Washington DC Union Station Expansion

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Re: Washington DC Union Station Expansion

Postby MCL1981 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:59 pm

The MARC sections of the station are abysmal. Gate A, which serves two different lines, is nothing more than a wide corridor next to a bathroom where hundreds of people are forced to stand, blocking up the entire corridor. Then one single door leading out for hundreds of people to ram through. Gate B & C are designated for the Penn Line, but is used by all 3 due to the seats and overflow. And it's just as crammed as the Gate A corridor. Then you get the lines from Amtrak gates that snake all the way across the station, and block the Gate A/B/C areas. It's lunacy.
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Re: Washington DC Union Station Expansion

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:49 pm

I'd add that's kind of an unfounded generalization and more of a political statement. It's okay if it's related, but I really think it's a red herring here.
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Re: Washington DC Union Station Expansion

Postby Greg Moore » Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:39 pm

Station Aficionado wrote:On the lower level, 21 has been removed (a bunch of electrical/mechanical cabinets now occupy the space). 22 is only used as a loco run-around track/parking space.

You're right. I should have been more clear, I was referring to the number of tunnel tracks, which is the ultimate bottleneck. But you're right, those are no longer available
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Re: Washington DC Union Station Expansion

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:50 pm

Washington seems to be experiencing a situation similar to that at NYP: it's being overwhelmed by commuter traffic for which it was not designed and was negligible in Washington until MARC and VRE were formed. As has been mentioned in the Chicagoland forum regarding Chicago Union Station, commuter passenger flows are different from intercity, particularly in having more passengers and less baggage for a given train length. I don't know what the solution is, but the designers will have to be mindful of these differences and not just count passengers.
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Re: Washington DC Union Station Expansion

Postby gokeefe » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:22 pm

I've wondered about that. Isn't the commuter traffic just an analog for passenger flows that used to be served by numbered "local" trains?
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Re: Washington DC Union Station Expansion

Postby bdawe » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:38 pm

I put together from ICC reports and other sources a table of passenger miles running all the way back to 1882.

It is indeed the case that commuter-rail passenger miles are at an all time high in the United States. Overall US passenger mileage today is broadly similar to where it was in the 1950s, during the depression or around 1900, but today more than 60% of those miles are concentrated on commuter services, with nearly twice as many miles traveled as during the historical peak of commuter rail travel in the 1920s


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Re: Washington DC Union Station Expansion

Postby mmi16 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:40 pm

My! How the World Wars pumped up the numbers!
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Re: Washington DC Union Station Expansion

Postby mmi16 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:46 pm

gokeefe wrote:I've wondered about that. Isn't the commuter traffic just an analog for passenger flows that used to be served by numbered "local" trains?


MARC traffic has existed since the days of the B&O and PRR, however MARC has added 3 round trips per day from Frederick that were never a part of the B&O operation. I don't know if there are more trips being operated on the PRR side than in the PRR days.

VRE wasn't even a gleam in the eye of urban planners back in the days before Amtrak. All the trips on the Fredericksburg line as well as the Manassas line are totally new, dating from roughly 1990.
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Re: Washington DC Union Station Expansion

Postby Station Aficionado » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:30 pm

Greg Moore wrote:
Station Aficionado wrote:On the lower level, 21 has been removed (a bunch of electrical/mechanical cabinets now occupy the space). 22 is only used as a loco run-around track/parking space.

You're right. I should have been more clear, I was referring to the number of tunnel tracks, which is the ultimate bottleneck. But you're right, those are no longer available

Ah, yes, the tunnel tracks (other than being lowered to accommodate Superliners, have not changed. And it will be a massive project to add more.
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Re: Washington DC Union Station Expansion

Postby ExCon90 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:07 pm

Greg Moore wrote:I'm pretty sure that the number of through tracks is the same, but the upper level definitely has a few (3?) fewer tracks.

Weren't two tracks taken for the Metro Red Line?
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Re: Washington DC Union Station Expansion

Postby Greg Moore » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:38 pm

I forget the details, but yes, the "missing' tracks are in part where the Red Line went and I think one was simple let go as a result of the Old Post Office being shut down.

There's still I think 2 tracks on that side of the station that as far as I now are never used except for storage and PV parking.
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Re: Washington DC Union Station Expansion

Postby east point » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:52 pm

A link to other links and pictures. One plan has 8 more lower level tracks under the present upper level tracks. Also another tunnel with 2 bores is planned from the station to Virginia ave tunnel exit.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=was ... &FORM=IGRE
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Re: Washington DC Union Station Expansion

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:48 pm

gokeefe wrote:I've wondered about that. Isn't the commuter traffic just an analog for passenger flows that used to be served by numbered "local" trains?

I checked the Official Guide for December 1944, and it shows that in the evening rush hour the PRR had two Baltimore locals (probably no more than 3 or 4 MP54's), leaving at 5.12 and 6.27 pm, and the B&O had two Baltimore locals, leaving at 5.03 and 6.25, with two other Baltimore trains in between, one stopping only at Laurel, the other at Laurel and Jessup. There were two Brunswick locals, at 4.50 and 5.58 pm. During the same period the PRR had the following long-distance departures:
5.00 The Executive (New York)
5.10 The Red Arrow (Detroit)
5.20 1st Liberty Limited (Chicago, all-sleeper, taking passengers for Englewood and Chicago only) (those were the days)
5.30 2nd Liberty Limited (Chicago)
6.00 The Mount Vernon (New York)
6.20 Spirit of St. Louis

The B&O had, at 10-minute intervals, the Capitol Limited, The Ambassador, and The Columbian, of which the Ambassador discharged passengers only at Martinsburg and beyond, while the other two took passengers only for beyond Cumberland.

As mmi16 mentioned, Virginia was not represented on movements from Union Station. As an indication of how times changed over 70 years, the Washington & Old Dominion operated 3 trains daily, of which only one left Rosslyn in rush hour; the 6.05 (by then apparently a gas-electric) for Leesburg via Falls Church, Dunn Loring, and Vienna. Capital Transit Route 10, which did not serve Union Station, crossed the Potomac briefly to reach Rosslyn and turned around immediately to return to Washington.

Of course number of Federal employees grew vastly from 1944 (when there was no Pentagon, and no Department of Defense; the War Department included the Army Air Corps, and the Navy Department included the Marine Corps) to 2014. It seems that in 1944, and prior, most people who worked in Washington lived in DC.
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Re: Washington DC Union Station Expansion

Postby Greg Moore » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:21 pm

Slight nit, the Pentagon was completed in January 1943 and occupied shortly after.
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Re: Washington DC Union Station Expansion

Postby MCL1981 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:18 am

Maybe while they're at it, then can replace the abysmal audio announcement system that rambles on and on all day about nothing.
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