New Atlanta Station

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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:49 am

The idea of MMPT downtown is "build it and they will come". It's been a while since I've been there, but other than its proximity to some attractions, it's not really close to a "core downtown" so to speak. Atlanta doesn't really have one, other than Five Points I suppose. And I believe the "gulch" is within proximity to that.

No, Atlanta is the epitome of sprawl. A downtown terminal could change that, and commuter rail, if GA ever gets on the stick, could change that. As far as Amtrak is concerned, Doraville would be a vast improvement, and I don't think they really see a necessity to move downtown. It's cab ride vicinity to the Perimeter and Buckhead. A connection to MARTA is nice. It's close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades, so to speak.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:38 am

Whatever happened to the proposal to build a larger station at the Atlantic Station complex?
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:43 pm

Lack of funds and another developer came along.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby SouthernRailway » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:01 pm

Thanks for the clarification about the suburban site. That doesn't sound too appealing.

IIRC, the Crescent goes not far from Lenox Square, through Buckhead. That would be an ideal place for a station (from the perspective of a suburbanite, not operationally). Atlantic Station would have also been a great location.

I do not think that downtown Atlanta is particularly appealing to suburbanites, nor would it be. Unfortunately and sadly there are all sorts of class/other issues that divide people who hang out downtown vs. suburbanites.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:00 pm

Well gotta say, a Doraville station would be mighty convenient to where I stay when I go down to Atlanta every year - a Crowne Plaza in Dunwoody.

Oh but whoops, I don't see "The Georgian" in my Amtrak System Timetable. Whatever happened to it?
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:16 pm

SouthernRailway wrote:Thanks for the clarification about the suburban site. That doesn't sound too appealing.

IIRC, the Crescent goes not far from Lenox Square, through Buckhead. That would be an ideal place for a station (from the perspective of a suburbanite, not operationally). Atlantic Station would have also been a great location.

I do not think that downtown Atlanta is particularly appealing to suburbanites, nor would it be. Unfortunately and sadly there are all sorts of class/other issues that divide people who hang out downtown vs. suburbanites.

Seems like a station immediately bordering Georgia Tech would be the best of all worlds, excepting the issue of needing to wye.

So... all of these lines come together at the Gulch downtown, but also at Howell Junction: https://goo.gl/maps/hhqcn I wonder how much it would cost to build a station above the junction? Or to convince MARTA to redevelop their Brady Avenue facility, the big parking lot to the right of Howell? Heck, maybe see if The Goat Farm Arts Center would be willing to give up some of its interior space, install a pair of tracks and platform at the top of Howell Jct., and put pedestrian access bridges to Marietta Avenue and Howell Mill Road. Eventually this would be a good tri-directional station location without dealing with the current downtown issues.

Or, you know, just build a parking ramp and remodel Peachtree.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby west point » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:04 pm

A bit of history. Passenger train handling pre Amtrak was convoluted being complicated by no railroad co-operation.
1. L&N + NC&SL both entered by Tilford yard then thru Howell Junction to Atlanta Union station.
2. Georgia RR proceeded east from Union station to Augusta.
3. SAL came from Athens, Ga past Long John wye that led to their yard called Howells ( no relation to Howell Jct ) crossed L&N tracks at grade thru Howell joined SOU rr tracks and proceeded to terminal station. For those SAL trains that originated at Birmingham the trains came by SAL yard thru Long John wye toward Athens train then stopped. Extra passenger cars for Washington & NYP were coupled to rear and a SAL road GP switcher then pulled the train back thru Long John & Howell onto SOU then to Terminal station. This was how the east bound Silver Comet SAL train was handled. Westbound from Athens train pulled straight to Terminal station. Switcher then pulled train going to Birmingham back thru Howell and Long John where excess cars dropped and Birmingham train proceeded thru Long John and Howells yard. Switcher then pushed cars into Howells for car servicing to be used on next train or any originator. Mail and express cars handled at Terminal station by SOU RR yard switchers.
5. ACL trains to Waycross - Jacksonville left north out of Union station on L&N thru Howell to Tilford yard turned left on a wye called the slide went under SOU tracks, proceeded to west end of Atlanta then south eventually going under A&WP track near Union city. Reverse way into Atlanta. .
6. SOU RR trains from Chattanooga and Birmingham to Macon - Florida went by Inman yard thru Howell to Terminal station.
7. SOU trains from Charlotte - Washington crossed L&N at Howell then to Terminal station. For those WASH trains that went to Birmingham a yard switcher pulled train back thru Howell toward CLT. Trains disconnected and proceeded thru Howell Past Inman to Birmingham.
8. SOU A&WP C of Ga trains went south out of Terminal.
9. There was and still is a wye from Terminal station to Union station. Believe it was owned by the Georgia group ( A&WP, Ga RR, Western railway of Alabama ) so property of CSX now was also used to ferry Pullman company cars from Terminal station to the Pullman shops east of Union station on the Georgia RR . Believe this wye only used to turn ACL, L&N , NC&SL trains.

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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby Greg Moore » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:19 pm

10: Sherman came from the North.... :-)
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:21 pm

For what it's worth,Most office/shopping space is built along I-285,not in the city center of Atlanta,sprawl at it's worse! :(
The former General Motors Plant site is close to I-85/285 interchange and Marta,there's a small Biz Jet airport near by.
Amtrak can finally get a proper Station with space for a small yard to allow dropping/picking up cars not needed for
the Atlanta-NOL section of the Crecsent,and not begging for yard space from any of the Host RR's there.
Or in a pinch where the entire train can turn back to NEC.
And it sure beats the horrible trip thru the city core or on I-285 to get to Hartsfield- Jackson Airport in the SE part
of the city.
A fender bender turns I-285 into a parking lot real quick!!
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby litz » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:36 pm

There's already a sizable railyard there, that was used for the autoracks @ the assembly plant ...
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:36 am

The Gulch station proposal is back in the news: MyAJC.com

I'll cross thread this in Commuter Rail as well.

Lawmaker: Revive plans for downtown Atlanta passenger terminal

Decades-old plans to build a mammoth train and bus passenger terminal in downtown Atlanta are getting a new look, in part because of growing interest in mass transit by once-reluctant Republican lawmakers.

The state Senate Transportation Committee on Thursday held a hearing on a proposed “multimodal passenger terminal” in the Gulch area of downtown – the first sign of life for the $1.5 billion project in nearly four years.
...
But it’s clear the same obstacles that have stalled the project for years remain: funding and ambivalence from the freight railroad companies that own most of the property.

There’s still no clear source of funding for the project. And the railroads – CSX and Norfolk Southern – remain noncommittal.
...
The Republicans who control state government have long resisted mass transit. But in recent years they have seen its economic development potential as companies like State Farm and Mercedes Benz have built new facilities along MARTA lines. And they’ve warmed to the idea of state funding for MARTA and other transit agencies.
...
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby east point » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:16 pm

Jeff. Even though this new station proposal is a small 1st step the problems of Howell interlocking remain. No commuter trains can have reliable on time performance from the north to downtown Atlanta. Routes affected are :: Austell / Cedartown & Chattanooga / Rome on NS, Dalton / Marietta on CSX. Blue ridge / Canton - Marietta on GA NE RR. Athens / Lilburn on CSX and Toccoa / Gainesville / Norcross on NS. Then again of course Amtrak's Crescent and any other Amtrak trains in the future.

Note both CSX and NS would cause delays at Howell without a complete rebuilding of Howell compared in scope to the south side Chicago Create projects ( Grand and 75th street ? ) NS and CSX both operate long freights thru Howell. And CSX stops freights thru Howell with some of them doing yard work at Tilford .
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby gokeefe » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:32 pm

All they need is $1.5 billion? For that kind of money they could probably build the station using revenue bonds on development above the station.

The cost has of course gone up somewhat but that looks doable to me if they use USDOT financing (TIFIA?) and have marketable square footage built above the station.

I wonder if the success at Miami Central has caught their attention ...
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:51 pm

east point wrote:Jeff. Even though this new station proposal is a small 1st step the problems of Howell interlocking remain.


True, but the scope of the topic is the station, not service.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby east point » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:07 pm

The layout at the RR area encompassing Atlanta's old Union station and Terminal station has not been examined for several years. At one time a single station would allow a loop track similar to what the old Richmond Broad St station had. That would be needed for the many trains that enter and exit to the north. Have no idea if that even possible now but there is still active tracks that constitute a wye. Sometimes though CSX ( again ) blocks the east leg that leads to the GARR route and Hulsey yard. Probably a double track wye(s) would be better if a loop no longer feasible.

That being said the station would be almost unusable from the north unless the Howell Crossing is built into flyovers at the same time. 4 routes from the SW to east would only be the ones that could get good OTP. Montgomery / LaGrange, Columbus , Griffin / Macon, Augusta. This poster wants to see a station there but funds are not yet to be seen.

Getting property will be a real problem. The State owns the land but gave a long term lease to the parking deck built over the Union station platform tracks ( 10 I believe ). All the support lay outs for the deck will not allow for a modern station. Quirks in eminent domain laws in Georgia make retrieving the lease very difficult. But the deck is not used as much now as in the past. The Terminal station portion needed was at one time fairly open but now ? ?

CSX still has many freights that do & will transit the station where NS only passes by to the NW. A terminal RR owned by CSX and NS from the station encompassing all tracks up to and including Howell with one or two full interlocking's could greatly mitigate problems at Howell. The NS NW tracks could then also be used by CSX trains to LaGrange and Jacksonville. That would eliminate the delays that the Crescent now has at Howell.
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