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Bourne to push for rail return

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Bourne to push for rail return

By KEVIN DENNEHY

STAFF WRITER | August 12, 2004

BOURNE - With a rising call for the return of railroad service to Buzzards Bay, Bourne selectmen this week backed plans to push the issue at the state level.

By a vote of 4 to 1, the board on Tuesday suggested the state should at least study whether connecting Middleborough to the Bourne village makes sense.

Rail advocates don't know whether the service would be passenger or freight, public or private, or even if it would work at all.

But they say none of these questions can be answered until the state, perhaps the Executive Office of Transportation and Construction, studies the issue.

"At least let's start the process," said Thomas Barlow, a Bourne selectman. "Let's at least apply for the money."

Rail advocates say linking the Cape to railroad service may provide another alternative for commuters, reduce traffic gridlock on the bridges and even help revive the fortunes of Buzzards Bay.

Several groups in the Bourne area - including the Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber, the Buzzards Bay Village Association and the Wareham selectmen - are pushing the issue.

Thomas Moccia, executive director of the village association, said it may be years before anything happens. But advocates, he said, should at least get the process started so the project can get on a wish list of state projects.

Don Provost, who chairs a town committee that reviews transportation issues, suggested his panel should assess the issue before it goes to the state, particularly to analyze parking issues.

Bourne Selectman Richard Lafarge expressed his own concern about allowing the state, and possibly the MBTA, to craft a plan for the town.

"That's giving control over our future to someone we don't know," he said. "And I don't think that's wise."

From The Cape Cod Times

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