens, and that it will be someone other than Mr Bigda. I hope I am wrong. Remember that this started with a rail trail proposal, with volunteers starting to clear the ROW which the NIMBYs in North Brookfield didn't want, they would prefer an active railroad to a rail trail. Hey, great idea! North Brookfield has two significant industrial parcels, Vibram USA owned Quabog Rubber which is at the very end of the line and Techno Bloc (formerly Chase Precast (concrete) ), which appears to be quite underutilized. The apple orchard seems more interested in growing solar panels than sending out unit trains of Macintosh apples. It's quite rural, about 1/2 an hour from the nearest interstate highway.