My son was just two when we moved to our house that abuts the commuter rail. I was initially a little concerned about living so close to the tracks. My back fence butts right up to Commuter Rail territory. But the trains are very low frequency, they don’t go by a lot and when they do, they’re not very loud on the first two floors of my house. They are moderately annoying when we’re watching TV on the third floor, but that’s why we have a TiVo with a pause button!
But living on the railroad tracks with a preschooler and a toddler is an unexpectedly magical experience. During the summer when they are doing maintenance on the tracks, freight trains and heavy equipment buzz past my house. Last summery they carted trucks full of rails by several times per day. And the effect the train has on my kids, well it’s just magic. I’ll be at my wits end trying to be a responsible parent. “No you can NOT have another cookie.” WAAAHH!! (repeat) (repeat) Then I hear the distant hydraulic whine and I yell “TRAIN!” And they rush to the back windows and hold their breath until the train comes. Nine times out of ten, they will have forgotten what we were arguing about after it passes. Friends come over with their kids and when we’re outside and hear the Park Street crossing start to ring, the kids will scramble up the climbing structure as fast as they can to watch it go by. Each one of them jumping and hollering. It puts them in a good mood.
You might not see it as an amenity at first, but trains have a certain romance to them. Even the MBTA. And you can also sit in your dining room and laugh at those suckers going back out to the ‘burbs while you’re already home for dinner. Not that I would do that. Maybe just a little. You might not see it in the listing, but these Somerville properties are close to the commuter rail –and that is AWESOME.
This house at 23 Vernon Street is in my old neighborhood. It’s a 3 bedroom 1.5 bath listed for $369,900 –A bargain by ANY standards. It’s a HOUSE, not even a condo for that. It’s a fun neighborhood. It’s about a 20 minute walk to Davis –about 10 minutes to the bike path, and another 10 to the T from there. There’s lots of great kid parks. It’s down the street from the Vernon Street lofts if you’re looking for a little “aht” and “culcha” (art and culture for those of you who aren’t from around here.
These condos at 23 park street #4 and and 21 Park Street #4 are listed for $445,000 and $444,900 respectively are adjacent to the tracks and they look out onto Conway Field. These lofts are hip and urban. And you can walk to Harvard, Porter, Union and Inman Square in 15 minutes from there.
There’s two beautiful brand new units for sale at 47 Tufts Street in East Somerville for 288,900 for a 2 bedroom 1 bath unit $293,150 for a 2 bedroom 2 bath unit. And it looks like you might just be able to see the train go by based on it’s location on the map.
Don’t fear the railroad!