By Kate Merrill

NEEDHAM (CBS) – Settled in 1680 Needham, Massachusetts was originally part of Dedham until broke away in 1711. Both superstar gymnast Aly Raisman and Governor Charlie Baker grew up there and the longest running public high school Thanksgiving football rivalry game in the country is played every year between Needham High and Wellesley.

Far from the gridiron and the cheering crowds, the Needham Town Forest is all about the peace and quiet.

“My wife and I would walk in the woods and at one point we stumbled across a waterfall,” 88-year-old Jim Metcalf told WBZ-TV.

Metcalf has been enjoying the woods for decades but he felt it was missing something.

“I thought wouldn’t it be nice if there was a place to sit and we could listen to the waterfall,” he said.

So he started with a bench and then a table, but it still wasn’t enough.

The heart of the town forest became the center of a project that’s been chugging along for 25 years and counting.

Jim slowly built a working railroad, just for fun and not just for him.

“99 out of 100 think it’s a fantastic operation. People thank us for messing up the woods like this,” Metcalf said.

And the train project has a team. Neighbor Dan Callahan has been helping Jim for decades. Together with other neighbors, they keep it all working and on track.

“I actually frequently come out and whatever little things have to be done, I enjoy doing it and it’s something that I can do,” Callahan told WBZ-TV.

Jim Metcalf’s railroad in the woods in Needham. (WBZ-TV)

A secret spot right in the woods filled with love and laughter making everyone who comes across this small treasure, feel like a kid again.

The train can only run when Jim and his team bring it out and put it together. Metcalf said they will keep it running as long as they can.

As for how to find it? There is no map. You just have to get lucky.

Kate Merrill

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