Friday, May 10, 2013

Wellington

I've seen Wellington many times by car: Route 16 goes on a bridge over the station. I know that it has a train yard in it. And yet, I had never explored the station before writing this review. In fact, I've only traveled on the northern arm on the Orange Line twice: once when I was on my quest to complete the system, and once for this review. Now that I've actually explored it, I've realized that it's a nice station, although it has some flaws.

Situated at the border between Medford and Everett, the station itself is located in an interesting location. To the north of the station is residences and a radio station, to the west is a nice storefront and the Meadow Glen Mall, to the east is some sort of helipad and the Gateway Center Mall, and to the south is pretty much swampland, and in a few years, Assembly Square Station. Perhaps it's because of the surroundings (except to the west) that Wellington is relatively low on the MBTA's ridership statistics: 28th place. However, it does have a huge parking lot with 1,316 spaces accessible via a long walkway. My father and I decided to see what the trip on it was like.

Into the mouth of the walkway...
The walkway offers an interesting view of the train yard, and it's very high up. However, every time a train goes by, the whole thing shakes. That made me question the structural soundness of it, although it was still a nice walk. Eventually, we ended up in a little area with elevators. Wanting to fully explore the station, we took an elevator all the way up to the eighth floor. Stepping out onto the roof of the parking lot, there was an absolutely amazing view of the surrounding areas. You could see the Boston skyline, a windmill, a power plant, and a lot of houses. It was absolutely gorgeous.

I can see my house from here! Okay, I can't. This is zoomed in, by the way.
We then left the station from the parking lot to grab something to eat. The entrance/exit from the parking lot is a rather unassuming glass door. There aren't any signs that say "Wellington" or anything, just a door. It might not even be obvious that you're at a train station, since the station itself is so far away from the parking lot. After eating, we came back through the glass door and through the walkway again.

But the way we entered the station in the first place was from the busway, coming from the 110 (review coming at some point). Based on a quick glance, it seemed to offer some shelter, but not too much. Despite being a major bus hub with 9 MBTA buses and a contracted bus (a definite plus), the busway isn't as much of a maze as other bus hubs are (I'm looking at you, Dudley). The buses here serve Everett, Medford, Somerville, and Malden.

And now to the platform itself. It's actually rather ugly, with gray being the dominant color. However, Wellington does have the infamous Orange Line third track. It was meant to be an express track for a  possible extension of the line to Reading, but it was never carried out. Now there's just a random third track there that never gets used.

I was having absolutely terrible timing that day. I was pretty happy with the results of this picture.
Station: Wellington

Ridership: Based on the fact that this station is almost surrounded by malls, shoppers. Also, its proximity to Everett and the fact that no trains serve that area means commuters probably use this station on weekdays. There's not a huge parking lot here for nothing!

Pros: Offers some amazing views on the walkway and in the parking lot. It's also close to many neighborhoods in Everett. It's a major bus hub, and the busway is straightforward.

Cons: First of all, the platform itself is very drab. The station is quite far from the street, and you have to enter on the walkway (which must get really annoying if you use the station every day), unless you enter from the busway where you run the risk of getting run over by buses. The parking lot entrance is sort of disguised and signage at it is nonexistent.

Nearby and Noteworthy: Plenty of malls in relatively close walking distance: the Meadow Glen Mall, the Gateway Center, and Assembly Square Mall (although you have to walk a fairly long distance to get to these). My father and I ended up eating at Kelly's, a fast food joint (sigh) located very close to the station. The food is okay, but I love how they have old photos of Revere on the walls.

Final Verdict: 6
I originally thought this station would get a higher rating. However, after looking back at the cons I had, I realized that there are actually some major flaws to Wellington. The walkway, interestingly, is the best and worst part of the station: it offers a great view of the train yard, but it's annoying how you have to use it to get to the station. The view from the parking lot definitely is worth a look, and the busway is straightforward. (gasp!)

Latest MBTA News: From May 13 to May 18, there will be drain maintenance at the Hotel Commonwealth entrance at Kenmore Station. That entrance and the elevator from that entrance will be closed. Also, on May 11-12 and May 18-19, shuttle buses will replace the Red Line from JFK/UMASS to North Quincy.

3 comments:

  1. Once upon a time, Wellington had a people mover. For reals. It was always broken down and replaced by a walkway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that's mindblowing! That must've been so expensive to maintain for the MBTA. Still, looks like a fun ride.

      Delete
  2. Kelly's isn't a fast food chain

    ReplyDelete

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