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“Life is whole series of circumstances beyond your control” ….. Van Roy’s Law


Experienced road travelers from Newport to Kingston are quick to remind you that Route 138 traffic can be a major hassle.  This is especially true during the summer season with tourist and vacationing traffic from Rt. 95 using the Rt. 138 to travel east and westward to Newport and Cape Cod.  RIDOT estimates that the overused Rt. 138 handles twenty to thirty thousand vehicles each day on the overburdened secondary highway.

Average time from Newport to Kingston Station ‘off peak’ 30 to 35 minutes.

Average time from Newport to Kingston Station may double during ‘peak’ summer events.


Compounding the problem the University of Rhode Island


Just about nine miles east of Rt. 95 one encounters the University of Rhode Island campus and associated complexes.  The State of Rhode Island is building a new Convocation Center here behind the Kenney Gymnasium.  This is expected to attract eight thousand ticket holders per event once in operation.  The University also hosts events like the Balloon Festival, Special Olympics, and Soccer games, all of which create major traffic tie-ups along the Rt. 138.


The Kingston Station is situated about one mile west of the University of Rhode Island, in the village of West Kingston.


From Newport: Drive past the University and down the hill to West Kingston about one mile, take the first right after the Citgo gas station to enter the Kingston Station driveway.

From Rt. 95: Take the first right after Fairgrounds Rd. in West Kingston.  This is about a mile after you pass Rt. 2 coming east on Rt. 138.


Plan to be at the Kingston Station thirty minutes prior to train departure time.  Don’t expect to get the full service treatment if you show up at the same time the train is scheduled to be departing the station.       Only one person is on duty during each tour from 7am to 10pm.


Passengers are allowed two pieces each for boarding at Kingston.  However, train crews will not hassle you if you are able to carry more than that and not hold up the train.  If you need help with luggage you are allowed to have someone assist you to the train but only passengers are allowed to board.  Kingston does not have ‘red cap’ services like the metropolitan stations, if you are in need of special assistances you should plan on boarding at Providence station, about 40 minutes to the north of Kingston.


As of May 21st 2001, Amtrak started using a van to shuttle passengers to track one until a crossover bridge is built at some undetermined time in the future.  The nine-passenger shuttle van is not used for every instance, but as a last resort if the train cannot be brought in on the track 2 near the station side. The van is not handicap ready and it takes additional time as the passengers have to pack, board, and ride the van over Rt. 138 to Fairgrounds Road, then journey through a lumber yard to get to the track one boarding area.  This ‘shuttle concept’ replaces the method of having a conductor simply walk passengers over by way of an inter-track fence gate, which lasted from December to May of 2001.

OPINION’S on this ‘shuttle van concept’ are being solicited:


The Agent on duty will inform and announce the boarding procedures as they are communicated from the Amtrak dispatcher.  Once again, be sure give your self plenty of time for any and all such situations.