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cloudship

To the Cape

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I was watching Chronicle tonight, and they had repeated a special they had done something like 10 years ago about how long it took to get to the Cape from Boston. One went by plane, one by train (this was back in the days of the Cape Cod Hyannis Railroad) and one by car.

They all left at 4:30 from Needham (there is probably the key), to see who got there first. Surprisingly, the car got there first! Ultimately the train was delayed, it took forever to get to the airport, and he had to wait for the flight. I think this points out a big thing about mass transit inthis state, in that it is so slow sometimes.

I do like the Cape train. I know the Hyannis Railroad had problems, but I wonder if that would not be a good service to start again. I knew people who took the ferry from Rowes warf to Hull, and while it was slower, they actually found it a lot more enjoyable and treated it as an after work social occasion.

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Amtrak ran from Hyannis to New York in the 80s via Providence. The service was popular, but the funding dried up. There was also a train from Braintree to Hyannis, that dried up too. There's a vocal movement on the Cape to restore commuter rail service, it would be an extension of the current Middleboro line, but the Cape seems to be in line behind Fall River and New Bedford. Then there's the problem of the Ts massive debt.

There is a proposal to run private rail service on Aquidneck Island in Rhode Island. It seems if rail run by a private carrier would work anywhere, it would be the Cape. Providence to Hyannis, and Boston to Hyannis service would be ideal.

The best way to the Cape from Boston is via the highspeed ferry to Provincetown, but it doesn't help much if your destination is the mid or upper Cape. I think highspeed ferry service from Boston to Barnstable Harbor would work well, it would need dependable ground transport on the Cape end though.

I've heard a rumor of Newport, RI to Provincetown ferry service this summer, but summer's here (at least unofficially) and I haven't seen anything concrete about it.

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That would be pretty far for a ferry, no - all the way to P-Town? I would think they would be better off with a Providence toMArtha's Vinyard/Nantucket or to Hyannis.

The biggest problem I would see with a cape train is the railroad bridge. Who controls the scheduling of that? And is there a cost to the railroad for it?

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That would be pretty far for a ferry, no - all the way to P-Town? I would think they would be better off with a Providence toMArtha's Vinyard/Nantucket or to Hyannis.

I thought it was a long way when I heard about it too. Probably about 3 hours. Not really good for day-tripping. There is a highspeed ferry from Quonset Point, RI to Martha's Vineyard. It takes about an hour and a half. There's also a fast ferry from New Bedford to the Vineyard which takes about an hour. Both are about equidistant from Providence.

The biggest problem I would see with a cape train is the railroad bridge. Who controls the scheduling of that? And is there a cost to the railroad for it?

I'm not sure if they directly control the bridge, but the Army Corp of Engineers controls traffic in the Canal. I believe that canal traffic has the right of way over the railroad bridge. So trains would have to wait if a large boat was approaching (i.e. in the canal and expecting to make it to the bridge before the train can clear). Boats in Buzzards Bay have to wait for southbound traffic to clear the canal, and could be made to wait for the bridge. I'm sure there is a fee to lower the bridge. I think the bridge makes timely commuter rail traffic difficult, but it shouldn't be too much of an obstacle to intercity Amtrak service. It worked in the 80s and it worked when the bridge was built and rail was a primary mode of travel. For commuter service I imagine they could work out a way to restict boat traffic during peak hours.

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