I’m on a streak of awful Commuter Rail stations here. West Medford is a strange little Zone 1A stop with a weird location. Why are there no stations in the more urban part of Medford? I’m not sure, but until the Green Line extension gets built (if ever), this is the only station in Medford (except for Wellington). It’s terrible.
|The trip here was impromptu, so I didn’t have my camera. Thus, all of the photos are courtesy of my friend Shuvom’s phone.|
There are a few entrances to the station. One of them is direct from the level crossing on High Street, and it’s as simple as stepping onto the platform. Meanwhile, on residential Playstead Road, a small staircase leads up to the station as well.
The third entrance is from the station parking lot, and it’s one of the lamest Commuter Rail lots I’ve ever seen. Relegated to a small corner of the parking for a Rite Aid, the Commuter Rail section only has 34 spaces. Yes, it’s an urban station, but that’s a miniscule amount! The station also has a few bike racks, although the MBTA website denies this.
|The stark outbound platform.|
The whole station is low-level, and very much so – the step from the ground to the train is huge here. When our train arrived, a conductor had to hold an old lady’s hand to help her leave the train! The outbound side of West Medford is mostly asphalt, with a whole two benches. So much seating space!
|The inbound side with its building.|
Luckily, the inbound platform offers much more, seating-wise. Near the parking lot entrance there’s a bench with some advertisements right next to it. Other than that, you’ve got a bench in the shelter of the station building, which is much more desirable than the seating inside the building…
Well, it can hardly be considered “inside,” since it’s just a shelter. But oh my gosh, what a dingy shelter it is. The walls are bare, with peeling paint, and the single light under there is completely shattered. The benches look really uncomfortable, since they have holes all over them, and just look at the litter! No one in their right mind would ever want to wait for a train in here.
|Oh hey, it’s the Greenbush locomotive! This train ran express straight through the station.|
Station: West Medford
Ridership: I’ll admit, this place does get a lot of ridership. I think the quick ride from here to Boston (13 minutes) is what attracts so many commuters – 819 per weekday, to be exact. Even in the evening rush when I was here, there were still a few locals heading into the city.
Pros: Well, the quick ride is the main pro. This is a dense area with no other rail transit, and the 13 minute ride to Boston is better than the 94, 95, or even the express 326 (the buses that serve West Medford).
Cons: EVERYTHING ELSE. The low-level platform, the lack of parking, the disgustingly dingy building…you can basically name anything about this station and it will most likely be bad.
Nearby and Noteworthy: There are a good amount of businesses along High Street, and a few of its restaurants look intriguing.
Final Verdict: 2/10
The fact that commuters can get a fast ride from here to Boston is a wonderful thing. But the station they have to use is anything but wonderful. I mean, at least give it a mini-high for accessibility! That step up to the train is huge! Oh, and I forgot to mention that inbound trains stick out onto the level crossing, which seems to have a…person? Yeah, there was a guy who seemed to be doing SOMEthing related to that crossing, and I think he was residing in the “crossing shack” right next to it. Poor dude…he has to hang out at this awful station all day.
Latest MBTA News: Service Updates