Alright, second Amtrak station post! Now, as the title of this post will suggest, Kingston/URI is near, you guessed it, the University of Rhode Island, in Kingston (a village in South Kingstown). It’s not close enough to be walkable, though (as the crow flies, being about 1.7 miles, with it being 2 miles on foot/by car). So, if you have a bunch of luggage, just pony up the $2 for RIPTA or however much an Uber would be. Anyways, moving from there, let’s get into the facility itself.
Now, as for the station itself, we have a side and island platform, serving the north and southbound Northeast Corridor tracks, along with a side track. Yeah, I don’t know what’s up with that since all the trains are either on track 1 (southbound) or track 2 (pictured above, northbound). Further up the platform, there’s a staircase and elevator leading up to a bridge for access to the island platform for tracks 1 and 3. And, it was quite clean for a somewhat relatively heavily used station.
From the bridge, one can see the Northeast Corridor tracks largely obstruction-free. Heck, on days with less than desirable weather (like today), it could even serve as an okay vantage point for railfanning. However, as far as I can tell, I’m not sure if it has any cooling, so I wouldn’t suggest sticking around for too long on hot summer days.
Now, the station building itself is historic in nature. Quite gorgeous, too, I might add. What does it have? Well, there’s an Amtrak agent to assist people. There’s also two (!!) waiting rooms, one with more comfy-looking seats than the other. There’s also two inclusive (or gender-neutral, whichever you prefer to call it) bathrooms, a bubbler (or water fountain, if you’re from literally anywhere other than RI/S.E. Massachusetts/Wisconsin), and some vending machines. There’s also a pull-in area for RIPTA buses. Plus there’s a lot of parking, and when I was here the lots were filled up quite a bit. The ridership data seems to back this up, with ridership clocking in at just under 175000 in 2019, or about 480 or so a day on average.
The good: It serves a major area. I mean, yes it’s rural, but there’s also freakin’ URI nearby! It’s also a nice, quaint station. For railfanning, it’s also a pretty popular spot as the Acela expresses through here at its max speed of 150 miles an hour. Brochures for the RIPTA buses in the region can also be found here (from what I found, the 14, 64, 66, and 69, even though the 14 doesn’t stop near here).
The bad: Why doesn’t the MBTA stop here? I know, it’s an Amtrak station, but that didn’t stop them with Providence. They even have track 3 accessible by platform for exactly the kind of stuff the MBTA would do here. While I’m at it, why does the Transit Master Plan call for URI, not here, to be a major transit hub? Furthermore, there IS demand for the T to stop here, given the fact people get off at Wickford going inbound. Hell, one could theoretically make a case for the Shore Line East to stop here too but it’s not as big a case as the MBTA.
Nearby points of interest: URI, and not much else. There’s also Providence via the 66 and Newport via the 64.
Transit connections: RIPTA (64, 66), Northeast Regional
Overall, it’s a nice station. Quaint, even. And, for the amount of people that regularly use the station, it fits the size perfectly. Hell, it’s a nice station even if you’re into railfanning. Aside from the lack of MBTA/SLE service, I got no complaints. Hell, the fact it’s accessible makes it better.