Once upon a time, Auburndale was a commuter station on the Boston and Worcester Railroad. A building was built for it by the acclaimed architect H.H. Richardson, and it was considered by some to be the best he ever built. But then came I-90, which forced the beautiful depot to be demolished. Is the station as good as it was before? Ha! Nope.
|Truly a grand entrance right here.|
Auburndale is one of the Worcester Line’s Newton stations, where the train tracks run right alongside I-90. These stations are rather infamous for being terrible, and Auburndale is no exception. One of its entrances is on Woodland Road, over the highway. It’s a staircase and a schedule card. Moving on…
Oh man, but the other entrance is decked out. It’s on Auburn Street, and not only does it feature a staircase and a schedule card, but also a station sign and a newspaper box! The fun never stops at Auburndale!
|Back on the Woodland Road side. Hoooo, boy.|
The stairs to get down to the station are…something. For one thing, take a look at the staircase in the picture above. Does that look safe to you? Oh, and don’t look down when you’re traversing it, because then you can see right down to the gravelly ground below! Hope you’re not afraid of heights!
|The station…viewed from above.|
Okay, so let’s talk about this platform. It’s right next to the highway. As in right next to the highway. As in when you’re waiting for the train, there’s a never-ending barrage of noise from cars speeding down the road. Plus, random highway trash gets tossed down around the station, making it feel incredibly dingy.
|Ohhh, this is a good one.|
Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if they built a two track Commuter Rail station with only one platform? That would be hilarious! Oh wait…Auburndale has this setup and it’s not at all funny! Although haphazard boardwalks are set up to the other track, I don’t believe any trains are scheduled to board from there. Still, the lack of a second platform just creates problems with scheduling on the Worcester Line.
|The simply beautiful shelter.|
Okay, so the shelter. The rotting, bland shelter. It has benches, ads, and wastebaskets that desperately need to be emptied. The ceiling has chipping paint, the windows are made out of the dirtiest glass ever, and the lights are surely incandescent. Lovely place to wait!
|At least there’s parking…|
Well, at least Auburndale has a parking lot. A whole 35 spaces, in fact! Okay, Auburndale has the smallest parking lot out of the Newton stations, and there aren’t even any signs leading to it! I have no idea if it gets filled up on weekdays or not, since the MBTA website doesn’t give information, but…some parking is better than no parking, I guess?
|A train leaning around the curve.|
Ridership: Well…in terms of inbound ridership, it’s the busiest of the three Newton stations. 325 passengers per weekday really isn’t that much, though. On the Saturday I was here, though, a whole one other person was going inbound! Crazy.
Pros: Well…it exists…that’s good…
Cons: Hmm…the horrible staircases? The bare asphalt platform? The fact that there’s only one? The bland, dirty shelter? The overflowing wastebaskets? The proximity to the highway? The noise? The trash everywhere? The meager parking lot? ALL OF IT.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Okay, there is a business block nearby. But it only fits half the equation, since it doesn’t seem particularly noteworthy.
Final Verdict: 1/10
This station is sooooooooo bad. It doesn’t have any redeeming values except for the fact that it’s there. It has the lowest amount of parking of the Newton stations, especially considering that Riverside is right down the road with its huge lot. Oh, and also, the station itself is dingy, bland, and overall horrible! Yup, Auburndale clearly deserves to be this blog’s first recipient of a 1/10. Congratulations?
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