Gates Requested For Jarves Street Rail Crossing In Sandwich

With the seasonal CapeFLYER passenger train again traveling through the Jarves Street crossing, a resident of that street is pressing for train-activated gates to improve the safety.

Allen B. Osgood, who lives on Jarves Street, said yesterday that a combination of factors increases the potential danger of the grade crossing so long as gates are not present.

Mr. Osgood said an old service station building on Church Street at the intersection of Jarves Street limits the sight distance on an approach to the grade crossing. He further said that railroad construction trucks parked in the vicinity obscure the painted road markings that advise motorists that a grade crossing is just ahead.

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The Jarves Street resident said he is concerned that visitors to the Sandwich Boardwalk, many of whom do not live in Sandwich and hence are unfamiliar with the grade crossing, will be returning through the area and may not know what is ahead of them until too late.

At 7:18 PM last Friday, Mr. Osgood said, the CapeFLYER came through the grade crossing at what he considers “a very high rate of speed.”

Mr. Osgood said he served 17 years with the Sandwich police and is experienced at estimating speed. He said he did not believe a motorist approaching the intersection from Church Street would have had time to take in the train’s warning whistle or flashing lights and stop. (On Saturday, he said, the train moved more slowly through the crossing.)

The Jarves Street resident conveyed his concern about the potential danger yesterday afternoon to town manager George H. Dunham, police chief Peter N. Wack and fire chief William C. Carrico II, as well as the administrator of the Cape Cod Regional Transit Agency, Thomas S. Cahir of Pocasset, who has been instrumental in launching the train service.

Mr. Osgood further expressed concern that a new gated crossing recently was installed at Old County Road rather than at Jarves Street.

“I believe this is a public safety issue that needs to be addressed with the installation of crossing gates at Jarves Street,” he wrote.

Told yesterday of Mr. Osgood’s concern about the Jarves Street crossing, Mr. Cahir said Mr. Osgood had expressed that concern for several years.                                                        

Mr. Cahir said trains operating east of the Cape Cod Canal are restricted to 30 miles per hour because of the poorer track conditions in that section.

The administrator said the CapeFLYER needs to be able to travel at the track’s posted speed so as to be punctual and meet its schedule.

On the other hand, Mr. Cahir said he will speak to the train’s locomotive engineers about slowing down specifically for the Jarves Street intersection, as he said trains operated by other railroad companies have done on the line in the past.

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