• Mass Coastal Railroad (MC) Discussion

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by Falmouth Secondary to Otis
Bourne Enterprise posted a new update on the Bourne bike path. The Military after all these years of stating the Falmouth Secondary line is needed for National Defense has been reported as now being open to talks about removing the Falmouth Secondary line, provided a new Rail spur is built into Otis. Would be a very expensive Rail spur as the elevation difference from the Cape Main line up and into Otis is quite substantial, let alone it would be long as it would cross just about the entire Base to connect to the transfer station as well. Pretty foolish as MassDOT has already spent several million dollars since 2018 to rehabilitate the Falmouth Secondary / Otis Industrial track, and now considering ripping it all up eventually.

https://www.capenews.net/bourne/news/of ... ffa47.html
  by Safetee
for those of us in the western part of the commonwealth, who have been thirsting for some east west passenger service to connect with north station learning that the scenic track in falmouth which has had zillions spent on it's rehabilitation will be now torn up for the benefit of the spandex crowd, please pass the air sickness bag, i think i'm goina hurl.
  by malbojah
I was just playing with Google maps (in terrain mode)making a new rail line coming from the spur on the base, through the base up alongside the Bourne landfill.

1) gentlest elevation changes to keep trenching to a minimum
2) avoid obvious obstacles, i.e
Small ponds, bunker storage on the base

I'm already at 10 miles, so I don't know what they we're talking about in the meeting about a 2 mile spur. The only semi-reasonable way I could see it is to someone follow the power lines and come out next to the neighborhood just north of upper Cape tech and have a tunnel go under sandwich road. Because there's no way in hell they're going to do an at grade crossing on sandwich road by the Midway rest area

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid= ... sp=sharing

I see potentially 2 benefits of this new spur. Easy access if the military ever wants to clean up the unlined (closed) landfill that's part of the base superfund site (more than just treating the leachate as the rainwater passes through). And if Bourne ISWM wants to send out their C/D they can get a quick stub off the line as it passes by the landfill
  by Falmouth Secondary to Otis
10 miles would be the minimum length of the spur to say the least let alone what would the cost of such a ridiculous decision be? Add that new rail spur cost on top of the bike path cost of 20 million and another poor example of taxpayer money being spent is at hand. Of course, the Military can be playing politics with the issue as well knowing that the cost would be astronomical and not possible to fund, so they can bury the idea for good. Time will tell, but if it actually happens all future possible passenger rail service to the Upper Cape area would be lost and people will continue to sit in traffic waiting to get over the obsolete canal bridges, which may never be funded to be replaced. But if anyone wants to make comments about this possible loss of the Falmouth Secondary Rail line send them to David Vieira the State Representative of this area who has been in talks with the Military about this issue.

His e-mail is:

[email protected]
Last edited by Falmouth Secondary to Otis on Sat Mar 11, 2023 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by malbojah
My concern would be that the military says "sure, do it". State pulls up the rail and paves everything over , comes back to the military and says, "Yeah, new spur it technically possible but way too much money. Sorry, not happening."

From what I gathered from the video of the select board meeting, the plan would be to do rail-to-trail then do a new rail line. If I was the military I would want that new line in place first.

And in the 5 year timeframe they were talking about in the video? With all the environmental reviews that would need to take place? Not likely.
  by Falmouth Secondary to Otis
All users of the Falmouth Secondary Rail line / Otis Industrial track should make sure the new spur is built and in service before any rail removal is done, if it actually happens. If it does come to be, the Transfer station will lose its rail access if no spur is built which will jeopardize its business operations due to having to switch to trucks increasing costs associated with such. I would think Carl Cavossa is commenting on this potential issue as it will affect his business, if it happens. Anyone who supports Cape Cod Rail and wants to make constructive comments about removing the Falmouth Secondary line e-mail David Vieira our State Representative working with the Military on the issue.

[email protected]
  by Red Wing
Top 3 lines for me that should never have been removed for passenger in Massachusetts. It still go all the way to Woodshole, the other 2 Central Mass to 495 or Clinton and Lexington Branch to Bedford or even Concord.
  by Falmouth Secondary to Otis
This is the new RR Spur proposed by the Bourne Rail Trail group so the Falmouth secondary can be removed for a bike path. Not going to fly for sure as its only 2.26 miles long and only connects to the Bourne landfill, leaving the Military and the UCCRTS on Otis high and dry. Serious elevations to deal with and a big dig project for sure as no cost estimate was given. You can click on photo to enlarge it.
  by bostontrainguy
Red Wing wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 12:04 pm Top 3 lines for me that should never have been removed for passenger in Massachusetts. It still go all the way to Woodshole, the other 2 Central Mass to 495 or Clinton and Lexington Branch to Bedford or even Concord.
I agree. The Falmouth line removal was the dumbest thing ever. I could live with the Woodshole removal, if you could easily transfer to the Steamship Authority shuttle buses, but doing what they did in such a way that the rails could not be easily replaced was inexcusable.
  by BandA
Can they not build a rail + trail here? Isn't the row wide enough? With sufficient barrier to prevent flying ballast stones from pegging cyclists? Removing valuable public infrastructure (railroad track) is stupid and destroys millions of dollars in value. Rail + trail adds value and improves transportation. As for the [OT] Mass Central Line and Lexington Line they need to add-back the Mass Central as a double-rail + trail from 128/95/117 in Waltham to 495 in Berlin. The Minuteman Rail Trail is too popular, not coming back within the next 50 years. Could build it mostly Elevated. See "Jewelry Exchange in Sudbury" topic, actually makes it slightly easier to restore rail in Sudbury
  by Falmouth Secondary to Otis
The Bourne Rail Trail group has always had removal of the Falmouth Secondary line on their agenda from the beginning. But the only concept that has been approved by MassDOT is a Rail with trail concept with the first phase planned for construction in 2024. As they have gotten into the design of the rest of the Rail with trail, they have encountered physical and environmental obstacles that they say are too expensive to deal with. So now they are trying to change the whole project by going back to their original whining that it's less expensive to rip up the tracks to build. In turn they have proposed a new spur so they can take over the RR right of way for their sacred path. Only thing is a new spur would have to service not only the Bourne landfill, but also the Military and the Otis transfer station for a total of at least 10 miles not 2.26 miles as they propose. Taking into account the substantial rise in elevation from the Cape Main along the Canal and the 10 mile distance, the cost of all that would be big dig money. Not going to happen as it is fiscal insanity and just plain ridiculous !!! So, will be curious to see what reaction politicians and bike path advocates have to say in response to Mass Coastal RR's P. Christopher Podgurski's guest commentary in the 3/17/2023 Bourne Enterprise is. Should be ridiculous as well I imagine.
  by FatNoah
I feel like Mr. Podgurski buried the lede a bit in his editorial.
Mass Coastal Railroad and MassDOT have previously assented to rail-with-trail on this active rail line
That alone should be sufficient to make anyone wonder what the real agenda of the "Friends of the Bourne Rail Trail" is. The feasibility study is pretty interesting: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/ ... _Study.pdf

"Friends" wants to get rid of the rail so they can have a grade-separated trail without at-grade workarounds for the 9 bridges over water & roads. According to the study, that'll cost $9M for rails-to-trails and $25M for rails with trails (of that, $19M are for bridges).

Not mentioned, is that for $6M, they could have rail with trail with level crossings. That seems like the best option of all.
  by BandA
Let's do $6M, and add bridges for the bike trail where auto traffic is heavy.
  by Falmouth Secondary to Otis
The BRT's agenda has been quite clear since the beginning of this proposed bike path connection to North Falmouth in which they want the RR tracks removed period. They tried to stop the Otis transfer station from reopening back in 2014 but got shot down as Bourne was outvoted 3 to 1 by the surrounding towns. In December of 2022 Bourne gave up its seat on the UCCRTS board of Managers saying it has no future use for the station, so no need to be involved with it anymore. The BRT group has presented their own plans for a new 2.26 Mile RR spur terminating at the Bourne landfill which would cut off access for both the Military and Cavossa at UCCRTS. This was submitted with the intent to shut down the Falmouth Secondary and take it all for their bike path dream. But MassDOT / Mass Coastal have only agreed to work on a Rail with trail design concept with no other consideration beyond that. There are environmental and geographical obstacles along the RR ROW which must be dealt with in the design of it and they can't figure out how to get around them, even though they have an engineering firm to work with. So, BRT's only solution is to once again remove the tracks because they can't figure out alternate routes around problem areas. They should do a Rail with trail where it is possible to do so and branch off to alternate routes to address those problem areas. If you look at the Cape Cod Rail Trail existing and planned expansion plans you will find that is what has been done. It wasn't viable to do a Rail with trail on the Cape Main RR Line ROW due to numerous wetland issues, so they designed alternate routes to achieve a connection with the Cape Cod Canal from Yarmouth instead. The BRT drama will continue for sure while Mass DOT will continue to do capital improvements on the Falmouth Secondary / Otis Industrial track and keep the Trains running. The UCCRTS / Cavossa business is growing and benefits the Cape as it removes truck traffic from our Canal bridges while reducing air pollution as well.
  • 1
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 47