The Franklin Line deviates to serve a housing development? WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO??? Okay, okay, it’s not a deviation, it’s right there on the line. And Windsor Gardens Station actually gets great ridership considering what it’s serving. So no, this won’t be quite as exciting as if the train deviated – that would be quite the review!
|This is basically it…|
We are dealing with a barebones platform here. It’s single-track, and most of it is entirely bare – and I do mean entirely. Near the main entrance we’ve got a station sign, a digital sign, and a wastebasket. Over at the end of the platform, there’s another wastebasket and a tiny wooden shelter with a few benches in it. The end!
|Up at the shelter.|
Okay, okay, there’s more to talk about. Although the station doesn’t have much, it’s got peacefulness on its side: you’re right in the middle of the woods here, and a tiny creek runs along the station, creating a tranquil sound and atmosphere. The station is directly connected with The Commons at Windsor Gardens, a big apartment development, and there are two ways to get to it. The first is an entrance near the shelter that serves the northern part of the complex, while the main one is a really nice wooden bridge over the creek into the development’s southern section.
|I can’t say I’m not questioning the legality of this.|
What about the sizeable residential neighborhoods to the east of the station, though? It’s entirely focused on getting people to Windsor Gardens, yet there are dense houses to the east, including another development. Well, when Nathan and I were here, we managed to catch someone walking down the tracks and disappearing to the left. Was there a secret exit? Time to investigate!
|Wow, the legends are true!|
|Hopefully no one was going to the path at this very moment…|
Ridership: The station has low ridership for Franklin Line standards – it’s the third least-used one – but it’s still great. On the average weekday, Windsor Gardens gets 624 inbound riders every day. I mean, considering it almost exclusively serves a housing development, that’s high ridership!
Pros: The station’s tranquility is its biggest asset. The creek offers a lovely sound and ambience that you don’t find often on the Commuter Rail, while the station’s shelter is quite cozy. If one lives in The Commons at Windsor Garden, the station is perfect for them!
Cons: Not only is the platform not accessible, but it has barely anything on it. Considering how many people use it, the one shelter is not enough – benches could easily just be spread around the rest of the platform, and this problem could be solved. Something that requires more infrastructure is east side access, though. That path is dangerous, despite its convenient chain – it would be great if the T could step in and build a staircase in its place. Finally, the station has no inbound service after the 6:11 PM train on weekdays, but I don’t think it’s too big of a deal – who’s going to Boston from here after that?
Nearby and Noteworthy: The Commons is really all that’s close by. If you’re willing to walk for about 10-15 minutes, you’ll find a shopping plaza where you can pretend you’re on the PVTA as you visit its Big Y.
Final Verdict: 5/10
Unfortunately, there’s no way to improve this one without at least some spending on infrastructure. Throwing around some benches isn’t expensive, but it would be great if the T could obtain some information about how many people utilize the path to the east. If it’s a good amount, a staircase would be an excellent investment, because the current situation is awful. But hey, at least the station is peaceful!
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