Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Grafton

Ohhhh, Grafton, you're lucky the Commuter Rail tracks don't come anywhere near your town center...otherwise, I would have to complain about this place being in the middle of nowhere! Which...yeah, it is.

Interesting lighting from the bright morning sun.
For a modern Commuter Rail station, Grafton actually has a surprising amount of personality! The inbound side is dominated by a really long ramp that leads from the station's footbridge to the mini-high platform. Meanwhile, a hill decorated with different plants separates the outbound side from the parking lot. The low level platforms themselves are pretty simple, though - both sides have lots of benches, wastebaskets, and a shelter.

The inbound mini-high platform.
Grafton's mini-highs do their job well - that's really all there is to say. On the inbound side, ramps lead from both the footbridge and the platform, while on the outbound side, a ramp goes to the platform while a set of stairs heads up to the parking lot. The platforms both have wastebaskets and benches, although the latter face backwards...

We'll get to that dubious minibus in the next post.
Outside the station, there's a good amount of amenities alongside the parking lot, all pretty standard fare. You've got bike racks, you've got newspaper boxes, and you've got benches. Grafton's parking lot has 373 spaces, and it seems to be enough. There's also a connection to the WRTA Route B, which runs down to Northbridge - it doesn't have a stop sign, alas.

A train leaving the station.
Station: Grafton

Ridership: I was surprised by this one, because it's way higher than the parking lot's capacity: 724 inbound riders per day! I guess there's just a bunch of people who get dropped off here. I can't imagine too many people using this place during off-peak hours, though, since it's essentially in the middle of nowhere.

Pros: For a modern Commuter Rail station, Grafton actually has a decent amount of character. I love the hill up to the parking lot with a bunch of foliage, while the ramp coming down from the footbridge looks great. Also, the tracks don't actually go anywhere near the center of Grafton, so the middle-of-nowhere-ness of this station is excusable.

Cons: Parts of the footbridge is definitely starting to show their age - when you walk under it, bits are coated with rust, and parts of it have started to fall off. That's always a little scary to see, I have to say...

Nearby and Noteworthy: If you want to learn how to be a vet, Grafton is the place for you! The "Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University" is right nearby, for all your veterinarian-learning needs.

Final Verdict: 8/10
Grafton is definitely a cut above the typical modern Commuter Rail station, mainly for that great hill that adds so much character. Of course, it also provides all the amenities you would expect, including wheelchair accessibility, benches, wastebaskets, and a good amount of parking. Thank goodness the tracks don't actually go to the center of Grafton, too, so I don't have to complain about this place being in the middle of the woods for no reason!

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

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