7:00 PM Thursday, February 8th.
24 hours before Jewel appears here for a free concert.
A group of maintenance workers are just finishing moving the chairs and tables from the center of the main hall to the side along the ticket counters.
Glenlivet posters hang from the ceiling beams and along the walls.
Martin's News Shop is selling today's paper, magazines, bottled drinks, and lottery tickets. The line ebbs and flows.
The crowd in the station builds waiting for the next train. The call for the 7:10 Needham line starts a movement of a bunch of folks towards the doorways and towards the track that contains the train that will take them home.
Those remaining look up at the schedule board. Hopeful that their train will get called soon so they too will be on their way.
The tables arranged in the space in front of the Amtrak schedule board and the commuter rail schedule board have 2 or 3 chairs each but are mostly occupied by one individual.
Book in hand, the traveler turns pages to another world.
Phone in hand, the traveler calls and converses with one person after another in another place.
The heels on the cement floor click and echo as the lady walks by.
As the announcement of the final call for the 7:10 Needham train, some few start to scurry towards the door hopeful of making the train and avoiding having to wait more than an hour for the next one.
The commuter schedule thins out after 6:00 PM. The trains are less frequent until they come to a stop all together around midnight.
As the Needham train leaves the station, the board goes into motion. Click, clicking until the Needham train info is replaced by blanks. There is only one train left on the schedule in the first of three columns across the board. As this one leaves, the board will get into major motion as the trains listed in the other two columns move over gradually filling in the first two columns and leaving the third one blank. The click, click has a rhythm all its own. Eventually the board will get replaced with newer digital technology. The sound will remain. A digital version of the clicking will carry forward for future travelers on the commuter rail.
Providence, Worcester, Kingston, Stoughton, Franklin, Middleboro...