Okay, will someone please tell how “Readville” is pronounced? Because I’ve been pronouncing it the same way someone would pronounce the town “Reading” – “Red-ville”. The automatic announcements on the 32, however, pronounced it as “Read-ville”, which doesn’t roll off the tongue as well, in my opinion. Well, I’m gonna keep saying “Red-ville” until I get corrected.
|Hmm…ah…well…um…there it is…|
Yeah, so, Readville is a bit of an ugly one. It has a complicated system of footbridges connecting between the station’s four platforms (this is the junction between three Commuter Rail lines). Though the footbridges do look kinda cool, they’re also rather ugly, made out of pure metal.
|Continuing with that “ugly” theme…|
Let’s start with the Fairmount Line platform. It’s single-track, but that’s not really an issue since for the most part, trains terminate here. It has a bland shelter with a single bench and map, and an asphalt platform. There’s also a wastebasket here, so that’s, um, good.
|The boarding platform.|
As usual for Commuter Rail stations, there’s a walk from the main shelter to the boarding platform. Man, I can’t stand when Commuter Rail stations do this. The least they could do is…wait! What’s that on the boarding platform? Is that a…bench? So you can wait at the same place where you board the train? So the legends are true…
|The more or less unused Providence Line shelter.|
The Providence Line platforms are next, but trains don’t actually use them. They’re just kind of there in case of a line disruption or emergency that would make trains have to stop. The outbound side is basically just a low platform and a high-level boarding area like the Fairmount Line platform. (And again, the boarding area has a bench!) The inbound side has a slightly fancier shelter, with two benches instead of one. Ironic, because trains skip right past it.
|The surprisingly nice Franklin Line platform.|
I wasn’t expecting this, but the Franklin Line platform is kind of tranquil. I mean, it’s a single track that curves slightly with trees for surroundings at the main part of the platform. There are even some overgrown flowers that poke through a fence, which is rather nice. That said, the platform’s shelter is still bland. And also, it’s on the opposite side of the tracks from the boarding area! What?? Why? That basically makes the shelter completely useless, unless you want to switch sides a few minutes before the train comes! Well, at least the boarding area has a bench again.
|Look! It’s Boston!|
Readville has two bus connections, on either side of it. Hyde Park Ave has the extremely frequent 32 to Forest Hills, which I’ve already covered on this blog. Wolcott Square is also on this side, and that has a few small businesses. The western end of the station, meanwhile, has a connection to the 33 on West Milton Street, which goes to Mattapan. I’ll be reviewing that next, but let me just say that the 33 does not have nearly the same levels of service as the 32, trust me. This side of the station is pretty much entirely residential.
|Some Amtrak work equipment that was just lying around.|
The station has three different parking lots, making things a little complicated. There are two on the Hyde Park Ave side, and one on the Milton Street side. In total, the lots add up to 354 spaces, which is more than enough for the station. The MBTA website says there’s no bike parking here, but I see a few bike racks in the picture above, so that’s something. That could be the extent of bikes here, though.
|Awww, yeah! I didn’t see any Commuter Rail trains, but this Amtrak train came whizzing through at top speed.|
Ridership: The station gets an average of 621 inbound boardings per weekday, which isn’t too bad for the Commuter Rail. I can’t imagine too many of these boardings coming from buses, since both buses from here go further into the city – though perhaps people commute to Readville and transfer to buses.
Pros: This is one of the only “transfer points” between Commuter Rail lines outside of downtown. It has ample parking, decent bus connections (well, the 32, at least), and is fully accessible thanks to the footbridges. Oh, and the boarding areas have benches!
Cons: Let me reiterate that Readville is not a pretty station. The footbridges are ugly, and ditto for all the platforms (with maybe a slight exception for the Franklin Line one – love the overgrown flowers). Also, I feel like Providence Line trains should stop here. It would make this station an even bigger transfer point, and could allow residents here to head out to Providence.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Other than a few businesses in Wolcott Square, there isn’t much of note here.
Final Verdict: 6/10
Honestly, the aesthetics alone are just so…6-ish. They’re not horrible, but they’re bland, boring, and borderline ugly. Also, maybe Providence Line trains skip this station to speed up service on the Northeast Corridor, but that has three tracks! Amtrak trains could run in the middle and skip this station, while local Commuter Rail trains could stop. Well, functionally, Readville is pretty good, but it certainly has some flaws.
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