I’ve had “take a walk down the Grafton & Upton Railroad tracks” on my to-do list, but I’ve been hampered by a few things: time, footwear and the overwhelming fear that I’d end up on the wrong rail line, causing fits of mirth at on the railroad.net forums.
Fortunately, an enterprising member of the forums there, “g-and-u watcher,” took a walk himself and he graciously gave permission for me to use a few of his images. When in doubt, turn to an expert!
“The brush had been freshly cut along part of the distance (between Old Upton Road, and about halfway to the power lines behind the Grafton Flea Market). The cut branches hadn’t wilted yet, so I think it was probably no more than a day or two old,” he emailed me. “This isn’t huge news, as brush cutting has been occurring irregularly along the G&U over the past several months, but it is of some interest to know where they had been working recently, perhaps in preparation for roadbed maintenance (i.e. tie replacement) in earnest.
“That curious area of about 20 or so ties just south of Old Upton Road where the ties seem to have been recently replaced,” he added. “Just *how* recently isn’t clear. The ballast beside them didn’t appear to have been recently disturbed and I did see a blade or two of crabgrass peeking out between the ballast stones, so I’m guessing it was at *least* weeks old. But it wasn’t *years* old, like every other piece of the G&U roadbed that I’ve seen.”
I honestly had planned to use more pictures, but WordPress is acting a bit wonky and I’ve spent the last 20 minutes attempting to upload a few! You can see all his pix and comments from other Grafton & Upton Railroad enthusiasts here on the railroad.net forums.
Also, the town of Hopedale has been floating the idea of using the tracks as a link to the commuter rail for the Draper Complex, something that probably wouldn’t affect Grafton, but you can find out about it here.
And, of course, everything you ever wanted to know about the Grafton & Upton Railroad can be found here on this fantastic Web site.