So, a look at the Northeast Transit Rail Map will show that there are only two gaps in rail service between the Virginia and Boston systems. As we’ve seen, one is between Perryville, MD, the northern extent of Maryland’s MARC, and Newark, DE, the southernmost extent of Philadelphia’s SEPTA.
The other gap is between New London, CT, where CTRail’s Shore Line East ends, and Wickford Junction, RI, the southernmost extent of the MBTA’s Providence Line. However, it’s hard to get to Wickford Junction or the next stop, TF Green Airport, from the southwest by transit.
So rather than ride the Providence Line from one end to the other, the better option seemed to be taking a bus to just shy of the CT/RI line, walking into Rhode Island, and taking another bus to Providence where I could get a train to Boston.
In April 2018, I tried the NYC-Massachusetts leg, but a late Shore Line East train stymied me, and I missed my bus in New London and was stranded there. I wound up catching Amtrak to Providence; the plan was dead but I had a hotel room paid for in Boston that night, so I got to Boston and then took the train home the next day.
SEAT Run 108
New London, CT to Stonington, CT
Cumulative Fare: $111.98
But in 2023, everything worked out; just down the way from the train station, I caught the SEAT Bus 108. This stop serves a bunch of different lines, and I nearly started to fret because mine didn’t seem to be among them, but it pulled up on time at 12:01pm, and we left two minutes later. SEAT used to run a bus to the Pawcatuck Village area of Stonington, just across the Pawcatuck River from my destination of Westerly, RI, but no longer. I could use their flexible on-demand service, which works like a car service to take you to your destination as long as it’s in a designated area, but I preferred to work with scheduled transit operations for this trip. Therefore, my destination was a gravel pull-off on an I-95 frontage road.