Okay, guys, I have another pronunciation problem. So, based on the way Fairmount is spelled, I’ve always assumed the second syllable is pronounced like “mountain”. But according to a local I met on my walk to the station, it’s pronounced like “Fairmont”. I know I should probably just trust the local, but I have to ask you guys: “Fairmount” or “Fairmont”? Well, anyway, let’s talk about the station.
|The inbound entrance.|
There are two different ways of getting into Fairmount. The first of these consists of pedestrian ramps from Fairmount Ave that lead down to the station. There are two of them (one for inbound and one for outbound), and both have T symbols outside. The ramps themselves are long, curving around in order to make it down to the platform. Luckily, there are also stairs to speed things up for people who don’t need the ramps.
|Hmm…that road there…I’m not sure if it’s in the best condition…|
The other way of getting into Fairmount is by road, and there are two different ones that go there. The first is a short street off of Fairmount Ave called 3rd New Way. It’s a steep, treacherous road that comes down to a mostly unpaved drop-off area next to the station – and that’s about it, aside from some sheltered bike spaces. Perhaps we should try the other side?
|Some of the station parking.|
Luckily, the other side is less nerve-racking. 2nd New Way is significantly less steep and is actually paved all the way. Additionally, Maple and Walnut Streets go to this side of the station, coming from residential areas that would normally take a long time to access from Fairmount Ave. This side of the station is also where the parking is, and though there are only 51 spaces, most people get here by other means, so the lot usually has free space.
|The outbound boarding platform.|
Fairmount is the only station on the Fairmount Line (besides Readville) that isn’t fully high-level. Instead, the station has smaller high-level boarding platforms. Personally, I think this setup has more character, but ultimately high-level is more efficient. Nonetheless, the ramps from Fairmount Ave lead directly to the boarding platforms, which have benches and wastebaskets. A weird quirk about the platforms, though, is that there’s a gap between the platform itself and the yellow part close to the tracks. I’m not sure why, but it’s odd – doesn’t seem like it would be dangerous, though.
|The low-level part of the platform.|
Aside from the inbound shelter extending a bit past the boarding platform, there really isn’t much along the low-level section. It is important to note, however, that you can’t cross over the tracks here. In order to get to the other side, you have to go up to Fairmount Ave and walk over. I guess the street above acts as a footbridge of sorts for pedestrians, but I can see it being annoying having to go up and down those stairs. Why can’t there just be a level crossing like at other stations?
|A train was leaving right when I was coming to the Fairmount Ave entrance, so I had to quickly snap this picture from above.|
Ridership: In fairness, this is the second-busiest station on the Fairmount Line. That said, it’s the Fairmount Line, so that doesn’t mean much. This station gets an average of 188 inbound riders per weekday, and I believe many of those people come in by foot. That’s based on the fact that the parking lot really doesn’t get much usage at all.
Pros: Well, speaking of the parking lot, it’s great that there is one, even if it’s not utilized by many people – better safe than sorry. In addition, I think this might be the only Fairmount Line station with any form of character. I mean, the red shelters over the platforms look better than any of the bland stuff you’ll get further north.
Cons: The only problem I have with this station is the lack of a level crossing for pedestrians. For example, if someone wants to get dropped off on the inbound side, the two options are using the treacherous 3rd New Way, or using 2nd New Way and crossing over via two sets of stairs.
Nearby and Noteworthy: The businesses of Logan and Cleary Squares are only a few blocks from this station – it’s a short walk.
Final Verdict: 8/10
The absence of a level crossing isn’t enough to deter Fairmount! Honestly, it’s probably just for safety that crossing the tracks is prohibited. That said, if safety is an issue, then 3rd New Way has to be improved, because…whoof, that’s a scary road. Of course, 2nd New Way is a fine alternative, and that street leads to the parking lot, too. Besides, Fairmount’s platform is pretty nice and accessible for people with disabilities. I haven’t traversed the whole Fairmount Line yet, but I think this is my favorite station on it so far.
Latest MBTA News: Service Updates
The Boston Globe had a bunch of articles today about train travel in the United States that were quite interesting. Check them out here.
According to the Commuter Rail’s automated announcements, it’s Fairmount (pronounced like “mountain”, as you assumed).
However, I can’t help but take the automated announcements’ pronunciation with a grain of salt, considering for Concord, it pronounces “Concord” as rhyming with board, as opposed to rhyming with “heard” as it’s supposed to be pronounced, yet pronounces the town’s name appropriately for West Concord.