Noel Weaver
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Joined: 2:23 AM - Feb 18, 2003

7:06 AM - Dec 11, 2007 #41

Doug, I hope you are wrong but you are probably not in this
case. The people of some parts of Massachusetts are pretty
flakey when it comes to common sense.
I know back in the early 1990's I thought about retirement
on Cape Cod and decided against it with the miserable roads
and congestion especailly around the two bridges. I doubt
if it has gotten any better over the past ten years.
Plus it is nice and warm here in south Florida in the
winter time too. It was around 82 yesterday.
Noel Weaver
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Tom Madden
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Joined: 9:56 PM - Jan 04, 2006

2:49 PM - Dec 11, 2007 #42

We have a friend, an artist, whose house is on a north-facing hillside just east of Sandwich. The view from the deck is magnificent, overlooking a small lake, with the railroad track on the far side. Our friend is vehement in her displeasure at the presence of trains on that track, viewing them as an insult to her personal peace and tranquility. She knows of my rail interests and we tease each other about our respective positions, but her dislike is real. It's certainly NIMBYism at its most flagrant, but she is the type of person who will write letters and show up at public hearings. Hers is a self-centered, self-serving parochial view, but those who attend and speak at public hearings on controversial issues tend to be her clones. Out here in Colorado we're in the early stages of expanding the Denver light rail system again, and adding commuter rail to outlying towns. Opponents usually play the race card, as in "Those trains will bring (ethnic population of your choice) right into your neighborhoods, where they will (rob, rape, annoy) you."
I love the Cape, except between July 4th and Labor Day, but I have to agree with Doug that expanding rail service to Hyannis is definitely not the path of least resistance.
Tom Madden
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PCook
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PCook
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Joined: 10:00 PM - Nov 27, 2005

9:31 AM - Dec 12, 2007 #43

A very interesting observation, I wonder if the state's plan to built low income housing directly adjacent to the new railroad stations, which was discussed at the recent Southcoast Rail meeting, is an attempt to cut off the playing of the "race card" right from the beginning. Of course in New Bedford the railroad station is right down the hill from one of the most troubled sections of town (Weld Square).
PC
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Tom Curtin
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Joined: 10:44 PM - Mar 28, 2003

10:25 AM - Dec 12, 2007 #44

As a previous (1988-2002) Cape summer resident I am reading these last few posts with some interest.
'Fraid I have to agree that service beyond Buzzards Bay is very unlikely to pass the federal "test" that Preston talks about, but I can picture an appreciable demand that far (However, if the federal "test" allows for consideration of a "seasonal peak" option, that might create a different picture). When the service was instituted to Middleboro & Kingston, didn't the initial passenger volumes exceed anybody's estimates and expectations?
The comment about the Sandwich resident who complains about the trains intruding on the quiet of her life is very sad to read. We are surrounded by narrow-mindedness.
RE New Bedford/Fall River service, I'll go with those who hold that the only option that makes a damned bit of practical sense is to re-lay the original route from North Easton to Taunton. I enjoyed the comment in a previous post that the waterfowl, whatever they are, in that neighborhood thrived for decades as even steam-poered trains traversed the area; and they will continue to thrive regardless of trains.
RE NIMBY's: I'm fond of citing the image created in Dante's Commedia Divina about the "tiers" or "rings" of hell. Well, Dante didn't know about NIMBY's but I have concocted my own theology on the matter, which is that there's a special tier of hell reserved for the NIMBY's.
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Joined: 8:15 PM - Oct 03, 2007

1:34 PM - Dec 12, 2007 #45

They already run the dinner train from Hyannis to Wareham. Not to mention the trash trains that haul out all the trash so those NIMBY's don't have to bury it in there back yards. Those must be the trains that bother "the Diva on the hill". I guess she would rather have trash trucks going by here front yard three times a day. I don't know if the Cape Railroad wouldn't do well by running some specials up to Lakeville and back if it could be worked out.
NHRF
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Bill Reidy
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Joined: 3:22 AM - Jun 01, 2003

6:08 PM - Dec 12, 2007 #46

Extending commuter rail as far as Buzzards Bay makes sense, which is why a study has been done the past year (again) on this subject. The study found this service could be put into place for 1/10 the cost of NB/FR service, and more importantly, at a fraction of the cost per rider. These facts alone should put this project ahead of NB/FR (never mind there's virtually no opposition along the route for the project), but so far the powers that be won't prioritize it.
I don't see commuter rail working beyond Buzzards Bay. The number of daily canal crossings required would be very difficult, and raising the track speeds on the Cape to that required for commuter service would be politically impossible. Plus the route from Hyannis/Barnstable/Sandwich is very indirect when compared to Route 3. Yes, traffic is bad on 3, but not nearly bad enough to make on-Cape rail more attractive than driving to Kingston and picking up the train there.
That being said, it would be very worthwhile to offer seasonal service to Hyannis, either by extending the MBTA runs beyond Buzzards Bay or offering a connecting service by some other company such as the Cape Cod Central. The old Cape Cod & Hyannis clearly demonstrated in the 1980s that a seasonal service would be very popular. Despite slow track and no direct rail service from South Station, the CC&H carried tens of thousands of passengers to and from the Cape during its last year of operations.
Bill
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Noel Weaver
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Joined: 2:23 AM - Feb 18, 2003

7:36 PM - Dec 12, 2007 #47

I do not agree with Bill on the last entry, in the New
Haven Railroad days, trains could make the Boston - Hyannis
trip in less than two hours and today without the time at
Buzzards Bay to assemble or disassemble the Woods Hole cars
there could be a further decrease in time.
While the track between Bourne and Hyannis was not part of
the CTC project, it was good track and well maintained. In
the 1957 timetable it was good for 59 MPH with only three
places where speed had to be reduced for curves etc.
My argument for Hyannis is also based on the area around
Hyannis as well as Hyannis itself.
I do agree with the others that the NIMBYS would be a
problem but I do believe there is a need for service.
In addition, the railroad was on the scene before the canal
was, I believe, so I think that should have some bearing on
the operation of the bridge.
I do not think there is need for hourly service or
something like that but for example seven round trips a
day to/from Boston and one train a day or maybe two to
Providence to connect with New York service there.
The two canal bridges have been in place for over 70 years
and lack capacity for the amount of use that they get, it
would be cheaper to fix up the railroad and provide service
than it would be to replace the two highway bridges with
bridges of higher capacity.
Noel Weaver
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PCook
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PCook
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Joined: 10:00 PM - Nov 27, 2005

9:27 PM - Dec 12, 2007 #48

I think that one way or another the two highway bridges are going to either be replaced or provided with "twins" as has been done with numerous bridges in Connecticut. Due to their age that is likely to happen in the not too distant future. The tough thing about the traffic situation on the Cape is that it is largely a Friday and Sunday problem, regardless of whether you approach it with more highway or rail capacity. It gets to a question of whether you can afford to size and build the infrastructure to handle (without delays) extreme traffic peaks that happen for two afternoons and evenings each week, and then have it sitting there vastly under-utilized all the rest of the time, including entire seasons of the year. I went to the Cape last weekend and there was no traffic congestion at all, went over the bridges at speed limit on all trips.
PC
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Noel Weaver
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Joined: 2:23 AM - Feb 18, 2003

9:52 PM - Dec 12, 2007 #49

I wonder if the NIMBYS will fight the building of new
bridges too?
Noel Weaver
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PCook
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PCook
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11:13 PM - Dec 13, 2007 #50

Noel, I am sure any attempt to change anything in the transportation infrastructure on the Cape, highway or rail, would bring forth the NIMBY crowd.
PC
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