Readville Station. I’ve seen some interesting things about it, but what mostly got my eyes was the relatively unusual track configuration. What does this Commuter Rail station have in store? Let’s find out.
Taser and I took the 32 from Forest Hills to Wolcott Square, which was right outside the station. From here, it was quite evident that Readville was a wide open train station with four platforms. From west to east, they are the Franklin/Foxboro platform, the unused Providence/Stoughton platforms, and the Fairmount platform at the flyover track. In terms of amenities, it’s pretty barebones, but given the sizable parking lot they probably intend on this being a park & ride station. While there’s no bathrooms here, there are some businesses nearby, including a Dunkin’, which may or may not let you use the bathroom.
Now, for accessibility. The low platforms, at first glance, may scream “I AM NOT AN ACCESSIBLE STATION!!!”, and that’s technically true. However, unlike Westerly, there’s two major differences:
1. there’s ramps and bridges that aren’t in as bad shape as South Attleboro (because they used concrete instead of all metal) and
2. there’s a mini-high at each platform!
Now that I think of it, it feels kinda like a time capsule. Like, how long has it been since the Providence/Stoughton Line ended at Attleboro? Has to be before I was born, if anything (for context, I was born in ’01).
Now, most stations are straightforward and usually safe with getting to the platforms. However, the Franklin Line platform is a bit sketchy. Take a look.
Why they couldn’t put everything on the other side, is beyond me. But, whatever. At least it’s better than Back Bay’s ventilation issue. At least for railfanning, it’s also a pretty good spot. There’s the Acela and Regional for one. This station’s also the terminus of the Fairmount line and pretty much every Franklin/Foxboro train stops here, too. Providence/Stoughton trains also express through here unless a train evacuation is necessary for any reason (e.g. mechanical failiure)
The good: It’s a nice little train station. It serves as a decent park and ride lot as well, with access to two train lines (Franklin and Fairmount), and a third (Providence) and Amtrak service expressing through here. It’s also a good railfanning spot.
The bad: It’s a bit of a maze, and can be a “screw you” station at times, especially if you’re unfamiliar. Also, the fact it’s only mini-highs instead of full highs. Also, what’s with the Franklin Line crossing?
Nearby points of interest: Not much. I mean, there’s a pizzeria nearby, along with the Fairmount layover yard (don’t trespass!).
Transit connections: MBTA (bus route 32, Commuter Rail)
Overall, for what it is, I’ve certainly seen worse. It’s not bad, but not too good either. Average, if anything. It’s still better than South Attleboro and the sorry state that station is in currently, though. Also, the arch bridge the Fairmount line goes over is kinda nice. There’s also a decent amount of parking, should anyone want to use it as a park and ride. 426 people use this station each day on average, as of 2018, which while it’s nothing to laugh at, is nowhere near the ridership numbers for stops like Forge Park or Norwood. For Fairmount trains, though, it’s among the most used stops outside of downtown.