Rail Trail Advisory Committee

The process of converting the abandoned Mass Central Rail Line, a three-mile section of which bisects 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 Massachusetts Central Railroad line. Furthermore, Eversource, which maintains power lines along the right-of-way, is preparing to conduct major work to improve access and upgrade its electrical lines along the right-of-way. This will include removing the rails and ties and creating a 16’ wide gravel drive for maintenance use.  

Given this activity, the Selectmen have charged this committee, among additional duties, with the following:  
  • conduct community outreach, especially from abutters; 
  • develop a scope of work, budget and implementation timetable; consider how the connections in neighboring communities will work in Weston; 
  • consider where user parking might fit to minimize neighborhood impacts; 
  • consider access to existing town trails that minimize damage to sensitive ecosystems; and 
  • consider how the rail trail could support and enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety, as well as improving access to transportation hubs planned by the Commonwealth.  
Read the full Rail Trail Advisory Committee charge (PDF).

The committee is comprised of 9 voting members, four of whom are representatives from the Open Space and Recreation Plan Committee, Traffic and Sidewalk Committee, Weston Forest & Trail Association, and the Recreation Commission. Two non-voting associate members also comprise the membership.

Membership

  


At Large Members


  • Mark Horowitz, chair
  • Eli Mather
  • Gail Palmer
  • Paul Penfield
  • Christopher Stix 


Committee/Board Representatives


  • Anne Benning, Open Space and Recreation Plan
  • Michael McCarthy, Traffic and Sidewalk Committee
  • Meg Kelly, Weston Forest and Trail Association
  • Eric Rosenthal, Recreation Commission
  • Ellen Freeman Roth, Conservation Commission (Associate Member)
  • Phyllis Halpern, Historical Commission (Associate Member)