|Cape Cod & Hyannis Railroad|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
The Cape Cod & Hyannis Railroad was a railroad that provided tourist and seasonal passenger services in Southeastern Massachusetts in the 1980s. Its primary service operated from the Braintree MBTA station to Hyannis on Cape Cod; branches to Attleboro and Falmouth also operated in some years. The service ended after the 1988 summer season amid early-1989 state budget cuts in Massachusetts; much of the same trackage is being used for the seasonal CapeFLYER service.
The Cape Cod & Hyannis Railroad began running Hyannis - East Sandwich excursion service in 1981. Excursion service to Falmouth was added in 1982 and 1983. In 1984, the state provided $148,000 in funding to allow the railroad to provide an otherwise-unsubsidized demonstration of regional service connecting to the newly completed Red Line rapid transit line at Braintree. Service between Braintree and the Cape Cod destinations of Hyannis and Falmouth began on June 30, 1984. Trains ran from Braintree to Hyannis and Falmouth. (Service directly to Boston was not possible because the Neponset River bridge had been destroyed by a 1960 fire; a new Neponset River bridge was not opened until Old Colony Lines commuter service began in 1997. Intermediate stops initially included Holbrook, Brockton, Bridgewater, Middleboro, Wareham, and Buzzards Bay, plus Sandwich and West Barnstable on Hyannis trains. The two daily round trips - one to each Cape Cod terminal - were the first regular service between the Boston area and the Cape in 25 years. Braintree-Hyannis trips took three hours.
Falmouth service (which ended quickly in 1984) and mid-week runs were dropped due to low ridership. During mid-1985, the railroad operated two round trips on Saturdays and Sundays, with two round trips on Fridays and Mondays for parts of the summer. Running time was reduced to 21⁄2 hours; ridership rose from 8,000 passengers in 1984 to 19,000 in 1985.
In 1986, the state approved a $5.5 million multi-year subsidy for seven-day-a-week seasonal service. The railroad's insurance premiums skyrocketed, causing service to be delayed until mid-July. Despite the delay, ridership still increased. The state continued to subsidize weekday service for the next two years.
Branch line service to Falmouth via a new stop at Cataumet resumed in 1988, along with a new branch to Attleboro via Taunton. Subsidies were cut from the state budget in 1989, and the CC&HR did not resume service in 1989. In its final year of operation, the CC&HR carried 53,000 passengers between Braintree and Cape Cod, with an additional 6,700 riders on the Attleboro branch. State audits in 1989 and 1990 showed that the family owners of the CC&HR had substantially profited from the subsidies, partially due to a lack of state oversight.
Seasonal Amtrak Cape Codder service, which had begun in 1986, continued until 1996. The Bay Colony Railroad begin operating excursion Service between Hyannis and Sagamore until the Cape Cod Railroad brand in 1989; the Cape Cod Central Railroad took over excursion service between Hyannis and Buzzards Bay in 1999. Commuter service between Boston and Middleborough resumed in 1997 when the MBTA Commuter Rail Old Colony Lines were restored. In 2013, the state began CapeFLYER seasonal weekend service, operated by the MBTA using commuter rail equipment. The CapeFLYER provides similar service to the CC&HR, though it operates directly from Boston and makes fewer stops.
- "Cape Cod and Hyannis Railroad Inc.: Anatomy of an 03 Account". Auditor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. June 1989 – via Scribd.
- Eldredge, Andrew T. (2003). Railroads of Cape Cod and the Islands. Arcadia Publishing.
- Pillsbury, Fred (June 30, 1984). "Passenger train service to Cape Cod begins anew: Hyannis, Falmouth—All aboard!". The Boston Globe. p. 23 – via Newspapers.com.
- "MBTA expansion planned to handle 80% hike in ridership". Nashua Telegraph. January 25, 1988.
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- Daly, Christopher B. (October 6, 1985). "RAIL SERVICE TO CAPE REPORTS A GOOD YEAR". Boston Globe. p. 86 – via Newspapers.com.
- Wen, Patricia (July 13, 1986). "TRAINS ROLLING AGAIN ON CAPE RUN". Boston Globe. p. 26 – via Newspapers.com.
- "CAPE RAIL SERVICE TERMED A SUCCESS". Boston Globe. October 13, 1986. p. 33 – via Newspapers.com.
- "DUKAKIS BUDGET WOULD END BRAINTREE-CAPE RAIL SUBSIDY". Boston Globe. January 28, 1989 – via Newspapers.com.
- Karr, Ronald Dale (1995). The Rail Lines of Southern New England. Branch Line Press. p. 341. ISBN 0942147022.
- Nelligan, Tom (October 1986). "Cape Cod Rail Revival". Trains. 46 (12): 18–18A. ISSN 0041-0934.
- Massachusetts. Dept. of the State Auditor (October 29, 1990). State Auditor's report on the activities of the Cape Cod and Hyannis Railroad under the 1986, 1987 and 1988 passenger service agreements with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Report). Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office of the State Auditor.
- Committee on Post Audit and Oversight, House of Representatives, Commonwealth of Massachusetts (June 1989). Cape Cod and Hyannis Railroad Inc. - Anatomy of an 03 Account (Report).CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
Media related to Cape Cod and Hyannis Railroad at Wikimedia Commons