Berlin is a stop on Amtrak's Northeast Regional Springfield branch and receives service normally from the four daily (5 on Sunday) Springfield Shuttle trains that run to and from New Haven connecting with regular Northeast Regional trains from Boston to Washington and points in Virginia. One daily Northeast Regional is a direct train (with an overnight layover in Springfield) with an additional through train northbound on Friday and Saturdays, southbound Saturday's and Sundays; the Daily Vermonter also stops. The station is destined to become on a stop on the New Haven — Hartford — Springfield Rail Corridor with the second track restored through the station and new high-level side platforms built on both sides of the tracks, including in front of the historic depot connected by an overpass bridge complete with elevators with more parking along both sides of the tracks.
The current station is a small one and a half story building brick building built in 1900 that has been in continuous railroad service. Today it is open and staffed by an Amtrak agent for one shift during weekdays only from 6:15am to 2:45pm. The brick building's hip roof extends on three sides (except the side of the parking lot) held up by wooden pillars that provide the only (and decent) protection to waiting passengers. The roof of the station is still complete with two chimneys. Inside is an authentic (that got structural renovations in 2005 but wasn't really restored) gem of a station. Tan and brown paint is peeling from some of the walls showing the bricks. There are wooden floorboards and a white tin ceiling with ceiling fans (no modern HVAC system) and plenty of 1900 molding. There are old-fashioned restrooms that do the job fine. A number of non-original wooden benches line the interior of the station. The ticket office (originally had two windows but now just one) is on the platform side of the station. The office has its own air conditioner and this window (is the only one) with a grate across it to avoid break-ins, above this window and another one have a small amount of stained glass that add to the historic feel.
The station has a modern concrete low-level platform that was built during the mid-2000s (and is 3 steps above the level that the depot is at). It is along the east side of what is now a single track (reduced from 2 post-1987). It has a black fence along the non-platform edge with a tactile warning strip along the edge of the platform. A number of staircases lead down to doors into the depot and there are two ramps, one at either end beyond each end of the depot. A neat feature of this modern platform is the original wooden posts that hold up the attached porch to the depot still provide covering to the modern platform with the new platform simply built around the bases of these posts and the brown wooden bases simply moved up to now rest on the new platform instead of the original ground. A few benches and a trashcan are on the platform for waiting passengers. At each end of the platform are fenced off enclosures that designed for a mobile lift to be left out exposed. The mobile lift though isn't kept in these enclosures but inside in a modular white shed at the northern end of the platform for wheelchair passengers.
The station is located on a portion of the Inland Route that is grade separated just north of the overpass where trains cross above Farmington Avenue in the census designated place of Kensington in the town Berlin. Primary access to the station is from sidewalk-less Depot Street that has a sharp climb from its intersection with Farmington Avenue just beyond its underpass. This intersection has a sign: for Berlin R.R. Station above the R.R. Logo that says Park & Ride. Depot Street leads up to the station's haphazard parking lot that Amtrak claims has 75 spaces. Depot Street continues through the parking lot to serve Berlin Steel and some other industry eventually continuing through and intersecting Old Brickyard Lane.
Station signage is limited, no Berlin, CT signs face arriving travelers, the only one is a old blue pointless arrow Berlin, CT sign facing the parking lot above the main door into the station. The ticket agent has put up a number of non-Amtrak issued signs inside and in the windows facing outside the depot. These include a couple advertising the 14-day advance purchase fares as well as updates to the status of work on improving the station, plus various notices that all trains are reserved and the November 6, 2012 rule that all fares paid on board can't get discounts. Someone also has printed custom schedules that look similar to regular Amtrak ones (but clearly made using Microsoft's Tables feature) showing only train service stopping in Berlin. These are posted in various station windows.
Update: On December 21, 2016 the historic Station house was destoryed by fire. The modern high platforms that are under consruction as part of the Hartford-Springfield Commuter Rail project were uneffected.
All Photos taken on 16 October, 2013
Last Updated: 19 October, 2013