South Dennis to Provincetown

Picture Point of Interest

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The Cape Cod Rail Trail at Nickerson State Park, looking southwest from just south of the intersection of Crosby Lane and State Route 6A/Old King's Highway/Main Street. This trail sees heavy bike traffic on good weather days. Photo by Kevin M. Smith, August 2010.

This line was part of the original Old Colony Railroad line that ran passenger service between Boston and Provincetown in Massachusetts. The line was originally built by the Cape Cod Central Railroad in 1865, and purchased by the Cape Cod Railroad in 1868. The railroad line reached Provincetown in 1873.

The tracks to Provincetown were removed in the 1930s under the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. Today, the southern half of the right-of-way hosts the Cape Cod Rail Trail.

I located a possible spur off of this mainline, and also took several photos along the Cape Cod Rail Trail during a visit to Cape Cod this past week. I'll send the information and photos along as time permits. One thing's for sure...the Cape Cod Rail Trail sees some very heavy bike traffic on good weather days!

Kevin M. Smith
Cicero, NY


the line from N. Eastham to Provincetown was removed in October of 1960. I remember trains on that branch prior to the lst train in August of 1960. My grandparents lived in Wellfleet. Their driveway ended right into one of the few overpasses on that line.

Pres Greenman
Petaluma, CA


Anyone have or know of any photos of the train that scrapped the line? I was told it was a yellow 44. GE 44 tonner.

hyannis , MA


Chris from Hyannis,

Email me : thomaspgreenman2@.aolcom.

The train/operation which removed the rails from P'town to Eastham was utilized an engine which was like a 44 tonner but older. It was black with a yellow stripe around the frame footboards steps and front grab iron just above the frame for those riding the footboard. The picture I have shows it as best I can tell as having siderods. It looks like an early version of the GE 45 tonner. What was used from Eastham to S. Dennis I do not know.

Pres Greenman

Pres Greenman
Petaluma, CA


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