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Home<New York Metro Area<CT Rail<Shore Line East<Westbrook

Westbrook is the one Shore Line East Station where the high-level platforms are still under construction. Originally when Shore Line East opened in 1990 the platform was located along the north side of the tracks at the end of Norris Avenue #1 (its northern half). Starting on January 15, 2001 the station with its low-level platform, shelter and parking lot was relocated to the southern side of the tracks to comply with Amtrak's new rules caused by high-speed train operations and the addition of electrification and introduction of Acela Express. Trains under normal operations trains only can stop if their running along the south track, all crossings of the tracks now require the use the overpass of Essex Road just east of the station. The station is the only stop left to still have a low-level simple platform although the station is under construction for a project that will build two high-level platforms and elevators up to a pedestrian bridge across the tracks and allow trains to stop in Westbrook operating in both directions. Access will also be restored to both ends of Norris Avenue (split into two by the tracks). Current access is from Norris Avenue #2, the southern half of Essex Road (Route 153).

When I visited in August 2013 boarding a train at the station was a total mess with half of the parking lot closed because of the construction of the two full length high-level platforms and an overpass with elevator shafts and staircases down to each platform. Passengers wanting to board trains need to walk to the opposite, western end of the parking lot. The portion of the lot away from the tracks and platforms is open for parking. At the end of the lot is a designated walkway (as signs say) along the souther edge of the parking lot to a small double-wide bus shelter with a white with red text Westbrook sign and the original Shore Line East logo (now unused except on highway signs) and Connecticut Department of Transportation logo on the opposite side. To finally reach the platform passengers must walk back towards the construction area (and entrance) to a wooden staircase and ramp up to the wooden temporary platform. This platform's only amenities are a first generation train approaching display with a mobile-lift sitting under it. A ramp (with a Sidewalk Closed sign) leads to the other end of the wooden platform and down to the parking lot that has recently been repaved but wasn't open yet when I visited. An unusual feature of the wooden platform is that most of it is at about a six inch height to not require stools for boarding trains. At the eastern end the level splits with a railing and it ramps down to the same level as the tracks and across the wooden boards in case a train ever arrives at the north track. The reason for this odd little area is that in theory a wheelchair could navigate the ramp and go down it to board a train if one ever stops on the northern track.
Photos: 21 August, 2013

New Platforms open and all trains stop: On January 6, 2012 Ground was broken for the new Westbrook Station, on March 25, 2014 it opened with trains starting to stop at noon. When the new timetable was released on May 11, 2014 Westbrook recieved bi-directional service with nearly every train stopping at the station that has two platforms, one on each side of the NEC.

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Walking towards the Westbrook Station into its construction site
The under construction overpass structure towers over the platforms
Do Not enter the construction area, Westbrook will have two high-level platforms along both tracks with an overpass
Construction equipment in the fenced off area that will become a drop-off loop
A Deer excavator and the new overpass that is under construction beyond
This portion of the parking lot is under construction, the overpass now rests across the tracks
This empty nearing completion but still closed portion of the new parking lot, cars have to park a ways from the temporary platform
This tiny wooden platform is how passengers board trains. All Shore Line East Stations were originally like this although instead of wood they were made of asphalt/concrete
The platforms will also be nearly fully canopied, no railings yet
The overpass structure will be at the eastern end of the platforms
The blur of an Acela zooming by the closed platforms
An Acela power car passes between the temporary and new platforms
Acela Power Car #2001 passes through the under construction station
The open portion of the parking lot away from the station
The designated walkway signs around to the temporary station platform
Cones and the current ADA parking spaces at the entrance around the parking lot that is under construction to the temporary platform
Cars parked far back from the temporary platform
The rear platform of Beach Grove is extremely distinctive as a special Amtrak train continued north
The designated walkway to the station's tiny shelter and platform beyond
The newly paved parking lot, still under construction
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Shore Line East

Last Updated:2 September, 2013
All photos are by Jeremiah Cox
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