The MBTA is suffering through the onslaught of snow – but just barely. With several full shutdowns, and running on reduced schedules, the transit agency is paying just about anybody 30 dollars an hour to help shovel snow, in addition to the fifty prison inmates they’ve recruited to do the same. Provided the city is not hit with yet another storm, they estimate an entire month before things get back to normal.
I happened to be in Boston last Saturday right as the city’s most recent blizzard was just beginning, and only hours before the system’s full Sunday shutdown. Capturing the snowy scene at West Concord, I checked out the snow-covered trains, and the restored depot on the MBTA’s Fitchburg Line. Though there are two tracks running through here (greatly reduced from when this town was once called Concord Junction and featured three railroads running through), although one is currently out of service and piled with snow as high as the station’s high-level platform.
The depot before restoration. Not as bad as some stations I’ve visited, but hardly the gem it is today. Town of Concord Community Preservation Committee.
West Concord station during the construction. Photo via the Town of Concord Community Preservation Committee.
Despite all the snow and the issues plaguing the MBTA, West Concord station is a great example of the transit agency working together with a local community to do something really good. As old stations are wont to do – the building having been completed in 1894 – West Concord was in disrepair. Altered from its original appearance with faux brick, the old depot was severely needing an update. A local community group approached the MBTA with a little money, and together they brought the depot back to its original look, with the MBTA matching the town’s money and contributing 50% of the cost to repair it. Special attention was paid to the details – stained glass windows were lovingly restored, and a local supplier matched original surviving paint chips to make the depot as historically accurate as possible. Completed in 2008, the restoration made this station quite attractive, and an asset to the community.