Abandoned Rail Line

Eversource is preparing to conduct major work on its Access Road Improvement Project, which is located within the MBTA abandoned railroad property and existing Eversource right-of-way just north of Route 20. This work will include removing the old rails and ties of the former Mass Central Rail line, and creating a 16’ wide gravel drive to allow access for its maintenance of the existing electric transmission structures.

This work should not be confused with the building of a rail trail. Please read below for additional information and how to follow this project.

Maintenance Road Project

On December 6th, Eversource appeared before the Conservation Commission for a public hearing regarding its wetlands permit. Residents with wetlands-related questions are welcome to attend the continued hearings. Subscribe to receive agenda notifications from the Conservation Commission via email or text to follow progress on the permit. The continued hearing is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 24th.

Notice of Intent and Site Plans

The plans for the Access Road Improvement Project that were filed by Eversource contain details on the maintenance road and the proposed work and impacts within the wetland areas. Eversource also provided more general plans for the Selectmen's meeting to show what the road will look like.

Rail Trail Advisory Committee

The process of converting the abandoned Mass Central Rail Line, which covers a three-mile section of Weston, to a rail trail has been gaining momentum since 2011 when the MBTA signed a 99 year lease with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) giving it jurisdiction over the abandoned rail line. The rail line extends 23 miles from Berlin to Waltham is known as the Wayside Corridor. 

With news of Eversource’s project, the Board of Selectmen appointed the Rail Trail Advisory Committee to study a potential rail trail in Weston. The committee has just begun studying the area, but it is not overseeing or partnering with Eversource. Its charge is explained on its committee web page and its work is separate from the Eversource project. A committee report is anticipated in 2017.

Additional Information

On December 7th, the Board of Selectmen held a public informational meeting with Eversource to discuss their Access Road Improvement project in greater detail so residents could ask questions on the project as a whole. The discussion also addressed what the improved maintenance road will mean for the town as the exploration of utilizing it as a rail trail begins. Eversource has been coordinating with the Department of Conservation and Recreation's (DCR) proposed development of the Mass Central Rail Trail within this MBTA corridor; however, the company's focus is on improving safe access for maintenance vehicles and not developing a trail. 

Residents interested in following progress on the potential development of a Rail Trail should subscribe to receive agenda notifications from the Rail Trail Advisory Committee. There will be much public outreach during this exploration. Also subscribe to receive Latest Town News and the monthly newsletter for developments.