At the Boston end, the earliest predecessor [of the New York and New England Railroad] was the Norfolk County Railroad, chartered April 24, 1847. The line from the Boston and Providence Railroad's branch at Dedham, Massachusetts southwest to Walpole opened on April 23, 1849, and an extension to the Providence and Worcester Railroad in Blackstone opened May 16. The company went bankrupt soon after. The short Medway Branch Railroad was leased in 1851, opening December 29, 1852.

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