MCR: Working On The Railroad, Despite Distractions

COO Podgurski Details Track Work Underway, Thoughts on Impending Sale, Cape Cod Excursion and Dining Train Plans.

14.June, E. Wareham MA — Cape Rail LLC head Chris Podgurski submitted these responses to ANRP questions:

ANRP: Are Cape Rail crews and equipment keeping busy during the shut down?

CP: MassDOT-Rail currently has several projects underway on the Mass Coastal Lines.

  1. Crosstie Replacement Program on the Cape Main along Buzzards Bay. The program also includes the Falmouth Secondary, and a small stretch on the Middleboro Secondary.
  2. Eleven Crossing Safety Systems upgrade by Saratoga Signal nearly finished.
  3. Twenty-two Grade Crossing surface replacement being performed by Manafort Transit.
  4. CWR Change Out-Upgrade on the Framingham Secondary which begins this month.

Currently the MC is conducting its system-wide vegetative maintenance program. We will also be doing some brush cutting on the lower Cape Main. We’ve also made some timber & tie replacements on “Otis Branch” leading into the Mass Military Reservation.

ANRP: Is the impending sale affecting operations?

CP: With regard to the impending sale, it’s obviously an ongoing process. And to be completely transparent, the MC doesn’t really have any actual assets to speak of. And it curiously exists on 100% State-owned properties. To make it even more “risky” is the fact that it currently operates on what remains of a L&OA Extension which expires September of 2021. Then the owner of the MC faces the ever-popular RFR Process.

ANRP: How are the non-freight operations preparing for this all-bets-off summer?

CP: With regard to the Cape Cod Central (wholly owned subsidiary of Cape Rail LLC) , Director of CCCRR Passenger Operations, Kaylene Jablecki is attempting to pull off an “Alchemy Process” of 2020 Season. Our start date has been illusory! Currently we’re trying to discern the ok to operate between food service trains and our excursion trains. As mentioned previously we’ve treated the equipment and facilities with Anti-Microbial “Perma-Safe”. Please check out www.capetrain.com for our latest updates.

Ca. 2015 map of Mass Coastal Railroad franchise, MCR operates freight, passenger, and excursion services on ~104 miles of Mass DOT-owned rail lines between Framingham, Hyannis, and New Bedford. MCR also conducts major road maintenance and upgrade projects on its lines.