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State Officials Detail Possible Expansion of Rail Service to Cape Cod

An MBTA train passes along the Cape Cod Canal.
Courtesy Steven Tupper
An MBTA train passes along the Cape Cod Canal.

Commuter rail service could one day link the Cape to Boston.

At a public meeting last night, Benjamin Muller, of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation outlined potential plans for weekday service between Boston and one of two southern terminals: either Buzzard’s Bay just north of the Cape Cod Canal, or across the water at Bourne Station.

Muller said the train ride would take just over 1.5 hours and could mean 1,000 fewer car trips each weekday. He added that the potential project could trim annual carbon dioxide emissions by 5,000 tons—hailed by Bourne select board member Judith Froman as “tremendous.”

Passenger rail service to the Cape is currently limited to the weekend-based Cape Flier, which runs only in summer. The weekday commuter link would share tracks with the Cape Flier, but it would require various track and signaling upgrades.

The new service is still a few years away, as officials decide on a southern terminal and secure funding for the project.

The Cape Cod Metropolitan Planning Organization hosted the meeting on Zoom.

Daniel Ackerman has left CAI.
In his time at the station he reported on the South Coast. He came to the station from Minnesota Public Radio, where he reported on science and the environment. Daniel has produced audio documentaries on a motley mix of topics, from the science of sewage to the history of automobile license plates. He holds a PhD in climate change ecology from the University of Minnesota. Daniel was a 2021-22 Report For America corps member.