Archive | Methuen Rail Trail


Saturday August  16 at 8:30. Metting at the depot parking area and walking south to the Lawrence section. About 2 1/2 miles total
Saturday August 23rd 11-8, Marsh Corner Community church Block Party. Come by and enjoy music,games, activities and meet some local groups that make up Methuen.
Saturday September 7th, Nevins Farm Annual Dog walk, Join us as we celebrate the MSCPA nad all things dog
Saturday night, September 7th. Moonlight walk. Join us at 7:30 PM, meeting at the Depot parking and walking the southern section.  Total of 2 1/2 miles and should take about an hour. Bring water and a flashlight. Dress appropriately.
Saturday September 20th.  Essex Heriage Weekend events. The Metheun Rail Trail will be sponsoring a day of events starting with a trail race. The 2 1/2 mile race starts and ends in front of the depot on railroad st. Race time is 8:30 and the race is free, but a $5 donation is requested to help with our ongoing activities. From 10-12 we will be having a scavenger hunt and storyboard for the school age kids. Clues for the hunt can be downloaded from our website www.methuenrailtrailalliance.orgPrizes and small gifts for the chilren will be given out.

Abandoned Lawrence and Manchester Railroad Corridor

This video shows the Rail Corridor for the most part BEFORE development of the Salem and Methuen Sections with some glimpses of the completed northern sections.

This video is about the Lawrence and Manchester Railroad. The Manchester and Lawrence Railroad was a railroad company that was chartered in New Hampshire by businessmen from Manchester, to build a rail line from that city to the Massachusetts state line. The Manchester and Lawrence was chartered in 1847 and opened in November 1849. It leased the newly built Methuen Branch from the Boston and Maine Railroad, which opened in August 1849 and ran from South Lawrence through Methuen to the state line where the two lines met. Methuen Train Depot. The B&M tried to lease the M&L, but the company leased itself to the Concord Railroad in 1850. This still helped the B&M as the railroad opened up a second Manchester to Boston route that helped the B&M compete with the combined Nashua and Lowell and Boston and Lowell Railroads. By 1887, the contract was terminated, and the B&M gained control of the line. In the 20th century, the line was relegated to local freight. Passenger service on the line dropped to one round trip per day until 1953 when regular passenger service ended. Special summer trains ran to Rockingham Park in Salem for the horse races until 1960 when that service stopped. Guilford switcher on the M&L in Salem, New Hampshire, circa 1993. Despite rapid growth in Rockingham County in the 1970s, rail traffic declined. In 1984, Guilford abandoned the line between Salem and Londonderry, and three years later the line in Londonderry to Manchester Airport was abandoned, leaving the line split in two. Service from Manchester down to the airport continued until the mid 1980s when the Manchester segment was taken out of service and freight service between Manchester and the airport had ended. Freight ran from Lawrence through Methuen up to the Salem depot until December 1993. Service from Lawrence to the Rockingham Racetrack run-around sidings continued until March 1999, and all service past the Lawrence/Methuen line ended in June 2001. Today, a small stretch in Lawrence is used as a short freight line that services a customer about once a month. The portion of the line in Massachusetts (Lawrence and Methuen) is currently owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) The abandoned roadbed currently serves as a rail trail in Londonderry, Derry and Windham. As of June 2012, 2.5 miles of track remains in place in Salem.


Fresh paint

The kids in Methuen have been oh so busy. We have fresh tagging under the Rt 213 overpass. Admittedly the art work is quite impressive and obviously represents an investment of time and energy. However when the trail is completed this particular type of artwork will look out of place; in the meantime it is worth the walk to go check it out.
On the other hand someone scrawled traditional graffiti on the wooden trestle. This is a much bigger crime against nature. Hopefully much of the paint will not survive the winter, making removal easier in the spring. Small amounts of graffiti can be ignored for the time being but this will appear in every picture shot at this location.


Fresh trash behind Village Mall

Apparently someone at the Village Mall decided it was easier to toss their bags of leaves over the hill onto the trail. These are from the last 2 months or so; they were not there before that. Tim Vermette has been getting out there quite regularly to clean and this kind of thing is disheartening.

ed. The owners of the Village Mall are looking into the clean-up crew who did this.


Rail Trail Clean Up Day Results!

We tackled a short section of track that parallels Pine St. And runs from parking lot south towards the Bridge at Five Corners. Unfortunately this area is filled with years of industrial waste from the businesses on Pine St and illegal dumping from houses on either side.
We focused on liftable items within 20 feet of the Rail Road tracks, even though the property does extend much further. Items that aren’t removable by hand will have to wait for a time when the area will be accessible by trucks and trailers and equipment.
Among the mostly metal detritus, there were approximately 13 tires, 5 electrical spools, 3 chairs, many asphalt shingles and 1 suitcase. Much of the industrial waste is unidentifiable, and seems to be general large trash pushed over the hill onto the rail road property.
Methuen Rail Trail Alliance Members who did such great work:
Julie Levesque
Tim Vermette and his sons Matt and T.J.
Rosanne and Ewald Apel and their children: Nikolas, Lukas and Jessica.
Rachel Banks
Kelly Tondo
Joyce Godsey

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