New Atlanta Station

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Re: Moving Atlanta's Amtrak Station Downtown ?

Postby MattW » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:42 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:Having taken a look at the current schedule, the dining car would be dropped right in the middle of the breakfast service, and added that evening at the tail end of dinner service. A schedule change would be in order to avoid this situation.

I'm pretty sure the plan wasn't to drop the dining car too, just 1-2 coaches.
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Re: Moving Atlanta's Amtrak Station Downtown ?

Postby David Benton » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:19 pm

the Plan was to drop the coaches and the lounge car. I tend to agree dropping it at Atlanta would be at a time many people would be getting their morning caffeine hit. I think it would make more sense to drop them at Anniston,AL.still allows 6 hours or so for the same day turn .
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Re: Moving Atlanta's Amtrak Station Downtown ?

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:29 am

Is there another T&E crew change point between Atlanta and New Orleans?
That might be a better location to do a setoff or pick up of the coaches and lounge cars.
Remember you need a contract servicing crew and a standby power plug in point.
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Re: Moving Atlanta's Amtrak Station Downtown ?

Postby David Benton » Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:24 am

Backshophoss wrote:Is there another T&E crew change point between Atlanta and New Orleans?
That might be a better location to do a setoff or pick up of the coaches and lounge cars.
Remember you need a contract servicing crew and a standby power plug in point.

Meridian is a crew base,but would not allow a same day turn.
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Re: Moving Atlanta's Amtrak Station Downtown ?

Postby orulz » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:11 pm

I have said it before but I believe that Lenox is the right place for a new Amtrak station. It's a nice area, with good transit connections, yet far enough away that it will complement rather than detract from MMPT (if it ever gets built.)
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Re: Moving Atlanta's Amtrak Station Downtown ?

Postby george matthews » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:55 am

David Benton wrote:Running the Thruway buses from Gainesville is a practical solution. Overall trip times would be the same, if not shorter. Looking on Google earth street view, Gainesville has a nice station building with plenty of room for buses.
I'm actually wondering if buses from Gainesville to parts of Atlanta remote from Peachtree station would also be a good idea, to take the strain off Peachtree station.
As far as removing coaches/Viewliners from the Crescent for a same day turn back north, that could be done at Gainesville or Anniston,GA.

I first met the Atlanta station some 35 years ago when I arrived there on the Southern Crescent, still run by the Southern Railway. It was on one of the days when that train did not go further South. I had to transfer to a Greyhound to get to Birmingham where I was bound for.

I was surprised that such a city as Atlanta had such a small station, clearly originally built as a suburban station. I did not then fully appreciate the low status rail travel had sunk to at that time - nearly dead. There were no trains using it other than the Crescent which meant two episodes a day.

A couple of weeks later, going North, the train passed through Atlanta.

If Atlanta gets a new station it should only be if it also gets more arrivals and departures.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:49 am

New possibility that's been rumored: BizJournals (Atlanta)

Brief, fair-use quote:

Amtrak in talks for new station at GM plant site

The former GM site, at the convergence of I-285, Buford Highway, and Peachtree Industrial, is an intriguing option for a multi-modal project involving Amtrak because of its central location that could link the region's suburbs to its urban core.


The article describes the failure of the "gulch" and 17th street projects due to lack of funding success. The articles confirms talks between the stakeholders. Seems like a win-win for everyone involved.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby Bob Roberts » Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:31 pm

Very interesting development. This is a great stopgap to get Amtrak out of Brookwood's ridiculousness and to actually connect the Crescent to MARTA. In the long term the station could serve as Atlanta's subruban station (like route 128 or New Carrolton).

Unfortunately this idea is no substitute for a downtown stop. There is nothing in the area that is remotely attractive to visitors and given the awfulness of Atlanta traffic, Doraville may as well be in South Carolina from the perspective of people on the West and South sides.

disclaimer: I understand all my whining about location is irrelevant with Atlanta's current 2 trains per day.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby Greg Moore » Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:03 pm

Any interesting idea.

I will say, I think a better location (more parking, tied into MARTA) would increase demand.
And it's a shame Atlanta has such poor service for a city of its size.

I could easily see it being a regional hub with a day train to WAS and a train towards Florida and perhaps even one up to Chattanooga.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:51 pm

I agree anything is better. They could always add a stop to the west as well. I frankly don't see them ever getting downtown at this point. I'm not sure it's even physically possible at this point depending on how the Belt Line has been developed. If that possibility is gone, as has been pointed out, they'd have to either change ends, wye the train somehow, reverse, etc.

Amtrak at this point just has to move on. They can still set up the PIP and drop/add cars in Atlanta. And it would be nice to add a second frequency at a minimum.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby electricron » Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:15 pm

Amtrak will require a dedicated coach and locomotive yard as a minimum, more likely a yard and maintenance shed to make Atlanta a hub for trains heading norh, south, west, east and northeast. For examples, facilities that they have in New Orleans, Orlando, and Miami. Sadly, there aren't any in the Atlanta area. :(

The best we should hope for is switching a car or two on and off the train in Atlanta as is done today in St. Paul and St. Louis, or running a regional train to a city not served by the existing train like the Heartland Flyer from Ft. Worth. Expecting more really requires facilities and yards that would have to be built first. Who would pay for them is the question that should be answered realistically before we start discussing making Atlanta a passenger rail hub.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby afiggatt » Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:06 pm

Thanks for the link to the story. The proposed site presents an interesting trade-off. While a station closer to the city core would be preferred, space for storage tracks, lots of parking, and a direct connection to MARTA, even if it is at the end of a line well outside the city, is more important for a viable station. A direct connection to MARTA and access from the beltway around the city would provide a range of transportation options to the station.

If the Atlanta metro region and Georgia ever get their act together and expand MARTA and add commuter rail lines for a transit system that a city of Atlanta's size really should have, a train station at Doraville could become the suburban station for Amtrak and commuter trains, similar to New Carrollton or Rt. 128. It is odd, but it is also a sign of the state of passenger rail in parts of the US, that while Atlanta has one intercity train a day, that not even that has a direct connection to MARTA. DC, for comparison, has 4 Amtrak stations in the metro region, all of which are co-located with DC Metro stations. Big difference in transit connectivity that is easy to take for granted.

At least, they are looking at another site, but this could easily run into the same lack of funding problem that reportedly killed the plans for the 17th and Northside site.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby BandA » Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:20 pm

Greg Moore wrote:Any interesting idea.
I will say, I think a better location (more parking, tied into MARTA) would increase demand.
And it's a shame Atlanta has such poor service for a city of its size.
I could easily see it being a regional hub with a day train to WAS and a train towards Florida and perhaps even one up to Chattanooga.
Pardon me Greg, did you say Chattanooga Choo-Choo? :-D
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby SouthernRailway » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:35 am

That's a really interesting news piece. I'd usually strongly prefer that a train station be downtown, but downtown Atlanta, if I recall right, hasn't experienced the upscale influx and burst of new construction in the past 15 years like Charlotte have. I'd think that upscale suburbanites would be somewhat reluctant to head to downtown Atlanta to catch a train. So at least having a new station tied into MARTA yet in a more upscale area (i.e., suburbia, as proposed) is perhaps a very good thing.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby Bob Roberts » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:35 am

Portions of downtown Atlanta has seen a redevelopment boom (e.g. Fairley Poplar), but you are right, most of the urban redevelopment in Atlanta has been in Midtown and areas to the North (between Tech and downtown).

I don't think I would consider the Doraville site to be upscale at all. Its adjacent to the Buford highway immigrant corridor (best place to eat cheap food in the metro) and this portion of Dekalb and Gwinett have seen dramatic increases in poverty and crime rates over the past 15 years.

I still think this site is a very good idea as a stopgap. But I don't seen it being a viable station for the city if 1) Atlanta ever gets commuter rail (and a line into Clayton county has funding and NS's blessing) or 2) Atlanta ever gets more than one inter city train per day (or a day train to the north) and or 3) any form of SEHSR ever sees the light of day -- no business traveller is going to pay for a ride to Atlanta that ends at I-285 (MARTA or not).
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