HOPEDALE — The Select Board has reversed field and now wants to reopen the Land Court case it filed to acquire 130 acres of forestland the Grafton & Upton Railroad was on track to take. 

On Dec. 30, the town filed a motion to reopen the case against the railroad to proceed with its original decision to buy the 364 West St. property under state law Chapter 61, for which Special Town Meeting gave its approval in October 2020. 

That property on West Street consists of 155 acres, with 130 of them classified as forestland. 

In January 2021, after at least a year and a half of lawsuits, legal mediation, local and state hearings, and resident petitions and advocacy, the town and the railroad reached accord on splitting up the West Street property. Under that settlement, Hopedale was to acquire about 85 acres in the area, as well as a commitment from the railroad that it wouldn’t develop another, small section for five years. The town would pay $587,500 for 64 of those acres.

Now the town has changed its mind on the deal, citing “compelling and extraordinary circumstances,” according to its Dec. 30 motion.

More:Hopedale board’s deal with railroad is ‘procedurally defective.’ Judge explains why

On Tuesday, the town also filed an emergency motion to extend the injunction against the railroad from clearing that property further until the court acts on the motion.