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GroundbreakingThis afternoon, State Sec of Transportation Davey, Mayor Warren, Aldermen Crossley, Rice and Yates, president Anil Adayanthaya, nearly the rest of the Area Council, Needham Selectman John Bulian, and  30 or 40 local residents were in Upper Falls to see the first railroad rail pulled up to make way for Newton’s newest park – the Upper Falls Greenway.

Once the official ceremony ended and the first railroad track was pulled up, the crowd heard a train whistle off in the distance.  Moments later two small “speeder” rail-riding vehicles chugged into the Chestnut St depot for The Final Ride, to cheers from the crowd.

For the next few hours hobbyists John and Linda Rives and Dan Peck took groups of six people for a ride up and down the rail to the end of the line at NewTV.  Check out Julia Malakie’s video of her ride in the “speeder”.

The speeder drivers, George Kirby, and the Iron Horse crew spent the morning prying rusted railroad switches, clearing and digging out the track and had the track cleared and ready to go just in time for the start of the event.   Everyone from the young kids to the elderly residents seemed to love partaking in the loud, rickety, and historic Final Ride on the rail line.

… and sssh!  Don’t tell anyone but I took my daughter out of school this afternoon so she could ride The Final Ride too.