Tracker's blog

Train to Christmas Town

This past weekend the Cape Cod Central Railroad welcomed first responders and their families aboard 2 dress-rehearsals of The Train to Christmas Town, a theatrical production based on the children’s book authored by Peggy Ellis. The book tells the story of Janice (main character), who travels to Christmas Town each year by train with her brother, and grandmother. This year was a little different for Janice, as readers of the book would know. Janice was accompanied by a bag full of surprises and happy memories as she travels on the Train to Christmas Town once again. The train will be departing from Buzzards Bay over the next few weeks, bound for Christmas Town, where Santa Claus boards the train!

Before the journey begins, the Conductor will welcome you onto a special passenger train owned and operated by Santa himself bound for Christmas Town. After the Conductor punches each passengers ticket, the train departs heading North. As the train makes its way north, passengers are greeted by Santa's Elves with cookies and hot chocolate. 

Once all passengers have enjoyed refreshments, the elves take out a very special book titled The Train to Christmas Town. The book is read aloud as the elves walk around showing everyone the pages of the book. As certain characters are introduced in the book, each of the children will have the opportunity to meet the following characters from the book.

Bumble Bee the Polar Bear

Wabash the Squirrel

Zephyr the Cat

As the train arrives at Christmas Town, the children run for the windows, looking to catch a glimpse of Santa and his Elves. Before the train departs to head back to Buzzards Bay, Santa boards the train and visits with each of the children.

After Santa presents each child with a Train to Christmas Town Train Whistle, the Elves lead in singing a variety of traditional Christmas carols, as the train returns to Buzzards Bay. The Train to Christmas Town departs from Buzzards Bay Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings through December 29th. There will be additional departures on December 18th, 19th, and 23rd. The Buzzards Bay Train Station is located at 70 Main Street, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532. Tickets for the Train to Christmas Town range from $28 to $36 for adults, and from $20 to $28 for children, children under 2 ride free with a standard class "Babe in Arms" ticket. First class or diamond class tickets for Children under 2 cost $10. A 10% discount is available to the following groups with valid identification by using the following coupon codes when making a reservation.

  1. Cape Cod Health Care Employees - CCHC13
  2. AAA Members - AAA13
  3. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Employees - WHOI13
  4. First Responder - First Responder
  5. U.S. Military - USA2013


This family friendly activity is something you surely will not forget anytime soon. It's a great opportunity to step back and enjoy that Christmas spirit, during the busy Christmas shopping season. Everyone is sure to leave with a smile on there face! For more information about the Train to Christmas Town, or to make a reservation, visit this website, or call 1-888-797-7245.

Cape Cod Central Railroad Helps the Needy!

Each year Bourne Firefighters and staff from Cape Cod’s PIXY 103 FM brave the cold December temperatures to collect unwrapped gifts, cash , and non perishable food donations to benefit the Bourne Food Pantry, and Toys for Tots. This years Homeless for the Holidays fundraising event will take place at the Bay Motor Inn on Main Street in Buzzards Bay, lasting 103 consecutive hours beginning on Wednesday, December 11th at 8:00 AM through 3:00 PM on Sunday, December 15th. On December 13th, and 15th at 7 P.M., local bands will be performing at the event. Since the yearly fundraisers inception, Bourne firefighters have collected over $100,000, 35,000 pounds of nonperishable food, and nearly 200,000 toys to assist needy local families.

This year Bourne Firefighters gained additional support from the Cape Cod Central Railroad. Yesterday, First Responders from across the North East descended upon Buzzards Bay to take part in the fundraiser onboard The Cape Cod Central Railroad’s Train to Christmas Town, a theatrical production based on the children’s book by Peggy Ellis. First Responders accompanied by their families received tickets free of charge, and were encouraged to make a $5 donation to benefit the Homeless for the Holidays fundraiser. Yesterday's event brought out almost 600 first responders and family members raising $1,911.00 for those is need. The Train to Christmas Town officially opens to the public on Friday, for more information visit

Polar Express Holiday Lights Contest

Polar Express preparing to depart from Buzzards Bay

The Polar Express preparing to depart from Buzzards Bay.

Last week Cape Rail Inc, the parent company of Cape Cod Central Railroad and Massachusetts Coastal Railroad announced  its “Cape Cod Holiday Light Contest” sponsored by Cape Cod Central Railroad’s Polar Express. For those wo do not know, the Polar Express operates six days a week departing from Buzzards Bay and Hyannis. For more information about the Polar Express, please see my previous post by clicking here.


The contest in which Cape Cod families are encouraged to decorate their houses in an attempt to win some great prizes concludes on December 12th. Giving you just 6 days to submit your entires. To enter the contest, residents are asked to post photos of their holiday light displays to the Cape Cod Central Railroad's Facebook page, and tag the page in their photos. The pictures that recieve the most "likes" will be sent for judging by a select panel of “Santa’s Helpers”. 


Grand Prize (1) : $1,000 cash, and four complimentary tickets to The Cape Cod Polar Express train ride.

Runners-up (2):  $250 cash, and two complimentary tickets to The Cape Cod Polar Express train ride.

How To Enter:

Cape Cod residents are asked to post photos of their holiday light displays to the Cape Cod Central Railroad Facebook page, and tag the page in their photos. Please note that you must only submit photos of your own home and that no professionally designed or assembled displays will be considered. 

Cape Cod Polar Express

Earlier this year, Cape Cod Central Railroad acquired a license from Warner Brothers to operate a Polar Express on Cape Cod in November and December. The first of these Polar Express excursions’ departed from the Cape Cod Central's Buzzards Bay depot this afternoon. As passengers started to arrive , they found the Cape Cod Polar Express awaiting for them to climb aboard. To see a larger version of any of the photo's, please click on them.

Polar Express getting ready to board passengers.

I climbed aboard the train to find 3 elves waiting for passengers to join them.

Elves waiting for passengers to board the Polar Express.

Christmas music was playing and the elves where excited to tell the children that everyone was going to meet Santa. As passengers where boarding the train other characters from the Polar Express movie walked around the train, including this Hobo, who lives on the roof of the train. 

Cape Cod Polar Express hobo.

Once everyone was aboard the train, we departed in route to the "North Pole". On the way to the "North Pole", music from the Polar Express movie was played for the children and elves to sing along. Then that very familiar "Hot Chocolate” song from the Polar Express was played. As the song played, elves dressed as chefs entered each of the train cars and delivered cookies and hot chocolate to all passengers, adults and children alike. Just after the children finished dining on their cookies and hot chocolate, the elves grabbed there Polar Express books and roamed around the train showing everyone the pictures as the book was read.

Cape Cod Polar Express book reading.

As the final pages of the book where being read, we arrived at the highlight of the event, the "North Pole". The children headed for the windows in an attempt to catch a glimpse of Santa and his helpers. After arriving at the "North Pole", the train came to a stop and to everyone's surprise Santa climbed aboard. As the train began its return trip to Buzzards Bay, Santa visited with all the children and presented them with their own Christmas bell. 

Cape Cod Polar Express Santa.

As Santa continued visiting all the children throughout the train, the elves began leading the children in singing Christmas carols and getting everyone into that “Christmas spirit”.  Santa came back later on to take photos with the children and their parents. 

Cape Cod Polar Express Santa

I had a great time on the train, and many of the children certainly did. Regardless of what your plans are for this holiday season, whether you are traveling abroad or staying at home. I highly suggest that you catch a ride on this magical train to the “North Pole” and back. It’s an experience that I am sure you will not soon forget! 

The Polar Express departs from Buzzards Bay, Hyannis, and Sandwich on certain dates from November 15th to December 30th. Tickets for the Polar Express range from $29 to $59 for adults, and from $24 to $49 for kids. Tickets for The Polar Express can be purchased online or by phone. For more information about The Polar Express, visit or call 1-888-797-7245.

A Day Rail-fanning Cape Cod & The Ice Cream Train [CC Tracker]

Over the course of a day you might not know it but you could possibly see a train 6 times. Whether you see Cape Cod Central's many passenger excursions or you see Massachusetts Coastal Railroad's Energy Train seeing the train is always fun. To gather material for this post I caught the train over a period of a couple days but on a Thursday you could see the Elegant Dinner Train, and the Narrated Scenic Train including the Heritage Museum & Gardens Train. On Saturday June 30th, 2012 I caught Cape Cod Central’s Elegant Dinner Train crossing the Cape Cod Canal (see the video above). Then on July 2nd, 2012 I caught Massachusetts Coastal Railroad’s Energy Train at the Cape Cod Canal (see the photo below). While you can take any of Cape Cod Central’s regularly scheduled departures the Elegant Dinner Train is the only train that regularly crosses the Canal besides Mass Coastal’s Energy Train.

The Energy Train Crossing The Cape Cod Canal. Photographical Property of Ryan Laverdiere

The Energy Train is operated by Massachusetts Coastal Railroad, a freight railroad held by Cape Rail Inc which also holds Cape Cod Central Railroad. The train picks up trash at a transfer station in Yarmouth and at the Otis Military Reservation in Falmouth. The train pulls specially designed railroad cars over the Cape Cod Canal to SEMASS in West Wareham, Massachusetts. Here the trash is burned to create steam and in turn to generate electricity. The electricity generated is then sold to NSTAR. The facility has been operating since 1988 and services 60 communities in Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and communities in the vicinity of Boston. The resulting electricity from all 60 communities can be used to power more than 75,000 homes. The facility also recovers 50,000 tons of recyclable material each year. Over the year the facility has won many awards.

The Buzzards Bay Railroad Bridge was constructed beginning in 1933. It replaced a bascule bridge that was constructed during the original building of the canal by August Perry Belmont Jr’s Boston , Cape Cod, and New York Canal Company. The bridge has a 544 foot vertical lift span. In the raised position has a clearance of 135 feet from marine high tide. On each end of the bridge are 1,000 ton counterweights. In each tower are electric motors that move large gears that move the cables connected to the counterweights and the center span. The bridge opened on December 29th, 1935. At the time it was completed it was the longest vertical lift bridge in the world. It is now the second largest vertical lift bridge in the United States. In 2002 30 million was spent replacing and upgrading the bridge. The bridge was closed during the renovation and reopened in 2003.

Cape Cod Central's Ice Cream Sundae Express - Sunday July 8th, 2012

On Sunday July 8th, 2012 Cape Cod Central Railroad will operate the Ice Cream Sundae Express departing from Hyannis at 2:30PM. This train will feature Ice Cream from Four Sea's Cape Cod, voted best ice cream on the Cape by Cape Cod Life. Why not enjoy a scenic train ride and ice cream all at the same time? For more information visit the official website of the Cape Cod Central Railroad or call 508-771-3800. Reservations can be made online at or by phone by calling 508-771-3800.

Cape Cod St. Patrick's Day Parade 2012 [Cape Cod Tracker]

On March 10th, 2012 the Cape Cod St. Patrick's Day Parade stepped of on School Street in West Dennis. The parade marched down School Street and down Route 28 crossing the Bass River Bridge into Yarmouth. Ending at Route 28 and Forest Road in Yarmouth. This years Grand Marshall was "Team Hoyt". See the video above for an in depth view of this years parade.

Happy Fathers Day & Community Apprecation Days!

Cape Cod Central Railroad's Elegant Dinenr Train crossing the Cape Cod Canal

(Cape Cod Central Railroad's Elegant Dinner Train crossing the Cape Cod Canal on June 5th,2011 @ Ryan's Photography)

On Saturday June 18th, 2011 the Cape Cod Central Railroad is offering a 50% discount to passengers traveling aboard the Family Supper Train. The Family Supper Train departs from West Barnstable Station on Route 149 in West Barnstable. Reservations are highly suggested for this special train. The train travels from West Barnstable down by the Cape Cod Canal and across the Buzzards Bay Railroad Bridge (Above). This train departs West Barnstable around 7PM and arrives back around 9PM.  On Sunday June 16th, 2011 Dad's ride on the Narrated Scenic Train or 50% off on the Sunday Brunch Train. The Narrated Scenic Train and Sunday Brunch Train depart from Hyannis Station on Main Street in Hyannis.  Both trains depart Hyannis at around 11:30AM and arrive back around 1:30PM. On Monday June 20th, 2011 all passengers ride the Narrated Scenic Train for just $10.00.  The Narrated Scenic departs from Hyannis at around 11:30AM and returns back around 1:30PM. This year reservations are also being taken for the Narrated Scenic Train as well as the dining service trains. For more information check out the Railroad's official website or call 888-797-7245.

Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts' Day Cape Codder II



On May 14th, 2011 the Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts will be operating a special charter aboard the Cape Cod Central Railroad. This one day only special charter will operate between Hyannis and the Middleboro/Lakeville MBTA station in Middleboro. Passengers will be able to board the train at either Buzzards Bay, West Barnstable, or Middleboro/Lakeville. The train will arrive in West Barnstable around 7:25 AM, Buzzards Bay around 8:30 AM, and Middleboro/Lakeville at around 9:35 AM. Please note that passengers will not be able to board at Cape Cod Central Railroad's Hyannis Depot. Once all passengers have boarded the train will travel from Middleboro/Lakeville down the Cape Main to Hyannis. Upon arrival at Hyannis around 12:20 PM the train will make a "second arrival" in which, once all passenger have gotten off the train, will reverse and pull back into the station. Passengers will have the option of either staying at Hyannis for one hour or getting back on the train to West Barnstable to visit Cape Cod Chapter National Railroad Historical Society's museum in the restored depot there. Passengers who opt to visit the museum using the shuttle will arrive around 1:05 PM and have around 15 minutes to look around before departing back to Hyannis or they can get off at West Barnstable at 11:55 AM and have 1 hour and 15 minutes at the Museum. The train will then depart West Barnstable at 1:20 PM and return to Hyannis to pick up passengers who chose to stay in Hyannis. Once all passengers are boarded the train will proceed down the Cape Main dropping passengers off at West Barnstable around 2:25 PM.  Passengers who visited the NRHS Museum may also board at this time. The train will proceed to make two photo runbys at Hoxie Pound and the Bourne Bridge area around 3:00 PM. The train will return to Buzzards Bay at 4:10 PM and then will go on to the Middleboro/Lakeville MBTA station, arriving at 5:35 PM.  Passengers who to board at Middleboro/Lakeville will not be able to board via a commuter rail connection as the MBTA has temporarily suspended weekend service to Middleboro / Lakeville due to the ongoing tie replacement project. Passengers who wish to board at Middleboro/Lakeville may instead take a connecting bus from South Station or Braintree for $20 round trip. The bus leaves Boston's South Station at 8:00 AM and the MBTA Red Line station in Braintree  at 8:20 AM. The bus will return to South Station around 6:30 PM. Round-trip fares for the train excursion, from any departure point, are $29.00 for children 12 and under, $59 for adult Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts members and $69 for non members. Box lunches are available for $11 each.  Passengers are allowed to bring their own food and drinks on board the train.  Smoking and alcoholic beverages are not permitted.  Please see this page for more information: For more details please visit the Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiast's website , send an email to [email protected], or call 978-470-2066.  Tickets may be ordered by mail or phone only.

Nobska Point Light

Nobska Point Light Copyright @ Ryan's Photography


Nobska Point Light (Copyright @ Ryan's Photography)

Nobska Point Light in Falmouth has long been an icon for the town of Falmouth being at the Woods Hole Harbor Entrance. The Nobska Point Light Station was established in 1829. The current tower constructed of cast iron with brick lining stands at 40 FT and is seen by many entering and exiting Woods Hole Harbor each year. In 1985 the station became automated and there for a keeper was not needed to light the light each evening. The keepers home-built in 1876 currently serves are a home for the commander of Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England. The grounds of the Light House are open to the public and during the Spring, Summer, and Fall guests can climb the tower free of charge. These tours are conducted by the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11-2. The beacon which flashes white every 6 seconds with a red sector illuminates the area at night and can be seen by mariners all around the area of Woods Hole Harbor. In the event of fog the light also has a fog signal that makes two blasts every 30 seconds.