Welcome to the Grand Trunk Trail Blazers Website!
Who are the Grand Trunk Trail Blazers?
The Grand Trunk Trail Blazers is a non-profit 501(c)(3) chartered in 1992. Our goal is to collaborate with local trail groups to establish a non-motorized 60-80 mile East-West trail linking the Blackstone with the Pioneer Valley named 'The Titanic Rail Trail'.
Why Titanic Rail Trail?
Early last century, the goal of Grand Trunk Railways President Charles M. Hays was to open a warm water port for his trans-continental Canadian Railway. The plan was to develop a port in Providence, Rhode Island and connect that port with the Grand Trunk's Central Vermont Railway in Palmer, MA, a distance of about 53 miles.
In 1912, while returning home to Ottawa from a meeting in London with the Grand Trunk's financial backers, Hays booked passage home on the Titanic. Although he wasn't bringing home gold as the local rumors go, the route lost its greatest supporter among management and ownership.
Work continued for a couple years after the sinking of the Titanic and the entire grade work in Massachusetts was completed. Bridges, track & ties, along with the Rhode Island section were never completed. Ghosts of the "Old Grand Trunk" can still be seen from Providence to Palmer with various bridge abutments, river crossings, and a mostly intact grade still visible.The name "Grand Trunk Trail" is already in use, so it was decided to go with a different name and because of the history, 'Titanic Rail Trail' was chosen.
The complete story is the subject of Larry Lowenthal's excellent book "The Titanic Railroad".
New website coming soon!