Regular passenger rail service through Cape Cod ended in June 1959. In 1978, the tracks east of South Dennis were abandoned and replaced with the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Another bike path, the Shining Sea Bikeway, was built over abandoned tracks between Woods Hole and Falmouth in 1975; despite vehement pro-passenger rail groups, the tracks were dismantled further north between Falmouth and North Falmouth (6.3 miles (10.1 km)) in April 2008 after Commonwealth representative and lawyer Eric Turkington signed legislation to convert the controversial line into a rail trail.
Active freight service remains in the Upper Cape area in Sandwich and in Bourne, largely due to a trash transfer station located at Massachusetts Military Reservation along the Bourne-Falmouth rail line. In 1986, Amtrak operated a seasonal service in the summer from New York City to Hyannis called the Cape Codder. From 1988, Amtrak and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation increased service to a daily frequency.Since its demise in 1996, there have been periodic discussions about reinstating passenger rail service from Boston to reduce car traffic to and from the Cape, with officials in Bourne seeking to re-extend MBTA Commuter Rail service from Middleboro to Buzzards Bay, despite a reluctant Beacon Hill legislature.
Cape Cod Central Railroad operates passenger train service on Cape Cod. The service is primarily tourist oriented and includes a dinner train. The scenic route between Downtown Hyannis and the Cape Cod Canal is about 2½ hours round trip. Massachusetts Coastal Railroad is also planning to return passenger railroad services eventually to the Bourne-Falmouth rail line in the future. An August 5, 2009 article on the New England Cable News channel, entitled South Coast rail project a priority for Mass. lawmakers, mentions a $1.4-billion railroad reconstruction plan by Governor Deval Patrick, and could mean rebuilding of old rail lines on the Cape. On November 21, 2009, the town of North Falmouth saw its first passenger train in 12 years, a set of dinner train cars from Cape Cod Central. And a trip from the Mass Bay Railroad Enthusiasts on May 15, 2010 revealed a second trip along the Falmouth line.
From my steamer chair on the porch I could just see the girls on the outer raft.
A steamer chair, so named because it was the type of chair used on passenger liners powered via steam (when steam power came into use and increased the speed of the translatlantic crossing, luxury cruising really took off) with a raised back, a long seat, and a raised area on which to rest one's legs.
Any highly trafficked tourist swimming area would have two rafts, an inner one in the shallow water, and an outer one, as far out as was considered safe. The rafts were anchored to the ocean bottom.
Despite the crowd, holday-size on a common week-day morning, Emma's large black-stockinged legs were exceedingly visible as they protruded from beneath the broad green stripes of my favorite beach umbrella.
In the 1930s, swimmwear conventions were loosening a bit. Prior to that time, men wore suis that covered their chests, and women wore suits that had backs as well as fronts, long skirts, and stockings so as not to show their bare legs.
By 1931, these restrictions were lifting a bit, but Emma was of the generation - and the heft - that would cover herself up well.