Swampscott Rail Trail

The Community Linear Park Connecting Our Neighborhoods and Natural Environment

The Swampscott Rail Trail will be a 2-mile linear park throughout the town for every neighborhood, every resident, and every age. The Rail Trail is about new and better ways to connect our neighborhoods, our residents, and our natural environment. The Rail Trail will run along the National Grid utility corridor starting at Stetson Avenue and running east through the middle of the town to the Marblehead town line and connecting to the Marblehead Rail Trail. The utility corridor is the former Marblehead branch of the Boston & Main Railroad, service of which was ended in 1959. The Rail Trail will be a 10-foot wide easement along the corridor. The stone-dust Rail Trail is a recommendation from the 2003 Town of Swampscott Recreational Trail Study Committee Report.

In May 2017, the Swampscott Town Meeting approved (by a vote of 210 to 56) a warrant article to move forward with the Rail Trail and to provide funding for the design and engineering of the trail as well as the costs for the acquisition of the easement rights. This warrant article was unanimously sponsored by the Board of Selectmen and supported by the Finance Committee, Capital Improvement Committee, School Committee, Planning Board, Open Space & Recreation Plan Committee, and Conservation Commission.

In June 2017, a town-wide election was held to bring the question of the Rail Trail project to the entire community. Swampscott voters affirmed Town Meeting's approval by a margin of 12%.


Part 1- /community-development/files/rail-trail-plans

Part 2- /community-development/files/rail-trail-plans-part-2

Mailing list signupDESIGN & ENGINEERING

The Town of Swampscott has selected Stantec Consulting Services as the consultant team to lead the design and engineering phase of the rail trail development. The Town of Swampscott was lucky enough to receive proposals from nine firms/teams interested in working on this phase of the project.

The Rail Trail Design & Construction Advisory Committee has also been appointed with the primary responsibility to review and advise the Town on the design and construction of the Swampscott Rail Trail. The committee is comprised of four individuals with specialized technical knowledge (landscape architect, civil engineer, project management, and architect) and three individuals that live adjacent to the future Swampscott Rail Trail. The Director of Community Development serves as ex officio to the committee along with two Selectmen serving as liaisons from the Board of Selectmen.

Design Charrette

Design charrettes were held with the community on November 7 & 9, 2017. You can download the post-charrette report here.


Below is the current schedule for the development of the design and engineering plans for the future Swampscott Rail Trail.

Notice to ProceedOctober 2017COMPLETE
Design Charrettes w/ Trail Neighbors and PublicNov 7 & 9, 2017COMPLETE
Delineate WetlandsNovember 20 & 21, 2017COMPLETE
Aerial and Ground Survey WorkDec 4-8, 2017COMPLETE
Road Crossing Survey Work (onsite)Dec 20-27, 2017COMPLETE
Utility Corridor Survey Work (onsite)Dec 28, 2017-Jan 11, 2018COMPLETE
Complete Survey/Base PlanOct 2017 - Jan 2018COMPLETE
Trail Alignment Presentation - with Trail NeighborsApr 12, 2018COMPLETE
Site Walk w/ Town Departments, Stantec, and National GridMay 2018COMPLETE
Preliminary Design and EngineeringOngoing

Trail Neighbor MeetingsOngoing 
Conservation Commission - Notice of IntentTBD 
Final Design Submission to TownOngoing 
Develop Bid Documents (plans/specifications/estimate)Ongoing 


If you aren't able to attend the public meetings that are part of the design & engineering phase of the rail trail (such as meetings of the Rail Trail Design & Construction Advisory Committee or public forums), you can use the links below to download the presentation files from those meetings.

October 11, 2017Rail Trail Design & Construction Advisory Committee MeetingDownload
April 12, 2018Trail Alignment Presentation to Trail NeighborsDownload


The following information is provided to provide additional context to the future Swampscott Rail Trail and the steps and process that have been taken up to this current phase.

Rail Trail Proposed Location