Cape Cod Rail, Bridges and Highways

BosMaineiac

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Which is why the abandonment of the line to Woods Hole pains me so much. A train to Hyannis doesn’t give a tourist (or resident) access to much of what the cape has to offer, but a train to the island ferry terminal becomes a much more attractive service by at least an order of magnitude.
The good news is the ROW to the main parking lot for Woods Hole ferries is intact, albeit paved over with a bikeway. A station could be located there, near the old Falmouth station, and a shuttle can bring passengers right to the ferry.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The good news is the ROW to the main parking lot for Woods Hole ferries is intact, albeit paved over with a bikeway. A station could be located there, near the old Falmouth station, and a shuttle can bring passengers right to the ferry.
The ROW is only landbanked as a state rail corridor to Falmouth Depot. The bikeway to from Depot to Woods Hole is on a 1969 abandonment that wasn't ever protected with a landbank, and is owned by the town.
 

BosMaineiac

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The ROW is only landbanked as a state rail corridor to Falmouth Depot. The bikeway to from Depot to Woods Hole is on a 1969 abandonment that wasn't ever protected with a landbank, and is owned by the town.
Right, by main parking lot for Woods Hole I meant the one on Palmer Ave, immediately north of the Falmouth Depot. The shuttle already exists to bring people from there to the ferry landing
 

Stlin

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Given Woods Hole area residents' perennial complaints regarding ferry induced traffic, (and by extension Falmouth residents) would it be at all likely that they would be less NIMBY-y towards reactivation, especially in full even through non-formally landbanked portions if it meant that it would divert car trips?

Especially with the SSA/CCRTA MOU, personally I do think a Boston- Islands Ferry timed transfer service, with bundled tickets, is an amazing idea as an service option for the capeflyer, for which, if the capex isn't horrendous, which it shouldn't be to rebuild a couple miles of track, a direct walking transfer should be much preferred.

However... Isn't the bottleneck the rail bridge? I seem to recall some discussion in past years about an expanded capeflyer schedule being stimied by the USCG refusing additional closings. That bridge is also close to 90 years old, and I don't think you can raise it substantially either.
 
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jklo

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Especially with the SSA/CCRTA MOU, personally I do think a Boston- Islands Ferry timed transfer service, with bundled tickets, is an amazing idea as an service option for the capeflyer, for which, if the capex isn't horrendous, which it shouldn't be to rebuild a couple miles of track, a direct walking transfer should be much preferred.
The Hyannis Cape Flyer stop is not very far from the Ferry Dock.
 

Highwayguy

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The Hyannis Cape Flyer stop is not very far from the Ferry Dock.
Its half a mile across a few busy streets which is a very far walk for families or people lugging all of their beach gear/whatever else. The beauty and appeal of a Woods Hole timed transfer is how seamless it would be. The old stop is literally feet from the docks and one could skip the hassle of waiting/ queuing for the car slots or parking, not to mention the congestion just getting there from Metro Boston on on RTs 3, 6, and 24. Even with the slow track South of Middleboro, the train would very likely beat the door to porthole(?) time for people driving due to the above, not even including the peak season congestion. Unlike the Cape, realistic (for middle class types) to vacation on the Vineyard without a car.

With Hyannis (or a bus transfer at N Falmouth to Woods Hole), it would have to be a train, to a bus, to the ferry for it to be timed, way less of an appeal factoring that at each of those transfers you have to account for tranfering all the luggage and the resultant time penalty that incurs. Not to mention a heck of a detour if the end destination is the Vineyard if via Hyannis.

The real hurdle of reintroducing Woods Hole rail service is what to do with the car queuing area that ate the last .75 miles of the rail ROW. No idea where that could be relocated if there isn’t room for it to remain side by side with the reconstructed tracks.
 
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OldColony

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However... Isn't the bottleneck the rail bridge? I seem to recall some discussion in past years about an expanded capeflyer schedule being stimied by the USCG refusing additional closings. That bridge is also close to 90 years old, and I don't think you can raise it substantially either.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completely rehabbed the bridge recently, so mechanically it's fine to handle additional openings and closings. It was the Army Corps that refused additional bridge openings and closings, as described by F-Line in this June 11, 2021 post.

Regarding ferry connections, the main reason the CapeFLYER's Bourne station was opened was to allow better CCRTA bus connections to the ferry in Woods Hole. Its location allows the shuttle buses to largely avoid Bourne Bridge traffic.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completely rehabbed the bridge recently, so mechanically it's fine to handle additional openings and closings. It was the Army Corps that refused additional bridge openings and closings, as described by F-Line in this June 11, 2021 post.

Regarding ferry connections, the main reason the CapeFLYER's Bourne station was opened was to allow better CCRTA bus connections to the ferry in Woods Hole. Its location allows the shuttle buses to largely avoid Bourne Bridge traffic.
The state can get as many openings as it wants if they were merely willing to pay in for any of the bridge's maintenance. As is, MassDOT pretty much washed its hands of the structure before its big rehab and the Army Corps took on all the costs of the rehab and subsequent maintenance. So if they want to use it, they can pay their fare share instead of trying to milk it for a free ride. But MassDOT and the Army Corps don't get along at all, so there's no dialogue and things like a single extra Cape Flyer slot become negotiating stalemates.

NYNH&H used to run substantial Hyannis and Woods Hole commuter rail schedules as well as substantial freight over the bridge back when maritime traffic was way higher than it is today, so the existing setup is completely fine for giving the Cape all the train service it needs. The state just needs to partner up with the Army Corps to get their slots.
 

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