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The "Dude"

Millionaire Trains

Sunday, August 26, 1906

“The Dude” was the first train of its kind to be established in New England. It came into existence because the large stockholders in the Old Colony railroad had summer homes on Cape Cod and such big business interests in Boston that they had to come here every day. They wanted a faster train than any run, and they are now enjoying the comfort of some of the most luxurious passenger coaches ever built. In every way, the train is superbly palatial. There are attendants who know the wants of every passenger.

“Dude” Is Exclusive

Among the thousands who on these sweltering hot days rush in and out of that great granite pile, the South Station, there is a coterie of Boston businessmen who do not join in the pell-mell rush. These of the elite are the subscribers to the “Dude” train, which makes one round trip a day down the South Shore, and as a terminal has Wood’s Hole.

The “Dude” train is not a new institution. It was first put into commission in the summer of 1898, and each succeeding summer has enjoyed the patronage of Boston businessmen whose enterprises require their presence in the city even on the hottest days, and when the charms of the summer resorts are most alluring. The train is essentially of a “private” character, and the restrictions placed upon the subscription list are stringent.

Splits At Tremont

The train is made up of five parlor cars equipped with a view to comfort as well as elegance, and as the subscribers number only a few over one hundred, plenty of room is provided. The train leaves Boston every afternoon save Sundays, at 3:05 o’clock. At Tremont, the train is “split.” Three of the cars are sent to Wood’s Hole, and the other two go to Fairhaven, near New Bedford. The stations at which the train stops are, beside Tremont, Wood’s Hole and Fairhaven, Marion, Buzzard’s Bay, Mattapoisett, Tempest Knob, Gray Gables, Monument Beach, Catawmet [Cataumet], Falmouth, and West Falmouth.

Map of Train Route

The train arrives in Wood’s Hole at 4:50 and at Fairhaven twelve minutes earlier, affording the long-distance suburbanites plenty of time for a round of golf or an hour’s sport on the tennis court before sundown.

Gets An Early Start

Promptly at 7:36 o’clock in the morning, the main section of the private train pulls out of Wood’s Hole, and the two-car section leaves Fairhaven at 7:45 o’clock. No mail or express is carried on the train, but [the] personal luggage of the subscribers is carried to stations along the line.

Caricature of a man (Henry Huttleston Rogers) in a top hat
H. H. Rogers

The businessmen who support the exclusive train are among those most prominent in Boston, and those who are chiefly interested in the enterprise are H. H. Rogers, Standard Oil magnate; John Parkinson, of Parkinson & Burr, bankers in the Exchange Building, and Charles E. Hellier, a well-known attorney with offices in the Equitable Building. Richard Harding Davis, the author, who lives at Marion, is a frequent passenger.

Among the others who hold season tickets are a number of well-known women who have summer homes along the lower shore. Included in the list of daily and occasional travelers are: A. E. Angler, Mrs. J. W. Austin, F. C. Bowditch, W. M.Bullivant, the leather merchant; E. W. Burdett, the corporation lawyer; C. B.Butterfield, Colonel H. E. Converse, C. A. Coolidge, G. V. Crocker, F. B. Cutler, J. C. Edwards, J. C. Gray, George P. Hamlin, and Edward Hamlin, the coal men; R. S. Dow, William E. Jones, Sidney Hosner [?], C. W. Leatherbee, C. S. Norris, E. E. Pecker, D. Rice, Dr. H. M. Richardson, H. B. Shepard, E. F. Smith, Mrs. Susan J. Sweetser, George C. Thomas, C. J. Thayer, W. S. Whiting, A. G. Weeks, F. W. Hobbs, Theophilius Parsons, C. S. Brown, Mrs. George A. Nickerson, Mrs. J. F. Stackpole, S. D. Warren, G. H. Windeler, R. L. Barstow, J. B. Fenno and Henry [Lynn].

The "Dude" operated from May to October. It made it's first trip to Wood's Hole on June 23, 1884, and after eight seasons, a second section was added to provide direct service, without change at Tremont [Wareham], to and from Marion and Mattapoisett on the Fairhaven Branch. When needed, an express car could be added to accomidate a subscriber's horses, carriage, and coachman.

In October of 1916 it made it's final trip to Boston. In the Spring of 1917, with the nation at war, the railroad could not renew the arrangement and the "Dude" was no more.

Sepia photo of Mattapoisett Train Station, conductor standing in front of building.
Mattapoisett Train Station, Depot Street

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