Mass Central Rail Trail - Wayside

Berlin to Waltham
mass central rail trail

In 2011, The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) executed a lease with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) for 23 miles of former railroad corridor from Berlin to Waltham for the purpose of designing and developing a multi-use rail trail in partnership with the local municipalities. Since 2011, DCR has worked to assess any potential soil contamination issues; delineate the 20-foot wide “path development corridor;” identify other leases, licenses and encroachments on the corridor; and initiate design and permitting of the future rail trail.

DCR envisions a 10-foot wide multi-use path along this entire corridor, and is seeking to work in partnership with the local municipalities to design, develop and manage this path. The corridor passes through Berlin, Hudson, Sudbury, Wayland, Weston, Waltham and short sections of Bolton and Stowe.

Project Status

October 2017

Construction beginning in Weston and Wayland!. In a public – private partnership, Eversource has begun construction of the gravel road / trail sub-base along 4.5 miles of the MCRT – Wayside in Weston and Wayland. Eversource is beginning with the protection of historic features along the corridor and installation of erosion control where necessary. They will then proceed with rail and tie removal. Following Eversource’s work, DCR will pave the trail surface, install loam and seed shoulders and safety rail fencing where need to protect users from adjacent steep slopes.

The MCRT – Wayside in Weston and Wayland will be closed to users during construction. UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS IS NOT PERMITTED. DO NOT ENTER the CONSTRUCTION SITE.

The project is expected to be completed by the Spring of 2018.

September 2017

The MCRT Wayside is Coming! This fall, Eversource Energy expects to begin construction of their access road / trail sub-base for approximately 4.5 miles of the MCRT – Wayside in Weston and Wayland. Following their work, DCR will pave the surface of the trails, finish the trail shoulders and install edge protection fencing where necessary.

The Towns of Weston and Wayland are also working to plan addition trail amenities and improvements on this section.

Waltham has recently hired an engineering consultant to design and permit the MCRT – Wayside in their community.

DCR continues to closely track a separate proposal by Eversource Energy, to install a new underground transmission line along the corridor that would involve the MCRT – Wayside corridor in Sudbury and Hudson.

February 2017

The Mass Central Rail Trail – Wayside project is making progress in several communities. 

This fall, the Town of Wayland built their first section of the trail from the Wayland Depot to the Wayland Town Center.

In both Weston and Wayland, DCR is in discussions with Eversource Energy and the municipalities to develop a public private partnership which will hopefully soon result in the construction and paving of the multi-use rail trail from the Wayland Town Center through the town of Weston.  One complication we will still have to overcome is a filled underpass at Conant Road in Weston.

The City of Waltham is seeking to advance design and permitting of the MCRT – Wayside in their community using local funds.

Finally, DCR is closely tracking a separate proposal by Eversource Energy, which is proposing a potential new transmission project that would involve the MCRT – Wayside corridor in Sudbury and Hudson.

December 2014

DCR has establish path development guidelines for working in partnership with communities, and presented and discussed these at a community key stakeholders meeting in November, facilitated by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.

June 2014

DCR has been working to set up meetings with various community boards and commissions along the MCRT – Wayside corridor to provide updates on the proposed project, and listen to community questions, desires, issues and concerns along the corridor.  At this time, state funding for the next stages of design and construction have not been identified.  Several local communities are exploring options for partnering with DCR to move the project forward.

January 2014

On January 10, 2014 the Secretary of Energy and Environmental affairs issued a MEPA Certificate for the MCRT – Wayside.  This certificate, among other things, found that the project as proposed did not require further review under MEPA.

November 2013

DCR filed an Expanded Environmental Notification Form (EENF) with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act office on November 15. The EENF describes the existing conditions, proposed project, potential environmental impacts, project benefits, and efforts to avoid, minimize and mitigate any environmental impacts.

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