I have’t taken the commuter rail regularly since the start of the pandemic, when my day job switched to mainly remote work. That was definitely a silver lining, as I had experienced all the awfulness you hear about, from late trains to crowded cars and not for a small price.
But we decided to take the commuter rail into Boston on Friday to visit the Aquarium, using a museum pass courtesy of Wellesley Free Library.
It didn’t take long upon our arrival at the largely desolate Wellesley Square train station for the hijinks to begin—which platform to stand on for the train? The digital signage seemed to indicate clearly we should all be on the outbound platform, so that’s where most of the handful of commuters gathered.
But there were a couple of riders who seemed to know something the rest of us didn’t, and they smugly waited on the inbound side. The next thing you know, the digital signage message changed, indicating we should all get on the inbound side for the schedule train. So we all went up the stairs, over the bridge, and down the stairs. This included some poor guy lugging a cart full of what appeared to be heavy equipment, and me and my sore knees from a too-long morning of basketball.
The excitement mounted as the train arrived, but alas, on the other track. So back up and over we all went… The train had plenty of passengers, but we found a seat, and were on our way to Boston.
When we arrived at South Station I was reminded to check the lost-and-found, as I mistakenly left some Swellesley swag on a train perhaps the last time I took one, back in early April. The MBTA customer service rep gave me a disapproving look when I asked if they’d found the item from a few months ago, and I was told that they ditch stuff after 30 days. Oh well, that was on me being careless.
Despite the rain and having to lug around umbrellas, we had a great visit to the Aquarium, a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant where we bumped into a friend, and 2 good walks along the Greenway. We also stopped by the Corner Pub, near South Station, after learning it was owned by a Wellesley employee. By that point, we’d put the inbound trip behind us for the night, and headed back to South Station for the return trip.
The train departed right on time after we boarded with a few minutes to spare. As we readied to disembark, the conductor announced “Swellesley Square is next!” and Mrs. Swellesley and I gave each other a “Did he just say what I think he said?” look.
As my wife stepped down the stairs, she cheerfully wished the conductor “a Swell night.” He gave her a wink, and we were on our way home.
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