Advocates of recreational trail see competing project as “railroad to nowhere”

Posted March 04, 2011, at 9:58 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Some proponents of a Maine recreational trail between Fryeburg and Portland say a proposal to restore part of the rail line is tossing a wrench in their plans.

Work is due to begin later this month on a $4 million project to rebuild a 1.25 mile section of the Mountain Division Rail Line in western Maine. Supporters of recreational use have dubbed the project the “railroad to nowhere.”

The Portland Press Herald says the trail will be closed to recreational use once construction starts March 22. Critics say it will close a major snowmobile trail to Fryeburg, in addition to fracturing the 52-mile the rail line for possible use by bikers and joggers in the future.