Underground Railroad

A tiny rail stop as far off the beaten track as you can get

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here’s a secret place in Boston’s suburbs so remote you’ll need the latitude and longitude to find it. It’s called Martini Junction, and it’s a model railroad hidden deep inside the Needham Town Forest. The 120-foot track is traveled by a small electric locomotive that pulls a cargo of logs over bridges, near a natural waterfall, and through the woods, as miniature commuters wait in a station for the passenger local. (You can also follow the path marked by tiny, orange-roofed birdhouses from the Robinwood Avenue entrance to the forest.) The setup was built by a retired design engineer named Jim Metcalf, who lives nearby and likes to hike in these woods, and who also built some benches and a picnic table near the waterfall. You can sometimes find him there, enjoying his suburban Shangri-La.

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To find Martini Junction, set your GPS to coordinates N 42 degrees 16.245 W 071 degrees 15.006.

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