Alrighty, so now the first stop north of the Charles on the Red Line! So, how is Kendall/MIT? Let’s find out.
So, the platforms are alright enough. Yeah, they feel slightly dingy, but it’s not that bad. However, the mezzanines (yes, there’s two – no free crossovers!) are immediately next to the platform, rendering this a “screw you” station if you’re cutting it close. Of course, you have benches and whatnot, however Kendall also has something that most other stations don’t: some toys to play with!
So, I start swinging the lever. “You gotta go a little harder!” a passerby said, so I did, and then he mentioned to look behind and that’s when I noticed the hammers were swinging as I was swinging the lever. Cool! I think there’s supposed to be some kind of music with windchimes, but I don’t think it was working correctly. Here’s a video that demos it, though! As for the headhouses, they correspond to each platform, so go in the right way! The inbound headhouse is also much newer, having just opened within the last month (as of me writing this), and I’m sure the outbound headhouse is set to get a similar facelift.
Walking up about a quarter-mile, brings us to Kendall’s other crowned jewel. However, it’s more a rite of passage for Boston-area railfans, as it’s the Grand Junction used for nonrevenue equipment moves between the northside and southside lines. Sadly, no trains came by. Buses pretty much dump off on the street next to the station.
The good: It’s located in the heart of Kendall Square on MIT’s campus! Furthermore, you got the Band, which is cool. Also, the Grand Junction is a short walk away for railfans, and you have a couple of bus connections. And, despite being mostly built in the ’80s, the interior looks pretty nice.
The bad: No free crossovers!
Nearby points of interest: MIT’s campus, the Grand Junction, and a lot of businesses that seem to primarily cater to the significant college population.
Transit connections: Red Line, MBTA bus (64, 68, 85)
Overall, I like this station, and while it’s no Wollaston, it’s still one of my personal favorites on the Red Line, and is probably my favorite on the Charles-Alewife stretch. Sadly, it’s no 10/10, but it still gets a high score.
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