Needham takes lead on local rail trail

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As Needham backers of the Bay Colony Rail Trail prepare to move forward with the town’s section of the hiking and mountain-biking pathway, officials from the other two towns that host parts of the trail — Dover and Medfield — said their involvement in the project is still a big question mark.

Needham selectmen will hold a public hearing at Town Hall on Tuesday where representatives from the Bay Colony Rail Trail Association will present their plans to turn the abandon rail line into a multiuse passive recreation greenway.

Needham trail supporters also hope to gain Town Meeting approval to have Needham lease its section of the MBTA-owned line, which covers 2 miles from Needham Junction to the Charles River before snaking 3.5 miles through Dover and 1.5 miles through Medfield, said the association’s president, Tad Staley.

But while Staley remains hopeful that Needham could break ground on the trail conversion as early as next summer, officials from Dover and Medfield have faced opposition or slow-moving progress on creating the green space in their towns.

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