5th Annual National Train Day Bike Tour

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Date(s) - 05/11/2013
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

North Station

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Boston Cyclists Union Presents:

5th Annual National Train Day Bike Tour

 What: To celebrate National Train Day, we will follow the routes of parts of the old Eastern, Boston & Lowell, and Boston & Maine Railroads north of Boston.  Along the way, we will stop to look at a number of historic railroad stations and talk about the competition between these railroads in the years surrounding the Civil War.

The second half of the Nineteenth Century was a time of fierce competition between railroads, followed by gradual consolidation.  The Eastern Railroad and the Boston & Maine Railroads not only competed with each other for service to Maine, but they (and the Boston & Lowell Railroad) each built branches to poach on the other railroads business.  By the end of the 19th Century, the Boston and Maine had taken over all its competitors.  It gradually consolidated service, and while the main lines are still used for the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad, most of the branches have been abandoned.

But there is still a lot to see, and we will ride along some of the branches that have recently been converted to rail trails.  We’ll go through Wenham, Danvers, Peabody, Wakefield, Reading, Stoneham, and Medford.  Along the way we will stop at a number of old railroad stations, and we may even have lunch in one of them!

When and Where: Meet Saturday May 11, 2013, at North Station at 9:00AM.  Make sure that you leave enough time to buy your ticket and get onto the train to Hamilton/Wenham by 9:15!

The route is about 32 miles and most of it is fairly level.  One of the rail trails is crushed stone, so hybrids are suggested, but it is quite rideable on a road bike.  We will ride about 10 miles per hour, with numerous stops, so the ride should be an easy one for most cyclists.  We’ll stop for lunch along the way, and get back to Boston by late afternoon. People who want a shorter ride may leave the ride in Wakefield (19 miles) and take the train back to Boston. Helmets required. Steady rain cancels.

For more information contact Dick Bauer <dick.bauer@alum.mit.edu> 857-540-6293