Cape Cod Central Railroad: The Good, The Bad & The UGLY.
Click pictures to ENLARGE.
Attribution will be strictly enforced.
On Thursday, August 10, 2017 Teischan & I took the ‘midday’, 2-hour Cape Cod Central Railroad excursion.
BOTTOM LINE: It is indeed a railway excursion, in historic carriages, pulled by a very well maintained and attractive EMD GP28 diesel engine (in our case, #2009). If you have never been on a train and are itching to do so, and this is your one big opportunity, by all means go ahead and do it — but unless you are ‘rich’ don’t bother paying the premium for the Dome. Yes, get the cheapest tickets. Notice that they never refer to this as a ‘Scenic’ ride — since the scenery is pick-a-boo. 70% of the time what you will see is this ⇓ (below) and they will tell you that that will be the case once you are on the train and it is moving. Yes, overgrown, dense foliage wreathed in thick vines (a feature of the Cape Cod landscape).
The station in Hyannis, the only one of the route, is NOT much of a station and as such there is NO railway station experience. Ditto when it comes to the engine. So, do not expect to see other engines, carriages etc. as you would do, say at the ‘Conway SCENIC Railway‘. This is NOT for the true railway enthusiast — as in my case.
The onboard staff, especially an OLD (like in his late 70s), grossly obese conductor we had, are downright HOSTILE! That was something new. It was like being in a prison. No you can’t stand, no you can’t walk, no you can’t look out of the window. It was NO, NO, NO. I did not enjoy the experience. It reminded me of the joke about the Italian, on honeymoon with his new wife ‘Virginia‘, on a sleeper train out of New York heading down to Florida — when the conductor, early on in the evening shouts out, over the speakers ‘Norfolk, Virginia‘! (Say that out loud and try to imagine what an Italian married to a ‘Virginia’ might hear if he is in bed.)
So, this is my recommendation: only do it if you must and if so keep your costs down.
1. Nice, well-maintained engine.
2. FREE (to $5) parking on the side of the station, which is great as parking in Hyannis is not easy and is expensive. You can see the parking, through the glass, to the side, behind Teischan.
3. Some decent scenery, including cranberry bogs (which I wanted to see) though interrupted views are not the norm:
4. Good view of the Bourne Bridge and the Cape Cod Canal:
1. Expensive! Overall, you have to question whether their prices are justifiable.
2. There is NO railway experience. I feel bad for the kids. A stark & bare station — badly maintained. It is like getting on a subway. The yard is 1/4-mile away and they don’t allow you to visit that! ‘Norfolk, Virginia‘!
1. Very badly maintained rolling stock, with peeling paint, cracked window in the dome and totally glazed over windows:
2. Downright HOSTILE onboard staff. ‘Norfolk, Virginia‘! It was NOT a good experience and that is a shame!
P.S., The parked engine in the yard, at top, with a single BIG light, is an EMD F7, one of my favorite U.S. locomotives.