condition of old railbed in 2015, photo courtesy Dave Brigham

Abutters claiming ownership of portions of an old railroad line through Newton Lower Falls lost their appeal to the Supreme Judicial Court, as reported by UniversalHub. The SJC affirmed a Land Court ruling against the plaintiff. The Newton Lower Falls Branch, dating back to the mid 1800’s, once ran passenger service, including a Ping Pong Trolley shuttle to the Boston and Albany Railroad at Riverside. Penn Railroad granted the unused property to the Commonwealth in 1982.

The right of way connects a system of trails in Wellesley Hills over a recently rebuilt pedestrian bridge over the Charles, through the Newton Lower Falls neighborhood and over 128.  It has long been discussed as a potential recreational path connecting to public transit at Riverside.

The footnote at the end of the ruling suggests this matter could be taken to the Feds, so it could still be a while before DCR can build a rail trail.

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