Stoneham to take over rail bed to connect bike path to Winchester, Woburn

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Stoneham officials have reached a deal with the MBTA to take over a long-abandoned section of the Boston-to-Maine train line, clearing one of the last major hurdles of a proposed bike trail decades in the making.

Under the agreement, the MBTA has agreed to sell Stoneham the land — a 50-foot-wide section of old track running about 1,000 feet from Maple Street to the Woburn line — for $1, but would retain a right-of-way on the property for future railroad use and for leasing to utilities and telecom companies.

Town officials want to convert the property, valued at more than $4 million, into a bike trail that would connect with surrounding communities. The proposed 6.5-mile Tri-Community Greenway would run from Recreation Park in Stoneham along the old Boston-Maine line, through an old tunnel beneath Interstate 93, past Horn Pond in Woburn, and end at the Wedgemere MBTA station in Winchester.

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