Back on the train gang

Grafton commuter railI have an appointment in Boston next week and decided, you know, strictly for research, that I’m going to attempt to do this via commuter rail.

The human in me would like this to be an easy, carefree ride in which I occasionally look up from my book to gaze out the window to muse about how wonderful it is to be environmentally friendly and not have to search for a parking spot in Boston. The writer in me is kind of hoping for a disaster, which makes for a better story. (It’s kind of like the time in college when Prof. Yaeger assigned his infamous “Take a walk down Commonwealth Ave. and write about it” first paper to the BF101 students and I decided not to turn around and wait for better weather when the sky opened up. I ended up drenched, but it was way more fun to write — and read.)

So — if you’re trying to get to the State House at 9:30 a.m., would you play it extra safe and go for the 7:09 that gets in at 8:23, or would you gamble and try for the 7:49 which gets in at 9:08? And how bad is parking at the Grafton station these days — will all the spots be filled?

Ugh. Looks like my choice of return trains means I have to either wrap up business by 12:10 or hang out in Boston until 2:40, meaning I don’t get back to Grafton until (optimally) 3:59.

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10 thoughts on “Back on the train gang

  1. Jenn,
    A number of job opportunities I’ve been getting calls on are in Boston. Which means I would have to commute by train (Every day). I would like to know what your experience is like. I haven’t taken the train in to Boston in many years.

    Good Luck

  2. I’ve never taken it in from Grafton (my parents live near the Forge Park station just over the Franklin line from Bellingham), so this should be interesting. All I know about it is from the Train Stopping blog, and I’m hoping warmer weather isn’t as hazardous as winter seems to be.

    Although, having had to rely on the T back in college, I’m betting I’ll end up with the “only” car without air conditioning.

  3. When I started taking the train into Btown I thought howaeesome it was going to be to have sone time to read on my commute. After about 3-4 months, I just wanted to shoot myself.

  4. The arrival time for the 7:49 train is pretty spotty. I take the 7:09 every day and it arrives at Back Bay on time 99.9% of the time. I have heard it sits outside South Station from time to time. Two of my co-workers ride the 7:49 train and their arrival times vary between 9:08 and 9:30.

    On the plus side, whichever train you choose you should have no problem finding parking. It seems as though ridership has dipped some since our mini-recession, and that coupled with more people being dropped off has led to an empty Grafton lot.

    I hope something interesting happens for you! You’re more apt to get something at the peak trains outbound than inbound, but you probably won’t see much taking the 2:40 home. Be happy your appointment is this summer and not last. The 2:40 train was an expansion this year. Last year you would have been in the city until 4:11.

  5. It now looks like I’ll be training-it this Thursday instead of next. Hmmm. I’m still waffling over the time. I may try for the 7:09 and just walk down from Back Bay if the weather’s nice.

  6. I road the train for too many years to let you take the later train. Take the earlier train and be prepared to be late. The 709 is the most popular train this side of Framingham, as it is the last express that gets you in before 9. With the back to school/work rush that is about to hit, volume will be up. Parking won’t be an issue, though. Just remember to bring 4 dollar bills and arrive 10 minutes early!

    And you will soon experience why the T is need of so much help. It is unlikely that you will get a window that you can see out of, there are so few that aren’t smeared from age. And the seats stopped being comfortable about 20+ years ago.

    I’m with Michael on this – I thought riding the train would be cozy and relaxing, but it is so much more: a great education on what we are like as people. And we are not such nice people all the time.

    Good luck!

  7. Well then! I’ll have to plan to use the WordPress app on my phone on the train during my trip — this should be interesting!

    At least summer means I can wear flip-flops (easily stashed in the purse when it’s time for heels) when I have to hoof it.

    Thanks guys!

  8. Jenn,

    You speak of disasters on trains. I just happen to be an expert in such matters ๐Ÿ™‚ While riding on Amtrak’s LakeShore Limited on the way back to college in March, it hopped the tracks in the middle of nowhere in the Berkshires. It was thrilling, exhilarating and interesting at first, but arriving 4 hours late at 2:30am when I had class at 8 that morning was not pleasant ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    As for the T,
    I take it into Boston from time to time for work and on these limited occasions (once a week), its proven to be a delightful ride. I take the 7:09 as many others have mentioned and sleep the whole way. I haven’t experienced any major delays getting into the city (maybe +10-15 min max). As for boarding the train in Grafton, we have the fortune to be the 2nd stop in the morning! This means that you can grab the best seat in the house next to a window and relax! ๐Ÿ™‚ I look forward to hearing about your adventure.

    Bonus: Here’s the link to my derailment ๐Ÿ™‚
    http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/BO106874/

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