104 miles-----connecting 24 communities -----Boston to Northampton
Studies and other official documents
The first official state document that mentions the MASSCENTRAL RAIL TRAIL was Commonwealth Connections, A Greenway Vision for Massachusetts done by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management (DEM). Click on the image to go to the state's site where this is downloadable.
click here to see a PDF file of a part of the project
Somerville initiatives [text from the City of Somerville website]
The development of bike and community paths from abandoned railroads across the region and country has proven to be a positive way of connecting communities internally and regionally. The City of Somerville has been advocating for the development of the Somerville Community Path, which would connect Belmont, Arlington, Somerville, Cambridge, and Boston, for the past decade. In 2001, the potential to construct the path came a step closer with the completion of the Somerville Community Path Feasibility Study. The study suggested several alternatives of how to route the path, a preferred alternative, and provided preliminary cost estimates.
With the assistance of an active community group, Friends of the Community Path, the City of Somerville received a Tourism Grant from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority to put towards further development of the path. The City will be using the funding for survey and design services for a section of the path that will connect to the existing path and run from Cedar Street to Central Street. The City will continue to work on extending the path to create additional open space, access, and improve public infrastructure for the community.
The MassCentral Rail Trail has had a number of feasibility studies on the various parts of the corridor. The most famous segment is the segment best known as the Wayside Rail Trail. Here is that study in its entirety.
This is the feasibility study done in 2000 of the segment just east of Ware in the town of Hardwick's villages of Gilbertville, Old Furnace and Wheelwright. It makes up most of the segment of the MCRT that Central Highlands Conservancy LLC bought in late 2005 to preserve and hold till the East Quabbin Land Trust could acquire.
The Town of Ware has two distinct segments of the trail that are two distinct projects. The eastern most section is called Phase 1 and this is an Enhancements type of project. [The kind that builds a paved or at least more highly polished and finished project]
The Phase 2 segment on the south or west side of town is going to be a more natural type of trail and the feasibility study for that section is here.