Grafton & Upton Rail To Present Plan Tuesday

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The Board of Selectmen will meet on Dec. 4 regarding the Grafton and Upton Railroad.
The Board of Selectmen will meet on Dec. 4 regarding the Grafton and Upton Railroad. Photo Credit: Richard Price

GRAFTON, Mass.--John Deli Priscoli, the owner of the Grafton & Upton Rail line, is expected to unveil his development plans in North Grafton at a special meeting Tuesday night.  

The meeting will be held at the Municipal Center beginning at 6 p.m.

According to sources familiar with the itinerary, Deli Priscoli will make a 15-minute presentation unveiling his intentions for the area that runs around the southwest corner of Pratts Pond and is surrounded by residential and small businesses on North Main Street, Leland Avenue, and Westboro Road. 

State Sen. Michael Moore, who requested the meeting  be set up at the urging of area residents, will also attend.

"There have been concerns about the progress of the railroad in that area," Moore said in a telephone interview, "so we wanted to get all the parties involved together," he said.

Aside from Deli Priscoli, Brian O'Boyle from the federal Surface Transportation Board will appear, as well as representatives from the Federal Railroad Administration and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. 

The meeting was arranged by the Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator Tim McInerney,  who will also attend. 

The site has been a source of speculation, rumor, and anxiety for those who live in the area. In the past two months, residents have appeared at selectmen meetings wanting answers and expressing frustration about the excavating. But neither the Selectmen nor McInerney had details.

Railroad properties are privately owned but regulated by federal oversight, leaving the town with little say because the project is exempt by local bylaws, unless the business being conducted is outside the federal definition. 

A representative from Moore's office said it took time to arrange the meeting because no one except Deli Priscoli knew the details. 

Deli Priscoli has been quiet about his plans.  In an interview on Oct. 3 with the Daily Voice, he said, at the time, he was not ready to reveal his intentions.

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Comments (3)

It would be in the GRR's better interest to not pull stunts and surprises, and to gove details to abutters as to what the future plans are. They already have freedom to place stop signs on on public ways, Sibley St., Old Upton Road, etc. with no notice to the public. Maybe they should be required to put the proper, modern crossing signals at the heavily travelled roads they cross. An improptu train can be quite annoying. From the sounds of future plans, if they want to run more than a rinky-dink railroad, they should have public safety in mind as well.

Key questions need to be answered about health, safety, environmental and traffic impact of this development. It is a shame that it took this long and this many people complaining before the RR owner came forward with information. This is not a way to get a community to rally around you and support your cause. Transparency, openness and honesty are the best policy and way to gather support for any project. I hope that this meeting is more than a propaganda presentation for one person to push his agenda. I encourage all my fellow Grafton residents to attend.

Mike Scully

Bullett train from Grafton to Millford, @ 228 MPH that's 4 minutes 38 seconds, round trip! you heard it here first.