The Underwater Rail Trail

of the

Central Massachusetts Rail Road

The Central Massachusetts Rail Road (CMRR), built primarily as a commuter rail from Cambridge to western Massachusetts, reached the Nashua River Valley in the 1880s. Sidings were extended into each of the many busy factories along the route for the loaded freight cars. 

The junction of the CMRR with the earlier Worcester, Nashua & Portland Rail Road (WN&PRR) at Oakdale made that town a bustling hub of traffic with rail connections to the entire country.

The building of the Wachusett Reservoir, of course, and the attendant takings, devastated the economies of all of the towns in the valley.

I was able to reconstruct, from the archival images, a sense of the appearance of the valley in the early 1890s.

For Rail Trail buffs who like to hike, this article is about the trail you will never see.



In this video, follow the path of the Central Massachusetts Rail Road beneath the Reservoir from the Rail Trail in Oakdale, through West Boylston, to where it emerges near the quarry in Boylston.

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