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Blazing a rail trail

Town, state officials break ground for Southbridge section

An excavator straddles the section of the rail trail leading toward Dudley. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
October 10, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Years in the works, the Titanic Rail Project took one step closer last week to becoming a reality.

State and local officials kicked off construction on Southbridge's portion of the project Thursday, Oct. 7, with a ceremonial groundbreaking across from one trailhead near the Golden Greek Restaurant on Route 131. Dudley is scheduled to break ground on its portion Friday, Oct. 22.

The Southbridge and Dudley sections are part of a larger effort to build one long trail from Palmer to Franklin, dipping slightly into Webster as well. The trail will run along the old Quinebaug River Rail network and be open to walkers, bikers and other travelers.

"It is going to be a couple of years before it is fully functional," state Sen. Richard Moore, D-Uxbridge, said at the groundbreaking.

Once completed, Southbridge's section will run three miles from behind the branch of the Registry of Motor Vehicles on Larochelle Way and down to the Dudley town line, according to Town Manager Christopher Clark. One portion, behind the West Street School, is already completed, he said.

"It is a great place to have people walk," Clark said of the entire trail.

For more on this story, please see Monday's Southbridge Evening News.

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