Rail Trail Newsletter 2017 #10

In this issue, there are a couple of good stories about National Grid owned former trolley and steam railroad corridors moving towards a buildout into formal trails. One in eastern New York and one in eastern Mass.

You'll also see that I was the recipient of a national award for my work as a Realtor specializing in the sale of houses near to rail trails and greenways. And to think it all began when one of the folks opposed to a trail in their community told me that if the trail got built in his town, he'd never be able to sell his house. And right then and there, that's when I decided to become a Realtor specializing in that realm. You never know where life's journey will take you.

And there a smattering of other good stories I think you'll enjoy.

And SAVE THE DATE. On Friday, 4-27-18 and Saturday, 4-28-18 the Friends of Northampton Trails and Greenways will be hosting a weekend conference in Northampton that will have both some outdoor tours on Friday of both the Mass Central Rail Trail (and the new tunnel) and the New Haven to Northampton (Farmington Canal) Greenway. On Saturday, we'll have a formal half day conference. Most likely the Saturday event will be at the Northampton Brewery, which is the oldest brew pub in New England and it sits next to the N-S trail corridor.

Stay tuned for more details in the next issue.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Craig Della Penna
413 575 2277
"In the News"
 and Updates About the Longest Rail Trail Project in New England
Communities on the 
 on the MCRT and their websites

Did you know that many communities (or groups like land trusts) on the MCRT alignment are working on their section of the trail? 

Here are links to websites where you can learn who the contact person is, when these groups meet, when hearings are being planned and how sign up to get notices sent to you directly.
Belmont: Link here to the town appointed committee. 
Belmont:  Link here  to the Belmont Citizens Forum. This is a periodical that has the best info about the MCRT in Belmont. 
Somerville: Link here to the Friends of the Community Path. Their Face Book page is here
Waltham: Link here.
Weston: Link here.
Wayland:Link here
Sudbury: Link here for the N-S corridor. 
Hudson: Link here.  
Berlin: Link here goes to the town's Rail Trail Committee. Once on that page, you can sign up to get notices of meetings, agendas, minutes, etc. They also have a pretty nice website w pix of the future trail. Link here.
Clinton: Link here.
Wachusett Greenways area: Link here.
East Quabbin Land Trust service area: Link here.  
Ware: Check out the town's new Open Space Plan. Link here
Belchertown/Northampton area: Link here.
How One Massachusetts Downtown Bounced Back From The Crippling Shadow Of A Mall And Walmart
[pssst, the Rail Trail passes through the downtown--CDP]
Downtown Hudson was quiet when Michael Kasseris stepped out into the late night air in 2012.
Behind him was a Main Street space that had once housed a printing shop, a bagel shop and a gifting shop.
His uncle owned the building. Kasseris and his two business partners had just opened Rail Trail Flatbread Co. -- a trendy new restaurant featuring wood-fired pizza and craft beer.
He looked around. The downtown stores, tucked inside historic brick buildings, were empty. The parking spaces were empty. There was no foot traffic.
He and his friends were investing everything they had into this place.
In a moment of panic, Kasseris thought, "What are we doing building a restaurant?" READ MORE. (Downtown Hudson is at the intersection of the Assabet River Rail Trail and the Mass Central Rail Trail. The trail users are helping to build traffic into downtown Hudson businesses.)
Unused bridges, and former rail corridors find new life as urban trails
Once seen as urban blight, abandoned industrial corridors and rail lines have been transformed into some of the country’s most popular parks and trails. “They’ve been reborn as places for people,” says Ed McMahon of the Washington-based Urban Land Institute. “It’s amazing how many cities are embracing their industrial past.” READ MORE in the USA Today.
The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS Recently Gave Me an Award for My Work on Rail Trails
 Earlier this month I was notified that I was chosen by the National Association of Realtors and their Green REsource Council, to receive the prestigious "EverGreen Award." I am the first Realtor in the U.S. to specialize in the sale of houses near rail trails.  READ MORE.  
Seven Stunning Sights From RTC’s New England Mapping Trips
Proud mountains, roaring seashores, tranquil lakes, forests with forget-me-not foliage, scrumptious chowders and wicked-awesome trails—yes, we’re talking about New England. These are just a handful of the attractions the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) team was lucky enough to experience while out mapping trails for our latest round of guidebooks covering Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. A time-honored and beloved tradition at RTC, our annual mapping trips allow us to experience trails throughout the country—up close and in person. READ MORE .
National Grid Owned Former Trolley Corridor In Eastern NY Is Now Becoming A Rail Trail
By  Michelle Germain McDonald Tuesday night’s public meeting at Columbia High School was the first of potentially many ‘stops’ along the track for building the rail-to-trail line on the right side of the river. State officials from the Hudson River Valley Greenway should become familiar faces in town with the initial demands from the crowd to host a real ‘traditional’ public hearing. Read more. HERE'S A WEBSITE ABOUT THE NEW TRAIL
The Plan For The State To Pay For Long-Term Maintenance Of The "Electric Trail"; Gets Positive Review From Locals
Richard Moody Columbia-Greene Media
KINDERHOOK — The Hudson River Valley Greenway said the state will pay for construction and long-term maintenance costs for its proposed 35-mile rail trail connecting downtown Albany to downtown Hudson, a plan that received a warm reception from many locals.
When the state’s proposal for the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail was presented to local officials in July they initially expressed concerns that the towns along the trail would be left to take care of long-term maintenance.
The trail will run through Rensselaer County and the towns of Chatham, Kinderhook, Stuyvesant, Stockport and Greenport in Columbia County. Read more .
Eagle Scout Project Brings Stories to the Rail Trail in Holliston
These posts are part of an Eagle Scout project organized by Jamie Ogilvie of Troop 73 which displays picture books for passersby to enjoy.
If you’ve been down to the rail trail near Cross Street recently, you might have noticed some new sign posts on both sides of the trail. These posts are part of an Eagle Scout project organized by Jamie Ogilvie of Troop 73 which displays picture books for passersby to enjoy. Read more here . CLICK HERE FOR A SHORT VIDEO
Rail Trail Planners Urge NH DOT To Buy Newly Abandoned Line at Concord, NH
Nick Reid, Concord Monitor. Rail trail advocates in and around Concord who want to extend an existing 57-mile trail into the capital are pushing the state government to be more proactive about buying available land in the corridor. Read more.

And here is an editorial from the Concord Monitor urging the state to purchase this corridor: Editorial: Get on board with rail line purchase
The 6.3 miles of recently abandoned rail line that extends from just north of downtown near the Pierce Manse and Horseshoe Pond to Boscawen is for sale.
The state of New Hampshire has the right of first refusal, as occurs when all rail corridors are abandoned, but it shouldn’t wait until a private buyer approaches the line’s owner, Pan Am Railways. It should act now to make the trail a reality. If the opportunity to buy the land is lost, lost with it will be a chance to improve the quality of life and the economy of central New Hampshire. Read more here.
Swampscott Puts Out a RFQ for Engineering Firms Interested in Moving the Rail Trail Project Forward
Design & Engineering Services - Swampscott Rail Trail Bid Number: 18-02
Start / End Dates & Times: 
08/01/2017 - 8:00am to 08/25/2017 - 10:00am
Bid: Open Addendum(s): 
The Town of Swampscott, by its Board of Selectmen, solicits Statements of Qualifications and Proposals from registered design and engineering professionals interested in performing design and engineering services for a multi‐use rail trail in Swampscott, Massachusetts. The trail will run along the National Grid utility corridor from the Swampscott Train Depot to the Marblehead town line (connecting to the Marblehead Rail Trail). Read more
     In 2016, I commissioned Tom Adams of Reelife Productions  to produce a series of short videos about each section of the burgeoning network of rail trails here in the CT River Valley. Turns out that there are 14 and you're gonna love them! 
   The one I'm featuring today is about the signature 7-span truss bridge on the MCRT [ex Norwottuck Rail Trail. This is the longest crossing of the CT River and there are lots of interesting facts about this bridge and this section of the trail that you might not have ever known. SEE THE VIDEO

Here's my calendar of upcoming in-person lectures, online webinars, bike tours, book-signings etc. Email me at: Craig@GreenwaySolutions.org for more information on any of these events or if your community might like to host one.