The Meriden train station is located in downtown Meriden and is one of the only train stations actually built under the jurisdiction of the PennCentral railroad in 1970 financed by the city of Meriden when its rerouting of State Street destroyed the previous Meriden Station. The station feels like a predecessor to the AmStations that popped up later in the 1970s and through the 1980s. The station is scheduled to be demolished as part of the New Haven — Hartford — Springfield Rail Program and replaced by a two high-level side platform station with connecting pedestrian bridge with elevators. Part of this project will include the Meriden Transit Center. This transit center will more formalize (and I assume include an indoor area with restrooms and a ticket office) to serve the new Commuter Rail Line, Amtrak, and the bus hub that already exists at the station. This hub serves the three Local Route CT Transit Meriden Bus System, plus New Haven's Route C that originates at the station and runs all the way to New Haven (rush hour trips running portions express via I-91), and Middletown Area Transit's M-Link Route to Middletown. The buses simply stop parallel to the station along State Street without a transit center building. The station and platform is normally quite full of people, very few of them are Amtrak riders; most are just waiting for buses.
The current depot is a simple tan brick building with a flat slightly overhanging roof with a white bottom. The street side of the building is along a tiny parking lot that leads out to State Street that curves around the station (passing directly by the southern end of the platform separated by a wooden fence). A blue sign outside the station says Meriden Transportation Center. The streetside wall of the building has red around the door beneath a Pointless arrow blue Meriden, CT sign and sets of three windows on each side. The depot is owned and maintained by the city of Meriden. It is open and still staffed by an Amtrak agent for one-shift during Weekday mornings (closing at 3:00pm) and closed for an hour in the middle of the shift for lunch. Inside the depot are cinderblock walls painted dark and light blue. There are a couple of central wooden benches. A painting on one wall clearly dates from the station's opening with an image of a steam engine and a Turbotrain. There is the single Amtrak ticket window, a vending machine and restrooms. The ticket office is along the platform side of the depot offering a view for the agent out to the platform through one-way reflective glass that allows the agent to look out but not the public to look in side (you see your reflection). Above this window (there is also a second door out to the platform) are silver letters that say Meriden.
The station is along a two-track section of the line, Meriden is a passing siding with the platform along the west track. All trains stop at the west track to fully platform except for when a meet is occurring on this siding. In that case the trains pass directly in the station with the train on the outer track opening a single set of doors to the one wooden plank to a tiny secondary platform directly across from the depot. This is scheduled to occur for a few trains. The platform begins at the grade crossing of Brooks Street and at first runs south with a simple faded yellow line. Getting closer to the depot it has been improved and the low-level platform receives a tactile warning strip near the depot and has a long canopy structure. This canopy structure is painted turquoise and has a high 45-degree angle. Steel beams that are surrounded by decorative concrete round columns hold up the canopy. The platform needs more benches; there are a two at the southern end of the platform normally taken over by bus riders as well as two directly outside the streetside of the depot. The platform has minimal signage with just the lettering on the depot plus two unstandardized turquoise on white lettering Meriden signs on each end of the canopy. The southern end of the platform ends parallel to State Street that curves to meet it separated by a wooden guardrail that also separates the small parking lot. It is about two-thirds of the way before the grade crossing of Main Street.
All Photos taken on 16 October, 2013
Last Updated: 18 October, 2013