The Swampscott Rail Trail will be a 2-mile linear park throughout the town for every neighborhood, every resident, and every age. The Rail Trail is about new and better ways to connect our neighborhoods, our residents, and our natural environment. The Rail Trail will run along the National Grid utility corridor starting at Stetson Avenue and running east through the middle of the town to the Marblehead town line and connecting to the Marblehead Rail Trail. The utility corridor is the former Marblehead branch of the Boston & Main Railroad, service of which was ended in 1959. The Rail Trail will be a 10-foot wide easement along the corridor. The stone-dust Rail Trail is a recommendation from the 2003 Town of Swampscott Recreational Trail Study Committee Report.
In May 2017, the Swampscott Town Meeting approved (by a vote of 210 to 56) a warrant article to move forward with the Rail Trail and to provide funding for the design and engineering of the trail as well as the costs for the acquisition of the easement rights. This warrant article was unanimously sponsored by the Board of Selectmen and supported by the Finance Committee, Capital Improvement Committee, School Committee, Planning Board, Open Space & Recreation Plan Committee, and Conservation Commission.
In June 2017, a town-wide election was held to bring the question of the Rail Trail project to the entire community. Swampscott voters affirmed Town Meeting's approval by a margin of 12%.
The Town of Swampscott has selected Stantec Consulting Services as the consultant team to lead the design and engineering phase of the rail trail development. The Town of Swampscott was lucky enough to receive proposals from nine firms/teams interested in working on this phase of the project.
The Rail Trail Design & Construction Advisory Committee has also been appointed with the primary responsibility to review and advise the Town on the design and construction of the Swampscott Rail Trail. The committee is comprised of four individuals with specialized technical knowledge (landscape architect, civil engineer, project management, and architect) and three individuals that live adjacent to the future Swampscott Rail Trail. The Director of Community Development serves as ex officio to the committee along with two Selectmen serving as liaisons from the Board of Selectmen.
Design charrettes were held with the community on November 7 & 9, 2017. You can download the post-charrette report here.
Below is the current schedule for the development of the design and engineering plans for the future Swampscott Rail Trail.
|Notice to Proceed||October 2017||COMPLETE|
|Design Charrettes w/ Trail Neighbors and Public||Nov 7 & 9, 2017||COMPLETE|
|Delineate Wetlands||November 20 & 21, 2017||COMPLETE|
|Aerial and Ground Survey Work||Dec 4-8, 2017||COMPLETE|
|Road Crossing Survey Work (onsite)||Dec 20-27, 2017||COMPLETE|
|Utility Corridor Survey Work (onsite)||Dec 28, 2017-Jan 11, 2018||COMPLETE|
|Complete Survey/Base Plan||Oct 2017 - Jan 2018||COMPLETE|
|Trail Alignment Presentation - with Trail Neighbors||Apr 12, 2018||COMPLETE|
|Site Walk w/ Town Departments, Stantec, and National Grid||May 2018||COMPLETE|
|Preliminary Design Review - Neighborhood Meetings||Summer 2018|
|Preliminary Design Submission to Town||Late Summer 2018|
|Public Information Meeting||Late Summer 2018|
|Final Design Submission to Town||Fall 2018|
|Develop Bid Documents (plans/specifications/estimate)||Fall 2018|
If you aren't able to attend the public meetings that are part of the design & engineering phase of the rail trail (such as meetings of the Rail Trail Design & Construction Advisory Committee or public forums), you can use the links below to download the presentation files from those meetings.
|October 11, 2017||Rail Trail Design & Construction Advisory Committee Meeting||Download|
|April 12, 2018||Trail Alignment Presentation to Trail Neighbors||Download|
The following information is provided to provide additional context to the future Swampscott Rail Trail and the steps and process that have been taken up to this current phase.
- Open Space & Recreation Plan 2013-2020 (the Rail Trail is a primary recommendation from this plan and an integral part of the Town's Green Corridor Network)
- Swampscott 2025 : The Master Plan (the Rail Trail is a primary recommendation from this plan)
- Public Informational Meeting Presentation (given to Swampscott residents on April 13, 2017)
- Public Informational Meeting Presentation (given to Swampscott's Capital Improvement Committee and Finance Committee on April 24, 2017)
- Public Informational Meeting Presentation (given to Swampscott residents on May 2, 2017)
- Town Meeting Presentation (given to Town Meeting members on May 15, 2017)
- Design & Engineering - Request for Qualifications (Responses were received from: Alta Planning + Design, Beals and Thomas, Inc., BSC Group, Green International Affiliates, Inc., Hatch, Howard Stein Hudson, Meridian Associates, Pare Corporation, and Stantec Consulting Services)