Oh goody, a new terminal station for me to review! So, what’s on the plate? Well…..it’s the end of the Needham Line. Let’s look.
So, Needham Heights is pretty standard. You have a singular track which continues a little bit, a mini-high on the far end, a very long low-level platform, benches, wastebaskets, red dot matrix signs (except there’s about 3 instead of the usual 1!), and a small amount of parking, and even cycling infrastructure. Neat! There’s also a sheltered area – ON THE VERY FAR ENDS OF THE PLATFORM. There’s also plenty of shopping and even a park present here. The 59 also runs from here to Watertown. Neat!
The good: It’s in the middle of Needham (almost), has plenty around it, a decent walkshed, and some parking as well! The 59 also runs out here. Terminal ops are also handled better here vs. at Stoughton, as the engineer has to send a radio signal to manually trigger the gates, rather than slowly inch up to them.
The bad: The damn platform feels like it goes on forever! Yes, I know 800ft is standard length, but it’d be more bearable if the entire thing was high level, rather than forcing the train to a mini-high at the extreme end of the platform. The 59’s schedule also kinda sucks, and is nonexistent on Sundays.
Nearby points of interest: There’s some businesses, but nothing really stuck out.
Transit connections: Commuter Rail (Needham), MBTA bus (59)
Overall, it’s passable. Nothing too much to remark about, but it could be much better. I’ve seen people suggest converting the line out here to be Green Line territory, but personally I disagree and think extending the Orange Line out here might be a better idea (environmentalists be damned) instead. Sadly, this station doesn’t get that high a score.