|Looking at the old station (I don't have any overview pictures of the new one since the garage is in the way).|
|The old entrance.|
|And the new one, sadly lacking a "T" symbol.|
|The old parking lot.|
|Okay, so the fifth floor was the only one I looked at. But the view was amazing!|
|The waiting area, admittedly kind of drab.|
|The old busway.|
|And the new one.|
|Look, they've even kept the shelter from the temporary busway!|
|The old platform - blech.|
|And the new one. It's a big dark, thanks to the shadow of the parking garage.|
|An old locomotive at the old station.|
|And a new locomotive at the new station!|
|Also, a new passenger car leaving the new station.|
Ridership: Outside of Providence, Salem is the busiest station on the entire Commuter Rail system, not including the three hubs. In 2013, Salem averaged about 1200 inbound boardings per day. That certainly justifies the 700 space parking garage, doesn't it?
Pros: Aside from the three hubs (North and South Stations, and Back Bay), this is the best and most modern Commuter Rail station I've ever been to. It has a whole bunch of amenities that don't exist on the rest of the system. Fully high level platforms, in particular, are a pretty rare sight on the Commuter Rail. And the garage? It's massive! It makes this a great park-and-ride station. There's a nice busway, a convenient waiting area, and elevators to serve the garage. They're even working on bike paths around the station! What doesn't this place have?
Cons: These are mostly just pet peeves: I wish the entrance had an MBTA sign, I wish they got rid of the temporary busway, I wish the bus signs weren't outdated, and I wish some parts were better lit.
Nearby and Noteworthy: There's so much to do in Salem. Check the Nearby and Noteworthies on the 451 and 459 for some of them.
Final Verdict: 9/10
This is the Commuter Rail station that all other Commuter Rail stations look up to. It may have a few flaws, but in terms of Commuter Rail standards, this is one of the best. I'm excited to see what they do with it as construction draws to a close. I don't know when I'll be able to come back up here, but there's still one Salem bus I haven't ridden yet, the 465. Hmm...
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