The Central Mass Railroad was built in the 1880's when railroad fever had struck. Every village and town in the area just had to be served by a railroad. The villages the Central Mass was built through were no exception. The Central Mass, when it reached its largest extent, ran from North Cambridge, MA, passing through villages such as Weston, Wayland, South Sudbury, Hudson, Berlin, Oakdale, Rutland, Barre, Bondsville, Belchertown and Amherst, before reaching its westernmost terminus in Northampton.
At the time, most of these communities were rural villages that would never generate any substantial railroad traffic. The other east-west railroads in the state, namely the Fitchburg to the north, and the Boston and Albany railroad to the south had already made connections to the larger manufacturing cities such as Fitchburg, Worcester and Springfield. It seemed that the Central Mass Railroad was doomed to fail from the start.
When the Boston and Maine Railroad absorbed the Central Mass it shifted most of its traffic to the Fitchburg route which became the main line to the west. The Central Mass Railroad just became a long east-west branchline with little freight traffic. Commuter trains ran as far as Clinton into the 1950's. In 1971 the last commuter train service to South Sudbury ended. By 1980 practically the entire line had been abandoned.
In 1903, construction of the Wachusett Reservoir caused the rerouting of trackage where the reservoir would flood the existing tracks. A connecting track was built from West Berlin to Clinton Jct. where the Central Mass trains could use the existing Worcester Nashua and Portland tracks to reach Oakdale. At Oakdale another connecting track was built to route Central Mass trains back onto the existing Central Mass right of way. This cache has been placed near the West Berlin to Clinton Jct. connecting track built in 1903.
Please enter the tunnel from the west end at N42 24.300 W71 41.035 for easiest access. You may want to bring a flashlight. Please be extremely careful if any ice is present.
Other caches near the Central Mass Railroad are
Central Mass RR Truss Bridge
Central Mass Railroad 2
NOHO Rail Trail
South Bolton Station