Tag Archives: Cape Cod

Yes You CAN Take A TrainTo Cape Cod!

One of the most interesting locations that railroads have been built to is Cape Cod. The road that operated to CapeCod was part of the New York, New Haven & Hartford.

The railroad era came to Cape Cod in 1848 when a road was built from Middleboro on the mainland to Sandwich on the Cape. It was built primarily to serve the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. The Cape Cod Railroad extended itself to Hyannis in 1854 and after the Civil War the Cape Cod Central Railroad went on to Orleans and Wellfleet.

Passenger service became important by the end of the 19th Century as the Cape became a resort area.

The late 1950’s saw a sharp decline in passenger travel as automobiles became more popular (the Bourne and Sagamore bridges to Cape Cod were no where as overloaded as they are today).

Tracks from Eastham to Provincetown were removed in 1960 and then cut back to South Dennis in 1966. Much of this line is a bike path.

No, you couldn’t take a train to Cape Cod for quite a while, but see 2013 story: Cape Cod is Finally Going to Town

Find out more about railroads on Cape Cod


Winter storm threatens Cape Cod with up to 18 inches of snow

The second winter storm in four days to hit the Northeast centered on New England on Monday, bringing howling winds and coastal flooding and threatening Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts with up to 18 inches of snow.

The storm could last into Tuesday, when New Hampshire’s first-in-the nation presidential primary is held. The storm was accompanied by high winds that brought scattered power failures, as well as coastal flooding from south of Boston to Cape Cod and Connecticut. A major surface road in south Boston was closed by flooding late Monday morning.

By Monday afternoon, Cape Cod and the islands appeared to have met the conditions for a blizzard, the National Weather Service said. Much of the rest of Massachusetts and most of Connecticut were under a winter storm warning and could get as much as 10 inches of snow. Boston could see 6 to 10 inches.

The storm led to accidents, including in Connecticut, where a charter bus crashed and fell on its side on Interstate 95 in Madison. At least 30 people were injured, including six of them critically.

In Rhode Island, crowds of mourners lined the streets amid bitter temperatures and falling snow to bid farewell to former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci, whose hearse was carried by horse-drawn carriage from City Hall to the city’s Roman Catholic cathedral.

Other parts of the Northeast, including Northern New England and the New York City area, was expected to get much less snow. New York City, Philadelphia and northern New Jersey could get 2 to 3 inches from Monday into Tuesday night, the weather service said.

The snow meant unpleasant outdoor work for some people.

Sean Nardone, a custodian for the U.S. Postal Service, was scheduled to spend the day shoveling and treating the front steps of several post offices south of Boston.

“I don’t like it very much,” Nardone said as he tossed rock salt on the steps of the Whitman post office while a howling wind blew.

“I hope global warming friggin’ helps out this winter,” he said. “I hate to sound selfish, but I could use some warmth.”

Raj Patel, who co-owns a convenience store in Whitman, said the storm is good for business.

“It’s convenient for the neighborhood. We are always open for them. In past storms, we’ve sold out of milk right away. Milk, bread, water — a lot of people walk from their homes, so we stay open,” he said.

Communities across the region closed schools and issued on-street parking bans.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker closed state offices in nine counties Monday, and state courts were closed in 10 counties.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which was crippled by a series of historic storms during Boston’s record-breaking winter last year, was operating on a normal weekday schedule with winter routes in effect for buses. Although there were delays, no major problems were reported.

Restoring confidence in the MBTA’s reliability is important, state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said.

“That’s what we all lost faith in last winter,” she said. “I think every storm where the T is able to run service pretty well, I hope, will help to restore that (faith).”

Boston’s Logan Airport remained open, but hundreds of inbound and outbound flights were canceled.

Ferry service to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard was suspended.

Cape Cod Is Finally Going To Town


After a lapse of 25 years (not counting Amtrak’s Cape Codder during its last years in the mid-1990s), the public will be able to take the train from the Boston area to Hyannis on weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.  Details on the new CapeFLYER service can be found at www.capeflyer.com, as well as the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Capeflyer

There are a couple of good articles in the WIKI too


The train will depart South Station Fridays at 5.12 p.m., making all regular commuter rail stops down to Middleborough/Lakeville before continuing on the Buzzards Bay and Hyannis.  The return trip leaves Hyannis at 8.30 p.m. Fridays.  On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day) trains depart South Station at 8 a.m., with the return trip leaving Hyannis at 6.30 p.m.  The Saturday, Sunday and holiday trips will have limited stops between Boston and Middleborough/Lakeville.

The train will consist entirely of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter rail equipment.  One car, BTC-1C class single-level coach #224, has been reconfigured into a bike and concession car, with limited seating.  Passengers will be able to purchase food (snacks and wraps) and drinks, including I am told beer and wine when east of Middleborough.

The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority has organized this new service, working with the state, the MBTA, ferry lines and private bus lines.  Coordinated, connecting bus and ferry services will be offered at both Buzzards Bay and Hyannis.

Hopefully this new service will be successful.

The New York Times just published the following article on line about the CapeFLYER.  Based on what I’ve heard, this looks to be about the most accurate media account of the service so far.


Both the Boston Globe and Wareham Week report the CapeFLYER had 770 passengers this first weekend, according to the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority.
According to the Boston Globe, if ridership is strong through the summer, the MBTA would consider continuing the train into October:
“The CapeFlyer, the MBTA’s revival of the Boston-to-Cape-Cod rail tradition, has just begun service this weekend, but Beverly A. Scott, general manager of the MBTA, is already considering extending the service past its scheduled Labor Day closing date if it garners enough popularity.

““There is a possibility that service could be extended through October if the demand is evident,” Scott said at a MassDOT meeting last week. “”

Here is a link to the MBTA website with a video of the first weekend of service, enjoy!!!


From the July 1st Cape Codder newspaper (http://www.wickedlocal.com/brewster/news/x273426890/Transit-talk-Boston-Cape-train-a-hit-bus-ridership-up#axzz2Y5uM7ykA):

“There are six trains a weekend,” Cahir said. “This past weekend we had 714 riders. It’s really been an extraordinary story. It allows people to get to the Cape without cars and I’m very pleased with that. The numbers are overwhelming.”

All told over the first five weekends it’s carried 3,200 passengers. The breakeven point is $10,800 in fares each week and so far the Flyer has exceeded that with over $67,000 in revenue.

The CCRTA has budgeted $162,000 to front the operating costs of the train for 15 weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend.  As reported above, $67,000 has been recovered during the first five weekends, so revenue is well ahead of projections.  The CCRTA had expected the train would operate at a loss during late May and June, with revenues being made up during higher ridership in July and August, so the ridership so far has been a very pleasant surprise.

Excluding the third weekend, when the weather forecast was terrible for the Cape, the six weekend trains have averaged ridership around a bit more than 700 passengers.  During the third weekend, ridership was only 352 — still enough to cover operating costs that weekend.

The best news so far:  last night’s train from South Station to Hyannis had 589 passengers, per the CapeFLYER’s Facebook page and other sources.

Word is the CapeFLYER left Hyannis this evening with 609 passengers.  No word so far on how many passengers were picked up at Buzzards Bay.

Traffic reports according to the Cape Cod Times state traffic was backed up as far as 25 miles on the Mid-Cape Highway (U.S. Route 6)  east of the Sagamore Bridge during the height of the backup mid-afternoon today.

4TH of July Weekend

“And, Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Administrator Thomas Cahir said the weekend traffic was a great advertisement for the CapeFLYER, the new summer train service from Boston to Hyannis.
There were more than 2,000 riders on the trains that ran from Wednesday through Sunday, Cahir said.”  — Cape Cod Times
, 8 July 2013.http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130708/NEWS11/130709691