January 25, 2005

Sudbury/Framingham Rail Trail Possible

From the Framingham Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee:

Will there be a rail trail linking South Sudbury and Framingham? Two public meetings to address the feasibility of this potential project will be held: Wednesday, February 2nd, in Framingham, and Thursday, February 17th, in Sudbury. Both meetings will be from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. There will be a short presentation, followed by time for questions, suggestions, and comments.

The study area of the potential trail is a railroad right-of-way that extends about five miles from Sudbury, north of Route 20, to just north of Route 9 in Framingham. There has been no rail traffic on the line since 2000. The CSX Corporation owns the right-of-way.

The Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) is doing the study at the request of the communities of Framingham and Sudbury. CTPS is staff to the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization, sponsor of the study.

The February 2nd meeting will be in the Public Hearing Room in the Memorial Building, located at 150 Concord Street in Downtown Framingham. The February 17th meeting will be held in Lower Town Hall, 322 Concord Road, Sudbury Town Center (Route 27 @ Concord Road).


  1. Conversion of this right of way would practically guarantee that a communter outer ring transit line would never be built even though it is desperately needed to connect the existing commuter rail lines. An exclusive rail trail offers only token reduction in commuting by automobile and is only used primarily for recreation. All transit opportunities need to be taken advantage of in order to reduce this state's out-of-EPA-compliance pollution levels and chronic traffic problems - this ROW is a major piece of an important potential transit corridor. (Remember when the politicians said the Big Dig wuld solve Boston's traffic problems? Why is WBZ 1030 still reporting them every 10 minutes during rush hour?) Note: CTPS has never met a rail trail proposal it didn't like and it's past reports on potential transit expansion (Commuter rail) have been unenthusiastic at best and negatively biased in my opinion.

  2. Please see this important article: http://www.vtpi.org/railben.pdf