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A train travels on the original Buzzards Bay railroad bridge

MS028.04.020.010 (RS192261)


A black and white view of a train as it travels on the original Cape Cod Canal railroad bridge. The image shows the towers for the new railroad bridge under construction in the background.

You can find this within:


Collection Name
Nina Heald Webber Cape Cod Canal collection
Collection Code
Date of Acquisition
Physical Description
1 black and white photograph; 4.5 x 2.75 inches
Collection Type
Description Level
Reference Code

Record details

Descriptive Terms
construction (assembling)
railroad bridges
trains (vehicle groupings)
Material Type
Cape Cod Canal (Massachusetts) [canal]


train is The Comet! #

AvatarPosted by Jeffrey Plate on May 21, 2014
That's not just any train - it's the Comet lightweight aluminum streamliner - one of the first, built in 1935 by Goodyear-Zeppelin. It was built for Boston-Providence service, but later served other runs on the New Haven RR. Not sure when it would have run to the Cape.

another thought on the Comet #

AvatarPosted by Jeffrey Plate on May 21, 2014
Since the new bridge was built 1933-1935, I'm guessing the Comet's appearance there (when brand new) might have been part of a publicity tour - the railroad sending its brand new streamliner all over the system to drum up interest.

additional information appreciated! #

AvatarPosted by Jeanne Gamble on May 22, 2014
Thanks for letting us know more about the train. It is too beautifully designed for us not to see if we can find out more and update the entry.

more on the Comet #

AvatarPosted by Jeffrey Plate on May 22, 2014
There's a short article on the Comet at Wikepedia, with a better photo of the train. The New Haven Railroad Historical and Technical Association (NHRHTA) also has a page on the Comet, with some nice period advertising art. New England's other pre-WWII streamliner, the Boston & Maine's Flying Yankee, survived and is being restored. What a shame the Comet was scrapped, it was truly unique.

still more... #

AvatarPosted by Jeffrey Plate on May 22, 2014
Just found a reference online to a couple of photos of the Comet at Wellfleet and Provincetown in 1935, "while the train was on a publicity tour", in Andrew Eldredge's "Railroads of Cape Cod and the Islands". I guess I need to pick up Eldredge's book!

Comet publicity tour in 1935 #

AvatarPosted by Jeffrey Plate on May 22, 2014
Eldredge's book (online at Barnes & Noble) notes in the caption to one of the Comet photos that "When it toured the Cape in May 1935, the Comet drew huge crowds, including 2,000 in Wareham and 2,400 in Falmouth." Those really were huge crowds, especially for the Cape eight decades ago.

Thanks for tracking it down! #

AvatarPosted by Jeanne Gamble on May 30, 2014
Hi Jeffrey,
Thanks for all your research on the Comet it is much appreciated!