Worcester Union Station

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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby gokeefe » Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:24 pm

Cannonball wrote:Central Massachusetts Inaugural Celebration for new Mass. Governor on Jan. 9 at Worcester's Union Station.
The day after being formally sworn in at the Statehouse, Governor-elect Charles D. Baker Jr. is taking his inauguration party to Worcester. Mr. Baker and lieutenant governor-elect Karyn E. Polito will host a "Central Massachusetts Inaugural Celebration" Jan. 9 at Union Station.

More: http://www.topix.com/forum/city/shrewsb ... A75PNCD791


Interesting choice for someone who people were concerned wouldn't support rail.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby TomNelligan » Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:35 pm

I don't know that Charlie Baker is specifically supporting rail service so much as taking advantage of a very nice, large function room that happens to be the former waiting room of a historic station, although I'm sure he also wants to promote the current attempt at a commercial revival in that corner of downtown Worcester. Anyone can rent the WUS rotunda for events of this sort, just as the great hall of Chicago Union Station is regularly rented out for non-rail functions.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby gokeefe » Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:04 pm

TomNelligan wrote:I don't know that Charlie Baker is specifically supporting rail service so much as taking advantage of a very nice, large function room that happens to be the former waiting room of a historic station, although I'm sure he also wants to promote the current attempt at a commercial revival in that corner of downtown Worcester. Anyone can rent the WUS rotunda for events of this sort, just as the great hall of Chicago Union Station is regularly rented out for non-rail functions.


Sure no question about it. But in politics everything has implications. Venues were always a sensitive question in my experience.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby Cannonball » Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:31 am

Slightly off topic, but an adjacent property to Worcester Union Station.

A developer plans to convert the Osgood Bradley building behind Union Station into housing for college students.
Vision Development Inc. wants to renovate the eight-story Osgood Bradley Building — a 100-year-old former industrial building located at 8-18 Grafton St. — into 82 units of market-rate housing specifically for college students.

To assist the developer in making the project a reality, City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. has asked the City Council to approve a tax-increment exemption plan, TIE for short. The plan would provide the developer with $2.7 million in real estate tax savings over 10 years.

Link to story: http://www.telegram.com/article/2015030 ... 39529/1116

Background: Osgood Bradley was an early railway car manufacturer, later acquired by Pullman. See http://www.midcontinent.org/rollingstoc ... osgood.htm.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:50 am

Cannonball wrote:Slightly off topic, but an adjacent property to Worcester Union Station.

A developer plans to convert the Osgood Bradley building behind Union Station into housing for college students.
Vision Development Inc. wants to renovate the eight-story Osgood Bradley Building — a 100-year-old former industrial building located at 8-18 Grafton St. — into 82 units of market-rate housing specifically for college students.

To assist the developer in making the project a reality, City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. has asked the City Council to approve a tax-increment exemption plan, TIE for short. The plan would provide the developer with $2.7 million in real estate tax savings over 10 years.

Link to story: http://www.telegram.com/article/2015030 ... 39529/1116

Background: Osgood Bradley was an early railway car manufacturer, later acquired by Pullman. See http://www.midcontinent.org/rollingstoc ... osgood.htm.


Good. Worcester's college student population is exploding and they really need to start developing some more market-rate student housing. Since the campus shuttles from everywhere already run to Worcester Union that's as good a place as any to do it.

There's a disused station underpass to that building which used to feed the long-gone far side platform. Could easily be rehabilited to give direct off-street pedestrian access to the building and the bus pickup on the other side.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby dowlingm » Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:25 pm

There is a parking garage for Union Station right beside that building. Is there direct access (another underpass besides the aforementioned) or do people walk under the rail corridor to get to the station?
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:01 pm

dowlingm wrote:There is a parking garage for Union Station right beside that building. Is there direct access (another underpass besides the aforementioned) or do people walk under the rail corridor to get to the station?


There is. I was a little off. 2nd platform wasn't on the far/O-B side, but rather a narrow middle island platform between the current platform track and the next one...the conspicuous track gap is the giveaway. Even though it was all low platforms and you could just as easily walk across the track there was a dank little staircase down from the island that went into the station building. That I would guess is obliterated since there's no sign of it left at ballast level.

Image

The little green awning out the back of the garage is the ped tunnel. They'd have to modify it a little with a rear-alley entrance from the O-B building to make that particular building direct-accessible without going around on a street underpass. Right now you can't get into it without walking through the garage itself.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby gokeefe » Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:16 am

A completely unexpected development:

From the Springfield Republican, masslive.com:

Article published on September 18, 2015.

WORCESTER – At least 30,000 cars per day make the trip from Worcester to Providence, R.I., via Route 146. Now one new start-up is closer to offering some of those drivers an alternative: Commuter rail.

The Boston Surface Railway Co. formed in 2014 with the express intention of creating the rail service between the two cities. However, its long-term goal is to expand.

Friday morning, the company's president, Vincent Bono, updated the Worcester Redevelopment Authority on his plans.

Bono's company will be the first private commuter railway to start in this country in 100 years, he noted. But he did not start out seeking to build a commuter rail company.


Here's a more recent item:

WOONSOCKET – Plans for a new commuter railroad that will connect Woonsocket to Worcester in the north and Providence in the south are moving forward, with longtime tenants at One Depot Square in Woonsocket relocating to make room for Boston Surface Railway Company headquarters.

Blackstone Heritage Corridor Inc., an organization that has been located in the city since the 1990s, announced this week that it will be moving to the Linwood Mill in Whitinsville, Mass.

The news is the latest sign that a plan by railway Executive Director Vincent Bono is gaining momentum, as the group evacuates to make room for the company’s home, already listed as Woonsocket on its website.

Bono plans to run commuter trains between Worcester’s Union Station and Providence’s Station Building twice a day, with just one stop in Woonsocket along the way.

“We had been on the fence about adding Woonsocket at the start, however Mayor Baldelli-Hunt convinced us to re-examine the ridership potential here and make Woonsocket our headquarters. Since then her support and enthusiasm has been invaluable,” Bono told The Breeze this week.


I have no idea how serious this really is. Also worth noting that P&W does not access station platforms in Providence. Perhaps they intend to construct their own platforms and not use the NEC station. Talk about a return to 100 year old practices .......
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:22 am

Topic covered ad nauseam on this thread.


Take with a dumptruck's worth of salt.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby gokeefe » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:22 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Take with a dumptruck's worth of salt.


Thanks for confirming my initial impressions ........
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby Cannonball » Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:34 pm

Cannonball wrote:Slightly off topic, but an adjacent property to Worcester Union Station.

A developer plans to convert the Osgood Bradley building behind Union Station into housing for college students.
Vision Development Inc. wants to renovate the eight-story Osgood Bradley Building — a 100-year-old former industrial building located at 8-18 Grafton St. — into 82 units of market-rate housing specifically for college students.

To assist the developer in making the project a reality, City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. has asked the City Council to approve a tax-increment exemption plan, TIE for short. The plan would provide the developer with $2.7 million in real estate tax savings over 10 years.

Link to story: http://www.telegram.com/article/2015030 ... 39529/1116

Background: Osgood Bradley was an early railway car manufacturer, later acquired by Pullman. See http://www.midcontinent.org/rollingstoc ... osgood.htm.


UPDATE:
The Edge at Union Station opened June 1, 2016. Here are some links to the high-end off campus student apartments.
http://www.edgeunionstation.com
https://www.facebook.com/Edge-at-Union- ... 3003326513
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby gokeefe » Tue Jun 07, 2016 5:53 pm

Its interesting in some senses that all of this Transit Oriented Development is happenning without the benefit of robust intercity passenger rail service. WOR is becoming an increasingly attractive location for more service.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:57 pm

It's not surprising if you consider the focus is NOT intercity, but rather commuter service to Beantown. I'm pretty sure developers don't build near railroads so that tenants can take a 150+ mile trip on a regular basis.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby Station Aficionado » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:43 am

Obviously, there's a bit of gray zone here (the Downeaster, for example) functions as essentially extended MBTA service, at least for the NH stops), but generally, yes,the "transit" in TOD really does refer local transit.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby trainviews » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:00 am

Rockingham Racer wrote:It's not surprising if you consider the focus is NOT intercity, but rather commuter service to Beantown. I'm pretty sure developers don't build near railroads so that tenants can take a 150+ mile trip on a regular basis.


At least internationally there are exeptions. Just like some companies value easy airport acces if their employees have a large travel need, some would definately benefit from direct access to intercity train travel. But it requires to be an access to a very robust, high frequency intercity network, which in the US is only really in place in the NEC.

As for housing you are absolutely right. The TOD here is almost entirely commuter oriented.
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