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Middleton Rail Trail History & Key Milestones

1846 - Essex Railroad Established

Receives its charter, also known as the Lawrence Branch, connects Salem to North Andover. 3 Stations within Middleton: Howe, Middleton and South Middleton. Freight and Passenger service

1884 - Railroads Merge

Essex Railroad absorbed by Boston and Maine (B&M)

1927 - End of Railway

Boston and Maine abandon the line between Danvers, Middleton and North Andover.  Some freight services still in use

2013 - Feasibility Committee

Middleton residents look into feasibility of Rail Trail on abandoned rail beds

2014 - Funding Approved

Middleton Town Government approves funding of $130,000.00 for use for the Middleton Rail Trail

2018 - Committee Revived

Middleton Rail Trail Committee revived by another group of residences with goal of creating the Middleton Rail Trail 


​2019 - Permission/Liaison Established

Middleton Rail Trail (MiRTA) granted permission from MELD to use rail beds. Liaison assigned between MELD and MiRTA


2019 - Phased Construction

MiRTA proposing phased construction of the 4.5 trail from Danvers to North Andover. First Phase will be .7 mile long bed from Central St. to Essex St.


2019 - MiRTA Website

Website started in May by committee and created by Mead Web Design 

2019 - Danvers Rail Trail

In June Board Members of the MiRTA met with Paul McNulty, President of the Danvers Rail trail to share ideas. 

2019 - Non-Profit 501C

501C filed in June to establish MiRTA as a Non-Profit entity.  501C was approved by IRS in November.​

2020 – MiRTA introductory letter sent to Middleton residents and businesses

2020 – MiRTA website goes live

2020 – Secured state grant for phase 1 construction


2020 – Completed phase 1 construction between Creedon Lane and Essex Street


2021 - Created an exciting new MiRTA Facebook page and strongly encourage you to visit:  MiRTA Facebook page


2021 - A separate Middleton Rails to Trails Committee was established for communicating with the Town of Middleton:  Rails to Trails Committee | Middleton, MA (


2021 - Due to the collaborative efforts of MELD, Middleton DPW and various Town agencies, construction of the rail trail between Central Street and Oak Street is now complete!


2021 - Ongoing installation of new signage, warning strips, kiosks, trees/shrubs, bike fix-it station/rack and benches on the finished parts of the rail trail


2022 – Launched Mile Marker sponsor program:  Middleton Trail | Mile Marker Sponsor Form

2022 – completed trail section from Perkins Road to the Danvers Line.

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