• Cape Cod Passenger Service (non Cape-Flyer)

  • Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.
Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

  by smsullivan11
Spent much time in the Falmouth area and on the bike path. You could, in theory, get back down in the Falmouth train station/ bus depot with a little bit of work here and there. However, in reality the politics of it all tell me it will never, EVER, EVER, EVER happen in a million years. You are more likely to see New Hampshire pay to run ski trains from Boston to Lincoln, NH Loon Mountain before Falmouth welcomes the train back to town.

On another note, while it sounds silly in the way it has been proposed here, extending the Flyer down to Yarmouth INSTEAD of Hyannis might be better for the day trippers and tourists. Hyannis is kind of the worst part of the Cape and the station area certainly does not remind one of cutesy Cape Cod in any fashion. At least a stop at Station Ave in Yarmouth gets you into the touristy part of the Cape.
Last edited by CRail on Fri May 25, 2018 8:12 pm, edited 2 times in total. Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.
  by BandA
According to what I can figure, the second & third Yarmouth stations were at the junction with the Hyannis branch. So the Cape Flyer already passes by, it just doesn't stop because the track is too slow, they need to get to Hyannis in a reasonable time. But if the track is slow there is little impact in adding an additional stop. It's a bit silly to only have one on-cape stop.
  by StefanW
MBTA3247 wrote:There isn't much further east they can run it. The tracks terminate at Station Ave in Yarmouth; beyond there, the ROW is now a bike path.
It's even worse than just tracks terminating at Station Ave... they built the embankment on the east side of Station Ave. for the bike way right on top of the RoW.

Yarmouth Station Ave RoW Screen Shot 2018-05-24.jpg
Maybe that was deliberate - putting the bridge itself south of the RoW so that expansion of service would "only" need to put a new bridge span in place of the mild s-curve embankment. I'd like to think so.
  by StefanW
StefanW wrote:Maybe that was deliberate - putting the bridge itself south of the RoW so that expansion of service would "only" need to put a new bridge span in place of the mild s-curve embankment. I'd like to think so.
Hmmm... in that parking lot for the "Cape Cod Rail Trail Station Avenue Trailhead" I counted 92 parking spaces!

Plus... with a booming (apparently) commercial / retail district adjacent just north of the RoW, and the huge residential area south of the RoW, plus Station Ave. having an exit off Route 6, I bet somebody is thinking long-term about a Commuter Rail station off Station Ave. !!!

The undeveloped area bounded by Old Town House Road, Nightingale Drive, the end of Forsythe Ave. and the RoW looks like it could make a parking lot big enough for 200 or 300 cars.

Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 8.36.03 PM.jpg
  by bostontrainguy
That is interesting the way they did that, and I'd like to believe it but the bike path doesn't look high enough in the middle of the S curve to clear the former tracks if they were restored at grade. If the bridge continued over that spot I would really be optimistic.

And as far as a trolley to P-Town there is a way:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOX6ghH6FS8" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krI_5vl76TI" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by CRail on Fri May 25, 2018 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unnecessary nesting quotes removed.
  by atlantis
I know I have probably brought this up before, but in my humble opinion, the Falmouth Line was a victim of " dirty pool" played by Eric Turkington and his accomplices. In my opinion also, ways should be found to eventually reextend it back to the abandoned investment at Falmouth station. Having said that, I wonder if a hybrid vehicle could be designed to run on the railroad and the road as well. Utilizing the "hy-railer" principle, such a vehicle could run on the existing portion of the Falmouth Line and at the current end of the line, switch over to route 28 to the trip to Downtown Falmouth. Not as a permanent substitute for a fully restored line, but an interim solution. Such a vehicle could, in effect, restore rail service to Falmouth or even Woods Hole for the ferry service. There have been experimental vehicles in the past, and such a service could run until such a time we have leadership that is willing to look beyond their metaphorical noses.
  by BandA
So-called Dual Mode Vehicle https://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itra ... almode.htm
...will cost approximately ...$145,000 at December, 2004 exchange rates (= 103 yen/$). The prototype was developed from a JR Hokkaido project that was started in 2000. The 28-seat minibus has four highway wheels for roads and four steel wheels plus two rubber tires for tracks. It can be switched from rail to highway in 10-15 seconds and can be operated on the highway at [37 MPH]. Further testing with passengers will be continued through the end of June, 2007.
Seems like the perfect thing for rural branches and restoring service where branches have been cut back. I don't see any followup after their pilot ended. I think I read something about similar vehicles from the 1930s. I would think with Nissan and Toyota building the prototypes that they would have had good results. Hi-rail technology has been around a long time - you would think someone would have adapted it successfully to revenue vehicles. It's usually cheaper in the short-medium term to adapt the vehicles to the available infrastructure than to upgrade the infrastructure.

Seems perfect to restore "E" Arborway and "A" Watertown, and wherever street-running trolley lines have been removed such as Cambridge beyond the present Lechmere terminal. Or where RDC used to roam such as Cape Cod down to Woods Hole.

[OT] Japanese also developed technology for building temporary platforms overnight using Styrofoam, and very low-profile wheelchair lifts that can be retrofitted to stairways without blocking the stairs when not in use.
  by edbear
There have been vehicles in the past that could operate on both railroads and highways. Find the Evans AutoRailer from the 1930s. In the 1950s, when the Missouri Pacific removed the electrification from its Houston North Shore interurban, it purchased several Twin Coach transit buses and equipped them with Hy-Rail equipment. The Twins covered the interurban portion on rail and at the Houston end, the Hy-Rail equipment was raised and they covered the remainder of the trip over highways and city streets to Downtown Houston, I'm guessing about 7 miles. Ran until late 1950s.
  by TomNelligan
Another dual-mode bus/rail experiment of the past involved a Connecticut Company (predecessor of Connecticut Transit) GM "fishbowl" bus that was equipped with Hy-Rail wheels in the late 1960s and demonstrated on the New Haven Railroad's now-abandoned Canal Line as part of a proposal for commuter service into New Haven. Unfortunately nothing ever came of it, although the modified bus in question was preserved at the Connecticut Trolley Museum at Warehouse Point. Of course these days the FRA bureaucrats would have a collective stroke at the thought of a city bus running on rails.
  by BandA
You could run non-compliant equipment up to Buzzards Bay and have the trash trains run time separated. This would hose the dinner train however. So, best to run compliant equipment & run buses from North Falmouth >> Falmouth >> Woods Hole as others have suggested.