Well shoot, looks like I beat Miles (of Miles in Transit) to the punch with doing the least-used Amtrak station in Rhode Island. That’s right, I’m talking about Westerly. Let’s take a look.
So, the station building itself is an art museum and, to my awareness, doesn’t house any facilities that would be valuable to the station. Need to use the bathroom? Good luck. Need to print out your ticket at a Quik-Trak machine? Not happening here. Is it raining? Tough luck. I’m sure you get the idea. Whatever amenities Kingston has, Westerly does not.
Even getting down here to do this review was a bit of a chore. Of course, I was able to take the 95X RIPTA trip that departs Kennedy Plaza at quarter past 2. That was easy enough. The annoying part was having to plan ahead and buying an Amtrak ticket. Yes, it was also easy enough, but it’s still annoying to do given there’s not much of any way out of here. I’ll touch upon the 95X more in that route’s post.
Now, bearing the fact that the station building is an art gallery, which is not open 7 days a week mind you, let’s look at the platform itself. There’s a handful of benches, mostly out in the open. There is, however, a small sheltered area on the far side of the platform, but from what I’m aware it only exists on the northbound side. Now, you might be asking “Well, how do I get over to the other side?! I can’t simply walk across the tracks!”, and that’s a good question. Access to the other side is provided by either stairs, or an elevator that’s out of service. Oh dear. The tunnel was nice and cool, and it happened to be the only area with cameras.
The good: It’s centrally (mostly) located in Westerly! There’s also some of everything nearby!
The bad: It’s not ADA compliant. Yeah, that’s a major one. I assume it’s temporary, but it’s still a major problem. There isn’t even a mini-high, and I wouldn’t trust the wheelchair lift with anything on it. There’s also pretty much no transit connections out here, making it even worse than Wickford Junction in this regard. At least THAT had regular service 7 days a week!
Nearby points of interest: Downtown Westerly! There’s also the local beaches if you take a 10-15 minute drive south. If you’re going by Amtrak or RIPTA, there’s Providence and Boston to the north, and Connecticut a stone throw away!
Transit connections: Amtrak (N.E. Regional), RIPTA (95X, 204 Flex)
Overall, Westerly could be a nice station. It’s got everything to be your typical historical old station, but yet it fails in some critical ways. For one, it’s not even ADA compliant. There’s not even a single mini-high to be seen here, AND the elevators don’t work! Yikes! That’s all in spite of the renovations that happened since Miles did his review! But, downtown Westerly is nearby if you’re visiting, so there’s that. And the fact people use this station shows there is demand for some kind of transit in Westerly, with ridership clocking 45379 people in 2019 (or, around 124 a day), making this the least-used train station (Amtrak or MBTA) in all of Rhode Island. The lack of transit connections (and transit in Westerly in general) is also a major blow to this otherwise quaint little station.