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 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 (middletonma.gov)
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.