Other Side of the Tracks
The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail is a great place to walk and ride––plus it's getting longer
The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail has stretched northward, and its new mile is unique—trains will still run alongside it. The latest extension, from Hoosac Street north to Lime Street in Adams, will parallel the Berkshire Scenic Railway’s Hoosac Valley Line.
The new trail extension and the railway share the state’s right-of-way, and people are already on it, says Pete Sutton, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The state awarded the $2.2 million contract to J.H. Maxymillian, Inc., in Pittsfield, who also built the second portion of the rail trail from Cheshire Lake to Hoosac Street in 2004.
It is largely complete, says project manager Tony Simonelli at Maxymillian. They have protected trees and stabilized banks; part of the new track runs within sight of the Hoosic River. Landscaping will be done by early May.
The new extension lays the groundwork for bringing the railway into downtown Adams, adds Jay Green, president and general superintendent of the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum. The historic train now runs seasonally from North Adams to a temporary station near Lime Street. Train rides will resume Memorial Day weekend, and construction on the new track will begin when the weather gets warm. The town is building a new station close to the Adams Visitors Center, and Green hopes to see trains on the new track in the fall.