Cape Cod Rail, Bridges and Highways

underground

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

I believe everything east of Hyannis is rail trail now. With the P-Town ferry, that stretch is probably better suited to bus any way. Other than maybe Chatham, there aren't many large enough town centers to justify train service between Hyannis and P-Town.

UPDATE: Semass beat me to it!
 

Semass

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

It really could pay for itself if they approach it in sloowww baby steps like this and stay on-point with the public-private partnerships and roping in other stakeholders like Amtrak. It makes the cognitive dissonance about South Coast FAIL and attempting to do that one in a monolithic build that much more absurd.
Seems like this reasonable approach is similar to the Rhode Island approach in that the CCRTA is contracting MBTA to run the trains. It would seem that having a small regional agency directing the project brings a dose of reality to the table.
 

Ron Newman

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

The train line ends at Hyannis but the rail trail starts in South Dennis. What happened to the section in between?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

The train line ends at Hyannis but the rail trail starts in South Dennis. What happened to the section in between?
It's still got daily freight between east of the junction with the Hyannis Branch out to the waste transfer station next to Exit 8. Last of the freight to Dennis dried up a few years ago, and the tracks are currently severed at Station Ave. about 1/4 mile east of the transfer station. MassCoastal uses that little bit of track to turn around trains coming off the transfer station siding. The trail's going to pick up from Station Ave. and fill in the gap to Route 134.


Oddly, the Chatham Branch was the first to get abandoned. Sometime in the 1930's. I would've thought on population density alone that would've hung around longer than the P'town leg. It's perfectly preserved and ends smack at the airport so would be very useful service, especially with the bad traffic affecting them but not so much P'town. But it's been gone so long it pre-dates landbanking and the legal protections that affords. If you think it's hard to de-landbank, try getting cooperation for "all-new" construction. I think Hyannis is going to be it...but Hyannis is where there's the most demand so that's not such a bad thing. The bus is very convenient indeed on a short run from Barnstable station.


The Falmouth Branch got torpedoed south of Otis AFB to Woods Hole by legislative dirty tricks. The local rep rammed a bill through forcing the state to rip up the tracks and pay for the trail against the EOT's will. Just a couple of years after a fortune was spent restoring the Woods Hole train station so Cape Rail could resume service there. And that asshole is very, very proud of himself for defeating the evil (speculative possible-future) trains. Watch Falmouth start pitching a fit about Hyannis getting its shiny new toy and the state barely being able to contain its schadenfreude. They deserve all that's coming to them.



I'd really love to see them implement some Hubway stations at the train stations. The T would probably have to produce a whole fleet of bike rack cars with the demand that would have. Ditto for the Newport dinner train, which RIDOT is mulling cheap grants to spiff up into a more general-purpose frequent-er headway summer pingback service across the island. Plunk some Hubways at those stops and it would totally kick ass.
 

Matthew

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

Hubways would need destination stations placed around the area, and a van to redistribute the bikes if it gets out of balance. Doesn't work as a solo unit.
 

Ron Newman

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

Also, what became of the rail right-of-way between Wellfleet and Provincetown? Can it be turned into a trail?

As for the Chatham branch, I thought that had also become a trail.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

Also, what became of the rail right-of-way between Wellfleet and Provincetown? Can it be turned into a trail?

As for the Chatham branch, I thought that had also become a trail.
All of Chatham is 100% trailed...ends in the airport parking lot.

P'town is trailed to Lecount Hollow Rd. in Wellfleet. It looks like they could do an extension up to the former Route 6 grade crossing on the other end of Wellfleet, but it's pretty well obliterated by residential development past there. I'm going to guess that was the portion abandoned earliest.
 

czsz

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

I believe everything east of Hyannis is rail trail now. With the P-Town ferry, that stretch is probably better suited to bus any way. Other than maybe Chatham, there aren't many large enough town centers to justify train service between Hyannis and P-Town.
I would love to see it extended to Orleans. Any way to widen the trail corridor to accommodate trains as well as cyclists?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

I would love to see it extended to Orleans. Any way to widen the trail corridor to accommodate trains as well as cyclists?
Yes. It's pretty much barren land. But that branch too is abandoned-abandoned and pre-dates landbanking, so the state does not have reactivation rights. I very highly doubt they can get around the NIMBY's for a new-new construction line.

The Falmouth Branch, on the other hand, is landbanked and wide enough for rail-with-trail. There is, in fact, a small rail-with-trail portion right before Otis. The state wanted to keep the tracks in-place while building the trail next to it. That's why anti-rail asshole state rep rammed through the poison-pill law forcing the state to tear up the tracks and wholly cannibalize the ROW to Woods Hole. Right here...see how the pavement swerves to the center of the ROW right after the tracks end. Total dick move. All of that pavement would have to be torn up and shifted to the side if they wanted the tracks back. Frankly, Falmouth isn't worth the effort with the minefield of dense NIMBY residential it has to run through. Sucks because the tracks ended literally in the parking lot of the ferry terminal.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121213/NEWS05/212130357/-1/NEWS10

The service will be called CapeFLYER. It is priced $4 less than the Boston-Hyannis bus. Bus service to other on-Cape destinations, including airport and ferry terminal shuttles, will be coordinated at the stations. Friday trains will carry more seating than the other runs on the schedule to satisfy demand. Bar cars are officially confirmed as part of the deal and will--among other things--be stocked with local Cape beer and wine. Will not interfere with the dinner train or Cape Rail's other excursion service, which they still want to increase with more runs.

Total operating cost to the state for the 2013 season: $190,000. All other startup costs are paid for out of a portion of the $1M the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority gets annually in FTA mobility grants. CCRT says the trains do not even need to fully sell out to break even.


Very well done!
 

BostonUrbEx

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

Wow... Plymouth & Brockton is going to be ripshit over this...
 

czsz

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

If it takes some cars off the road, it might be good for them, too...
 

Ron Newman

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

Three trains a weekend are not going to put much dent into P&B's much more frequent daily service. Especially since some P&B trips continue out beyond Hyannis to Provincetown and points between.
 

MBTAddict

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

Anybody have any sense about hw long the ride would be from South Station to Hyannis?
 

dirtywater

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

The article in today's Globe says two hours.
 

choo

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

^ read the comments for some real gems.
 

statler

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Re: Boston to Cape rail

The golden rule applies:

"Never read the bottom half of the internet"
 

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