Monday, November 30, 2015

Walking Dead Tracks

From Dave Brigham:

In late August, my son began attending a new private school in Sudbury, Mass. For the first several weeks of the school year, I spent a lot of time at his new school, hanging out to make him feel comfortable while he adjusted to new kids, teachers and classes.

He needed to learn to trust his teachers and to become more independent, so I set out on short adventures in the first few weeks, always letting him know I'd be back before too long. My first foray was down a path indicating that it led to "White Pond." On my way to this small body of water, however, I got distracted by a familiar sight through the trees.

I find it hard to imagine just how many trains barreled through New England a hundred years ago. You can't throw a rock around here without hearing the "clang" of old rails. Seriously, if you want to see how often we write about abandoned rail beds, rail trails and other train-related sites on this blog, just type "railroad" or "train tracks" into the search box in the upper left corner. Go ahead; I'll wait for you.

These particular tracks were laid in the 1870's as part of the Framingham and Lowell Railroad, according to the Preserve White Pond web site. They were later part of the New York, New Haven and Hartford line.

They were "constructed close to the western edge of White Pond," according to the web site. "Trains continued to run until the 1970's. The old railroad bed is scheduled to be transformed into the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail in the next few years."

I've written about the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail before, in relation to another segment of these tracks located in nearby Concord (see December 11, 2012, "Concord, Part III: New Haven Rail bed."

One of the teachers at my son's school told me that you can follow the tracks to Concord center, a distance of about three or four miles. I may do that someday. I felt like I was in "The Walking Dead" as I trekked along here. Eerily quiet, a sense of peace but also sensations of impending doom.

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