Westerly station from the southbound platform in 2017
|Location||14 Railroad Avenue|
Westerly, Rhode Island
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Passengers (2017)||43,670 2.61%|
Westerly is one of a small number of Amtrak stations (along with Mystic and Aberdeen) on the Northeast Corridor that does not have high-level platforms for accessible boarding. However, Westerly is still handicapped accessible; passengers may use a portable lift to board trains, and the under-track passage includes a wheelchair lift on its staircases. Westerly is also one of three Northeast Corridor stations (along with adjacent Mystic to the south and Kingston to the north) that is served exclusively by Amtrak, with no commuter rail service.
The Westerly station opened along with the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad on November 17, 1837. The original depot was a small wooden structure, similar to those still extant at nearby Noank and West Mystic. In 1872, a new station - similar to those still standing at Kingston and East Greenwich - was constructed. It had a pedestrian tunnel (passenger subway) for passengers to reach the westbound platform and shelter.
In 1912-13, the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad constructed the present station as part of a curve straightening project. The station building was in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, as were several other New Haven Railroad stations (including Buzzards Bay) built around the same time. The project included the station building, a new pedestrian tunnel, a westbound shelter that enclosed a tunnel entrance, and a shelter for the tunnel entrance on the eastbound side. A two-story brick freight house, now occupied by Westerly Agway, was constructed the same year.
The New Haven Railroad was at that time planning to expand the Northeast Corridor to four tracks along much of the route from New Haven to Boston, especially at busy stations. The bridge abutments to the west of the station over Canal Street and the Pawcatuck River were built for four tracks, although only two-track bridges were ever built. The line was rebuilt for three tracks from just east of the station to just west of Bradford, Rhode Island, with three-track bridges and cuts. A maintenance road now occupies the third track slot.
The station received a $2 million renovation in 1998 that restored it to its original state. As part of the project, a lift system was installed in the passenger subway to make the station handicapped accessible.
Amtrak closed the Westerly ticket office on October 1, 2016, ceasing all ticketing and passenger assistance services. The building was reopened on August 17, 2018; the waiting area serves as an art gallery and is open Wednesdays through Sundays.
- Roy, John H. Jr. (2007). A Field Guide to Southern New England Railroad Depots and Freight Houses. Branch Line Press. pp. 296–297. ISBN 9780942147087.
- "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2017, State of Rhode Island" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
- "Westerly, RI (WLY)". Great American Stations. Amtrak. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
- The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (Map). New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. 29 April 1956.
- "Westerly, RI (WLY)". Amtrak. Archived from the original on September 22, 2016.
- "Amtrak closes Westerly station building". The New London Day. October 1, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
- Montgomery, Miles (August 17, 2018). "Westerly train station reopens with art gallery". NBC 10.
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