Football via Rail (in the US)

The Challenge: Recreate a typical UK football weekend in the US using mass transit. The destination was Foxborough, Massachusetts for a New England Revolution versus Orlando City SC match.

The Route: Metro-Morth to Bridgeport; Amtrak to Route 128 in Massachusetts.

The Verdict: All the trains ran on or close to schedule. Amtrak is clean and the crew is friendly. The equipment is OLD and it’s the kind of old that means cleaning doesn’t really help. The passenger cars are dark, and the windows are shockingly small. It’s still pricey which means driving still represents the most affordable option (pity). My guess is Brightline has modern, well-lit cars (and stations). The stations serving Metro-North and Amtrak aren’t exactly Richmond and Waterloo but the station at Route 128 is interesting. Route 128 is at eastern tip of Dedham and Westwood in Massachusetts and therein lies the challenge. Many of these MLS stadiums are in the middle of nowhere and at mixed use facilities¹ so the last mile is a pain in the neck. I spent a king’s ransom using rideshare services to ferry between the station > hotel > and the “football” grounds. Hotel availability was also a challenge so proximity to Foxborough was also a challenge. The good news is Route 128 is close to a giant outdoor mall so food, etc. was within walking distance. And how American is a station that’s close to a giant outdoor mall versus cultural landmarks like museums and churches?

In a perfect world football venues are located within walking distance of the city centre and train terminus, but this is unrealistic (Breed idea notwithstanding) in the US. This was a good trip overall to satiate by footie craving but one I’m unlikely to try again without a hotel closer to Foxborough and/or the Brompton.

Disclaimer: I walked from Bournemouth to Poole NOT knowing local transit options SO it’s conceivable there was at least local rail options between Route 128 and Dedham.

Can We Cycle the “Last Mile”? (HT)
San Francisco Mayor London Breed floats idea of DEMOLISHING Westfield mall in crime-ridden downtown and replacing it with a sports stadium – as she brushes off city’s retail apocalypse because ‘a lot of people’ shop online (Daily Mail)

¹This is a subject for another post.

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