Exeter, NH is the most southern station in New Hampshire on the Downeaster Route and the first stop outside of MBTA Commuter Rail territory. It opened the same day Downeaster service began on December 14, 2001, resuming service to Exeter that was last provided by the Boston & Maine Railroad in 1965. The station consists of the usual uniquely designed Downeaster Platform of a low-level platform with a mini-high level that requires a bridgeplate for boarding in the middle of the platform. Normally trains just open one door at the mini-high platform. Since the station is so new all platform edges have tactile warning strips. The mini-high platform (with ramp and staircase access behind the mini-high) is the only portion of the platform covered by a canopy structure. This has red beams holding up a high gabled roof. The ceiling of the canopy is flat with built in lighting. Along and above the middle of the canopy are simple white signs with black text that say Exeter. Attached to sides of the black fencing is a small Downeaster Information panel. There is also a larger bulletin board (in the tiny portion of the canopy that covers the entrances to the high-level platform) above some brochure racks for local tourism. The bulletin board (mainly with Downeaster travel information) has a plaque on it saying Crafted & Donated by Phillips Exeter Academy, November 2002. Benches are on both the high and low-level portions of the platform. Each low level platform has a normal Downeaster format sign (that has been replaced since the station opened) with Exeter written above a strip map of the route.
Just north of the existing station (the canopy is in the style of this historic building) is the historic Boston & Maine stone station house that has a separate freight house that were built in 1880. A high gabled roof covers these two attached buildings and provided plenty of cover for passengers waiting outside. The former station house portion of the building is Gerry's Variety and trackside cafe. Inside this store is a unique amenity, a QuikTrak Machine that the store has received and provides for Downeaster passengers as a courtesy. It seems like its been opened since B & M service was discontinued in 1965. The freight house portion of the building was originally an apartment but Exeter is currently planning on converting this small area into an enclosed unstaffed waiting area (with the QuikTrak machine relocated to it for Downeaster passengers). Trackside of the depot is the weedy remains of the former platform.
The platform and station house are located along Linda Street just south of Main Street in Exeter's downtown. There is minimal parking, just 82 spaces along this street. One final thing worth mentioning is the Green highway type Railroad signs that direct passengers to the station have a slightly strange design with what looks like a bulge towards the bottom of the locomotive (like it could be pregnant).
All photos taken on 22 August, 2013
Last Updated: 22 September, 2013