One hundred and fifty passengers had finished their five-course meal aboard the Cape Cod Central
Railroad’s Elegant Dinner Train and were headed back to Hyannis Thursday night when a man hurled
a 40-pound boulder onto the front of the locomotive, according to Sandwich police.
The romantic dinner train provides “gourmet dining, outstanding service, and magical memories,”
according to the Cape Cod Central Railroad website.
“All that makes Cape Cod special... marsh and dune, seabirds and salt air, glimpses of the bay and
scenes of quaint village life... pass your window as you journey to a bygone era,” the description
But guests were brought back to the present era when the behemoth rock smashed onto the front
of the train.
The incident happened at 8:30 p.m. Thursday on Old County Road near Chase Road in Sandwich,
according to Sandwich police Officer Philip Anderson
Railroad staff reported to police that a man dropped the boulder from an overpass as the train was
traveling eastbound, he said.
Witnesses told police that they saw a white male, approximately 20 years old, wearing jeans and a
gray long-sleeved T-shirt, drop the large rock and flee the scene, Anderson said.
No injuries were reported among the passengers.
The boulder caused significant damage to the train’s front headlights and might have caused damage
to the undercarriage, Anderson said.
The train, which offers soft music, fresh flowers, and a candlelit five-course meal, was delayed for a
half hour while police investigated the scene, said Jonathan Babbitt, superintendent of passenger
operations for the railroad.
“Under federal law the locomotive was able to continue to continue to its destination but we can’t send
it out until all of the equipment on board has been repaired,” Babbitt said.
He said railroad staff members are assessing the damage to the train’s undercarriage and are in the
process of repairing the headlights.
Cape Cod Central Railroad and the Massachusetts Coastal Railroad are subsidiaries of Cape Rail Inc.,
Babbitt said he has never encountered an incident such as this.
“In the history of the Cape Cod Central Railroad, we’ve occasionally had stones thrown at the trains
by kids, but nothing of this magnitude,” Babbitt said.
He said the act was not a practical joke, but a violation of federal law.
Anyone caught and convicted will have to face federal authorities, not the local government, he said.
Such incidents are taken “extraordinarily seriously” by the Transportation Security Administration and
the Federal Railroad Administration, Babbitt said.
“I think people don’t realize the level of governmental interest in this sort of behavior,” he said.
“This is not just a schoolboy prank.”
I thought you were in Spain.