Wickford Junction
T.F. Green Airport up 
Home<Boston MBTA<Commuter Rail<Wickford Junction

Wickford Junction is part of a new transit oriented development for RIDOT supported and funded MBTA Commuter Rail Service. This station opened with MBTA Commuter Rail Service was extended south from T.F. Green Airport (that opened on December 6, 2012) down the Northeast Corridor for weekday service beginning on April 23, 2012. The stop reopens (a now completely rebuilt) station that was last in service as a stop on Amtrak's Commuter oriented Bunker Hill in 1981. 10 weekday trains serve the station with service primarily during peak-direction rush hours but plenty of off-peak (and an evening trip) service. Some of the trips (3 southbound in the early morning, 2 northbound in the evening) operate Wickford Junction to Providence only as basically positioning trips for trainsets to and from the Providence train yard.

RIDOT (in association with RIPTA) intends the station to be used both by intra-state commuters to Providence and travelers going all the way to Boston. The station required the MBTA to add another fare zone, 10 (T.F. Green Airport is also in its own fare Zone 9). As of Summer 2013 the MBTA hasn't updated its ticketing software used by ticket agents at the downtown Boston terminals (at least) to sell at least one-way and round-trip tickets to and from Zone 10 (Wickford Junction), although there was already a fare hike implemented during the station's only brief existence so far. When I tried to buy a ticket to Wickford Junction from the agent. He told me we could only buy our tickets by paying cash on board (exempt for the $3 on-board surcharge) or by using the MBTA mTicket app (using a credit card for iPhone or Android) also fully works for zone 10. There is something ridiculous going on about these tickets that the Charlie Ticket software used by agents hasn't been updated to sell ticket to Zone 10. I wonder how a paper ticket ten-trip and monthly pass (also available through the app) can be purchased?

The station is a part of the combined Wickford Junction Rail and Shopping Development. This includes the new station and some not so transit friendly big box stores anchored by a Walmart. These big box stores have plenty of surface parking with signs informing commuters that commuter parking in these lots is prohibited. At the western end of the big box store development is the station's large four level 1,100 space parking garage. The garage is only open during weekdays (no long term parking) with tons of signs informing arriving motorists that it closes a half hour after the last evening train arrives. The garage has four levels and uses a ticketing system for charging what is normally a $4 fee but has been waved more than collected during the system's existence (it is waved from July 1, 2013 until the end of 2013, and fees have been waved at other times during the year as well). The garage uses an automatic (take your ticket with you) ticketing system with pay machines only by the exits towards the train platform. When the parking fee has been waved park & riders must still take a ticket upon arrival in the morning and depositing one at departure in the evening was still required. The garage is clad in brick with 2 elevators and the main staircase at its southern end. The top of the elevator shaft has a clock above the top of the shafts at the landing out to the exposed forth level. At the southern end of level within the garage is the station's small enclosed waiting area (with modern benches) with the elevator landings fully enclosed. Direct platform access is provided from level 2 by short bridges to the rail line that is at an embankment here. The first level has an operations office for the garage and there seems to be a full time staff presence when the garage is open. There are also restrooms open to the public at this level. A staff member said "Good Morning" when we parked our and opened the door for us with Welcome Back when we returned from a day trip to Boston

Level one of the garage has all vehicle entrances and a small drop-off loop/short term parking lot just south of the garage. Motorists can reach the station (there isn't any sidewalk access) directly from this car loop on and off the West lanes of Ten Rod Road (left turns are prohibited). To make left turns cars drive out of the garage, past Staples, through a Rotary in the middle of the Shopping Development and go to a new traffic light along Victory Highway. At this traffic light, in the median of the entrance road to the development, is a Lollipop looking T post for the station and a brick and concrete sign that says Wickford Junction Commuter Rail.

Terminating trains stop at a single high-level platform on an un-electrified siding track (that ends in a bumper block just south of the platform) on the west side of the two electrified tracks of the High Speed Northeast Corridor. This station is in one of two zones where Acela Express reaches its maximum 150mph speed. High-speed trains on the adjacent tracks rattle the windows a bit on the diesel MBTA Commuter Rail stopped in the station. The high-level platform and track ends just north of the railroad overpass over Ten Rod Road. Ten Rod Road still has an overpass for this siding track (there were original 4 tracks on the NEC in the area) although bridge deterioration would require it to be rebuilt to accommodate RIPTA's goals of extending Commuter Rail south. The long platform is canopied for about a car (the normal, simple metal MBTA Commuter Rail Canopy structure) at its southern end before the rest of it is left exposed to the elements. The southern end has the already mentioned main walkway to level two of the parking garage (extremely well designed), with another simpler walkway from the northern corner of the garage to the platform. At the southern end a staircase followed by a ramp from the extreme southern end lead down to the station's drop-off loop and alternative access to level 1 of the garage. The platform has usual MBTA station signs with black and white photographs of locations throughout Rhode Island as artwork in the middle of the station name signs that aren't used for train information. There is also a blue emergency pillar. The
All Photos taken on 22 August, 2013

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View of the platform through the fence after parking on the lower level
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The doors out to the elevator bank and drop off loop inside the first level of the parking garage
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The 20 minute drop off parking and staircase along the landscaped embankment up to the platform
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The clock tower elevator shaft
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The garage is clad in brick, no there isn't glass in those window frames
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View of the south side of the garage from the platform
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A platform sign and the garage beyond
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The very short bridge directly from the platform to the second story of the garage
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The station is on a siding off the NEC
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Some of the platform signs with the normal MBTA design have pictures in them
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GP40MC #1136 leads a terminating train of single level cars into the station
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GP40MC #1136 keeps entering
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GP40MC #1136
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The purple stripe on the side of GP40MC #1136
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A train terminates in Wickford Junction for a short layover before it returns to Boston
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Last Updated: 22 September, 2013
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