Gallagher Transportation Terminal (LRTA/MBTA)

Ah, another MBTA terminal station, this time shared with the LRTA! Welcome to Lowell, I guess! So, after taking the Lowell Line from West Medford, I made it my goal to review the entire line in the span of one day. So, let’s see how the Gallagher Transit- wait, it’s just Lowell? Oh ok- wait, that’s also wrong? The Kennedy Center? WHY IS THERE SUCH AN INCONSISTENCY HERE?!


Well, whatever, it’s gonna be the Gallagher TC for the purposes of this blog, so let’s go into it.

Bus berths!
More berths!

Starting off, there’s a small pickup/dropoff area along with several bus berths. I think they might be heated, but I’m not sure. However, there is an information booth out here, along with benches and wastebaskets. Neat! You can also see the Commuter Rail ROW as well.

Yes, there’s an indoor waiting area!
Choose your wrap!

The indoor waiting area was warm, and is alright. You have NECN on the television inside, along with a 7 segment clock display and brochures. Also, there’s restrooms here. And, HOLY SHIT A CHARLIECARD MACHINE?! Yeah, that’s REALLY rare for outside Boston! In here, you can also take the stairs or elevator up to the 3rd floor, where access to the Commuter Rail can be had.

The indoor waiting area!
This feels wrong.
Access to the Commuter Rail!

As for the Commuter Rail area, it’s “meh”. It’s in a bit sorry shape, but I’ve seen worse. Although, if I were reviewing this solely based on the Commuter Rail, it’d get a dogshit score. Yeah, you have your footbridge, elevator, and a 2 car long (!!) mini-high, along with wastebaskets, benches, and a red dot matrix sign, but it could be better with a full-length high. Also, the elevator just scares me. Didn’t do the piss test, but it probably smells of urine.

I don’t like this.
I REALLY don’t like this!
Northbound towards Nashua & Concord (NH)!
Southbound with freight cars. And, yes, it’s mostly low-level.

The good: Intermodal transfers between the MBTA, Meva, and LRTA! WOOHOO! Furthermore, you’ve got a heated waiting area which is nice! It’s also got plenty of parking to cater to those who drive in as well. Neat!

The bad: Eh, the Commuter Rail bit has seen better days.

Nearby points of interest: Pretty much the entire city of Lowell via the LRTA, but in the immediate area? Not much.

Transit connections: Lowell Line, Meva (41), LRTA (2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18)

Overall, I like this station but it feels like a reverse Pawtucket: the bus terminal is pretty good, however the Commuter Rail platform is a bit of a sorry state. Even then, I’ve certainly seen worse *cough Newtonville* but either way, it’s a pretty decent station.

Rating: 7.5/10

344 (Glenbrook Rd./Darien)

Alrighty, the second bus route I rode this day! Initially, I was going to take the New Canaan but uhhhh, yeah, my plans got derailed (literally). So, this’ll have to do.

Construction in downtown Stamford!

So, off to the races we go! We leave the under-I95 bus terminal at the McKinney TC, taking a few turns up Washington Blvd., Tresser Blvd./US-1, and Atlantic Street, passing by the Stamford Town Center shopping center in the meantime. We’d then turn right onto Broad Street, which becomes East Main Street (US-1), crossing the Northeast Corridor.

A furniture store!
Some offices near the shopping center
Not the cleanest of windows
More of downtown Stamford!
Taco Bell!

Ridership was low at first, but as we turned down a side street, Hamilton Avenue, and Glenbrook Road, it got steady with a modest amount of people. We kept passing by residences, even turned right crossing the bustituted New Canaan branch and Glenbrook’s Metro-North station. At this point, there wasn’t a lot to remark about, aside from the fact we were waist-deep in a residential neighborhood, a deviation into Noroton Heights’s Metro-North station, and a shopping center. Pressing on down West Ave., we’d reach Darien without much of note.

A tow truck!
Down a side street we go!
The Northeast Corridor, again!
More apartment buildings!
Citgo & Glenbrook MNRR!
Some vans!
They say a group of Karens is called an HOA.
More residential!
Noroton Heights MNRR!
A gas station!
Almost at the end!
Rich NIMBYism, probably!
Darien MNRR!
Made it!

The good: Well, it serves a lot of residential stuff! Uhhh, yeah, that’s pretty much it. Also, Glenbrook’s and Noroton’s train stations.

The bad: While hourly is probably enough, the weekend schedule is just “nah”. No Sunday service and the last normal trip is in the 7PM hour! Just, why?!

Nearby points of interest: The three Metro-North stations! There’s also a park near Glenbrook and a few shopping centers!

Overall, it’s okay, however the lack of Sunday service hinders this route’s potential greatly. Which is a shame, since people still need to use Darien and Noroton Heights on weekends.

Rating: 6.5/10

Greenwich (Metro-North)

Alrighty, the last of the four Greenwich Metro-North stations, and this one is in Greenwich’s town center! So, let’s see how decent this is. Here we go!

Alrighty, so getting off the train after Port Chester, and we’re in a modern-ish station. It does feel vintage, though, and rightfully so as this was built during the Penn Central era. As a plus, unlike the other three Greenwich-area stations, it’s accessible! Yes, elevators exist for crossovers!

The bridge!

Yeah, I don’t think exposed wires are supposed to be where the fire alarm goes. That’s safe! I didn’t give the elevators the piss test, but it’d probably pass due to the rich NIMBY nature of the town.

Towards Stamford and points east!
And towards New York!

Crossing to the other side, there’s a waiting room, fare vending machines (which, iirc, exist on BOTH sides! Woah!), along with shelters (also on the other side). Now, what’s in the waiting room? Well, there’s benches, a shuttered ticket office, and BATHROOMS ON THE LOWER LEVEL?! WOAH! Okay, save for the shuttered ticket office that closed in 2016 (and apparently the ticket guy was well-beloved locally), this is pretty much perfect. And, outside on Railroad Avenue, connections can be made to both CTtransit’s 311 and Norwalk WHEELS’ Greenwich Commuter Loop shuttle. It was here that I decided to get lunch at Planet Pizza. Would I recommend? Yes!

No brochures sadly
Greenwich Station!
Express train
More Amtrak!
Pedestrian access from the overpass!
No bold, but still italics!

The good: It’s got an indoor waiting area that’s open during service hours! YAY! And it’s accessible!!! Furthermore, it’s right in downtown Greenwich, with nearby Greenwich Ave. being the main hub of the city. WOOHOO! Also, there’s a commuter loop and CTtransit! Departure boards, too!

The bad: The ticket office is closed! And, it’s been that way for 6 years! And to be honest, it makes the station feel a little devoid of life. Heck, per the article I linked above, from what I can tell even the locals liked the ticketing agent. I get it’d cost money, and probably more money than what Metro-North or ConnDOT are willing to spend, but it’d be nice for a station agent to be present and to have the station buildings be open. Even if it’s not for ticket sales, just to have someone there to assist passengers in general.

Nearby points of interest: Greenwich Avenue is a big one. Apparently there’s an Apple Store out here! There’s also a park nearby as well.

Transit connections: Metro-North (New Haven), CTtransit (311), Norwalk WHEELS (Greenwich Commuter Loop)

Overall, I really like this station. Objectively, it’s up there for being among the best Metro-North stations. And, while I’m not a big fan of the moves ConnDOT did to nerf the station, nor am I big on the architecture, it’s largely not a bad station. As such, I think it’s worthy of a high score, albeit not a 10. Oh yeah, bathrooms.

Rating: 8/10

Stamford (Amtrak/Metro-North/CTrail)

Next stop: Stamford!

“You are NOT the father!”, Maury would say. Oh, this is a STATION entry, not Maury. Right. Well, welcome to the Stewart B. McKinney Stamford Gateway Intermodal Transportation Center. Or, the Stamford Transportation Center. Let’s see what the….

*checks notes*

SECOND MOST-USED METRO-NORTH STATION?! Yeah. Let’s see what this sucker has to offer. This is gonna be a big one. So, buckle down, and let’s get this show on the road!

New platform under construction!

So, pulling into Stamford on the Acela, first thing I notice is the style of architecture and the new platform (from what I understand is to be for New Canaan dinks so they don’t occupy a through track). And, I’ll have to admit, I dig this kind of architecture. Platforms are concrete, modern, and have adequate lighting and shelters. However, there were no benches. This wasn’t a big deal, as there was a waiting room above the tracks. I’ll add, this was also pretty cool, and I dig the cross-braces in the windows. Speaking of the concourse, there’s Amtrak and Metro-North information desks, a convenience store, and yes, a Dunkin. Meanwhile, the northern exit will bring you out to the street with another convenience store, and the southern one to a parking garage. On the outside is another garage under construction, and a sign reading “Stewart B. McKinney Transportation Center”. Who was he? It turns out, he was a Republican representative from the ’80s, who died of AIDS and was bisexual. Yeah, bisexual Republicans. Don’t see that one every day.

Track & platform level
More parking?!
The station looms ahead…
Stewart McKinney?!
The skyline
Another cafe
The concourse!

Once on street level, you can go down further into an underground passageway, and you’ll find MTA police, a CTtransit vending machine (turned off, free fares!), a shuttered Subway, and a Greyhound office. Don’t tell Miles!

Down we go!
Shh, don’t tell Miles!
no sbubby
Platform access from below!

Now lastly, there’s the bus terminal. This has got to be among the sorriest-looking bus terminals I’ve seen. It’s like Cos Cob in that it’s under I-95, but it’s worsened by the fact it’s in the middle of a city. Yeah…… But, the berths are labelled clearly! So, props to CTtransit on that. You can also walk to track 4 on foot without entering the station’s concourses too, neat! As a downside, the elevator down here smells like urine. At least, the one I took did.

MTA police!
The station building looms

The good: It’s a beautiful piece of architecture! It really is, I legitimately dig the style of the station in general. It’s also got pretty much everything a passenger might need or want. Furthermore, you’ve got multiple ways to access the platforms, all the Stamford-area bus routes, and a crazy amount of Metro-North trains! Plus, it’s in the heart of the city as well.

The bad: …I genuinely cannot think of much. I was annoyed by the fact there was construction, but whatever.

Nearby points of interest: The city of Stamford and the bus routes, and the New Canaan line can take you to its namesake town! You’ve also got various local-owned shops, restaurants, breweries, etc., and a mall nearby. AND THERE’S A DINER?! HOLY FUCKING SHIT!

Transit connections: Amtrak (Northeast Regional, Acela, Vermonter), CTrail (Shore Line East, temporarily suspended), Metro-North (New Haven & New Canaan), CTtransit (311, 312, 313, 321, 324, 326, 327, 328, 331, 333, 334, 335, 336, 341, 342, 344, 345, 351, I-BUS), Greyhound

Overall, it’s a great station. Easily among the best I’ve seen even. It’s in a decent location, has good service for both Metro-North and CTtransit, and every Amtrak train stops here as well. As such, I think it’s worthy of a special score I reserve for a handful of stations.

Rating: 10/10

These brochures actually proved HELPFUL for research for once!
haha traffic

Old Greenwich (Metro-North)

Another station in Greenwich, oh my! Well, it’s not that bad. Besides, I-95 isn’t close by for once and it’s in a sleepy neighborhood that, *gasps* has things to do!!! Woah!


So, getting off the platform, it’s the same story as Riverside and Cos Cob. Honestly, it’s kinda exhausting at this point since I may as well copy-paste. But, ’cause I love y’all, I’ll beat the dead horse.

Looking towards Grand Central

You got benches, wastebaskets, shelters, and vending machines. Parking is on either side, permit only (as is also the case with Riverside & Cos Cob), and sorry, the station building is closed. Man, they should really have the station building open outside the morning rush, maybe with a small convenience store for the local neighborhood as well as restrooms. After all, headways can get a bit wonky, especially at rush hour. Anyways, the area around the station itself is a small village with shopping and restaurants. Nothing stood out to me, and no I’m not counting Dunkin’ here, because of course there’s gonna be a Dunkin’ in every small CDP in New England. CTtransit also stops here, peak hours only.

Look, a Dunkin’!
This looks kinda fancy!
And the other side!
And my train to Cos Cob!

The good: It’s in a suburban area, and unlike the other two suburban park & rides in Greenwich, it’s actually got things around it one can do! It also has a CTtransit connection, peak hours only though.

The bad: It’s still suffering many of the problems Cos Cob and Riverside suffered. Those problems being no departure board and a lack of ADA compliance. Also, I’ll have to nitpick that the CTtransit connection is peak-only, and the station building is only open during the morning rush. There’s also no bike racks.

Nearby points of interest: Old Greenwich seems like a nice little village! There’s also a park on the other side of the tracks, and a golf club nearby.

Transit connections: Metro-North (New Haven), CTtransit (324, limited service)

Overall, I think outside of Greenwich, this station’s probably the best one of the bunch. It’s got stuff to do, has a decent amount of parking, and it also has bus connections (albeit limited). So, I think this one deserves a decent score.

Rating: 7/10

Port Chester (Metro-North)

Ain’t no way, I’m reviewing a station in NEW YORK?!

Yep, and it’s only the first out of…. *counts on fingers* 21, I think? And four of those don’t even exist yet. Nevertheless, welcome to New York, here’s Port Chester.

The tracks
An M8 at the station!
We uhhh, got a little bold there, I guess.

So, first thing is there’s an elevator on the Stamford side (sorry, no local to New Haven!) and a ramp to the Grand Central side. So, of course, I did the piss test (that is, ride to see if the elevator reeks of urine), and to my surprise it passed! Way to go, Port Chester!!! Furthermore, there’s heated waiting areas on the platforms, fare vending machines on both sides, departure boards that actually LIST intermediate stations, and announcements! Woah, this is REALLY nice. And, it’s got parking, Bee Line connections, and (if you walk a little), a CTtransit connection! Holy crap!

The departure board. Fancy!
Towards Stamford!
Fare vending machines!
Parking and some local stuff
Acela ain’t fast.
Express train!

Just be ready to hear “Attention customers! Please step back from the edge of the platform! Standing on or near the yellow edge strip is dangerous! Stand back; be safe! [END BEEP]” every few minutes when a train expresses through. Would a simple “TRAIN APPROACHING, PLEASE REMAIN BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE!” like on the NEC north of State Street have sufficed instead? Who knows.

Next to arrive on track 4!
A meet!
Parking on the Stamford side
And away I go!

The good: It’s in a dense area! I mean, it’s dense as far as suburban areas go, and it feels like a small city in its own right. Plus, there’s all sorts of shopping nearby.

The bad: I mean, the fact Bee Line and CTtransit don’t deviate into the station is a bit annoying, and I do have to ask if the amount of parking is excessive.

Nearby points of interest: The many small shops nearby, the Waterfront at Port Chester (a mall), and there’s a few theaters nearby too!

Transit connections: Metro-North (New Haven), CTtransit (311), Bee-Line (13, 61)

Overall, this place is probably the best of the bunch for stations exclusively served by Metro-North and not Amtrak. Like, it’s got everything to not just be passable, but also an actually decent place to wait at. Sure, it’d suck to be stranded, but at least you can wait in relative comfort.

Rating: 9/10

311 (Greenwich/Port Chester)

Alrighty, so the first of two CTtransit entries! Let’s check out the only regular bus service Greenwich has throughout the day. And…..

*looks at route map*

Oh no. No, not New York…..

It’s a bus, but not mine!

So, at the McKinney TC (Stamford MNRR), we board a bendy bus under I-95 and the bus is already pretty full. Damn, good thing we have a bendy bus to work with! So, off to the races we are, and down Route 1 we go! So, of course, it gets very suburban really fast. However, hints of urbanization and density still exists, as there’s a mix of apartment complexes and single family housing in sight. We even pass a ShopRite and a Stop & Shop, and quickly enough we’re in Greenwich. Yay!

Downtown Stamford!
Dirty window!
Finger lickin’ good! …if you want bowel issues, that is.
Apartment complexes!
More buildings!
I don’t know why the bus stop there, but whatever.
Apparently there’s an ACME in this plaza. Don’t tell Wile E. Coyote!

So, as we progressed down US-1, we pass several office buildings and whatnot. There’s also several churches, a school, Interstate 95, and the Mianus River to be seen here. It’s all pretty much suburban, and after we passed the high school, it started to look a little more walkable. However, it was still car-centric as parking existed on both sides of the street. Boo….. But, we deviated! Wooo! Deviation to Greenwich’s Metro-North station! Yay! And, it was here where the 311 splits into two. One variant goes up Field Point Road and follows US-1. However, I was on a B variant route, which continues down Hamilton Avenue. It pretty much felt like a residential side-street, if anything, and it felt weird snaking under the Northeast Corridor in a 60 foot bendy bus, to be quite honest. From here, we’d be crossing under I-95 and closing in on the New York border in an increasingly urban area.

Wooo, offices!
The mighty Mianus River
Low-ish density!
Cos Cob School!
Seems like a small New England town.
I don’t remember what this was.
Woooo, deviation!
Residential neighborhood!
Woo, more offices!
Rich NIMBYs, probably
The Northeast Corridor!
The last bit of Connecticut!

And then I fizzled out of existence entirely upon entering New York!!! The end!

…nah, I’m just messing with you (the reader). What happened was we entered Port Chester, passed what can be described as an old industrial area (I think?), and we made it to the general area of the train station. Yay!

The Byram River, forming the state line!
Yeah, this is New York.
I spy the Northeast Corridor!
See ya!

The good: Well, it definitely serves a lot! It goes into freakin’ New York, for crying out loud! It’s also the only regular bus service through Greenwich, not counting the I-BUS or the Norwalk WHEELS-operated commuter shuttle. This probably plays into why it’s got high ridership and why it uses a 60ft bendy bus.

The bad: Two branches? Really? And with that it also means headways are WORSE on the branches, with upwards of bi-hourly on weekends! Darn it, CTtransit!

Nearby points of interest: Well, you got a shopping center in Port Chester, and a few parks in Greenwich (not counting office parks!). Also, the shopping on Railroad and near Greenwich Avenues.

Overall, it’s a decent route, it gets the job done, and serves a lot of people with where it serves. I’m also thankful I didn’t vaporize into thin air.

Rating: 7.5/10

Viles St. (MBTA)

Ah, a new MBTA station, and it’s out in Weston! Sweet! Let’s see it!



You mean to tell me, this GRADE CROSSING is the station?! WHAT?! Oh PLEASE! There’s not even anything nearby – aside from an ACTUAL station about a mile away (Kendal Green!) Holy fucking SHIT this is terrible – you KNOW it’s awful when there’s not even the white-on-purple Helvetica signage!

The good: LMAO

The bad: It’s just a grade crossing! WHY WAS THIS EVEN A STOP?! Just….no, just no…. Stops like this make me want to down whisky instead of actually visiting and reviewing them with just how TERRIBLE they are (for the record, no whisky was consumed, and I’m not an alcoholic).

Nearby points of interest: Kendal Green’s station. Duh.

Overall, thank GOD this station is closed. If I actually had to go out and review it, it’d be a bad day. Never mind that, I’d much rather walk from Kendal Green to here than actually get the odd train that would’ve served….. *checks notes* 4th-least used station on the entire Commuter Rail at last count (which excludes any service increases at Forest Hills, and the opening of Oak Grove, Foxboro, Chelsea, Blue Hill Ave., and Pawtucket)

Rating: …I refuse to score this one. Partly, it’s out of principle of “it’s unfair to score a closed station”, but also it’s just that bad. Don’t believe me? Read Miles’ entry on this sorry excuse of a station. He really goes ham with the keyboard and rant mode on it.

Stay tuned, as PAWTUCKET is opening on the 23rd!

FOOD REVIEW: Great Value Beef Taquitos

What, no transit-oriented entry for today? Yeah, sorry, I’m holding out until the Green Line Extension to Medford opens. However, that aside, let’s look at some food, shall we?

Nuking the food

So, the food itself is tasty, and kinda soft. It’s got the taste you’d expect from taquitos, so it’s not disappointing or anything like that. For $4 and change, you can’t go wrong (if you’re not banned from your local WAL*MART, that is). However, I would strongly recommend baking or air frying over microwaving. So, with that in mind, how would I rate this?

Easy. 7/10 if you nuke it, 10/10 if you bake it in the oven or an air fryer.

The goods