Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Tadman
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Re: Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Post by Tadman » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:50 pm

Roadgeek Adam wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:21 am
Tadman wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:18 am
Regarding South Bend, the downtown idea may be less feasible because CN/GTW and NS share trackage there for a few miles. The best idea would probably be to close Elkhart and South Bend and open a central station in Mishawaka, half way between the two. The hospital downtown just closed and the area is ripe for redevelopment. And its a very safe and vibrant downtown.
Consider the fact that Amtrak should be investing in getting stations closer to downtowns of urban areas so people don't have to drive, closing Elkhart and South Bend and forcing drivers to go to Mishawaka would be a mistake.

A project to get South Bend back to Union Station should be more important. However, in the meantime, we'll deal with the Bendix station.
Allow me to opine as an expert. I grew up in town, I still have family there, I'll be there tomorrow. Your opinions are well-intended but miss the mark significantly in that area. The concept of having a transit-oriented development station would be well applied to the Michigan trains going through contiguous Niles or the South Shore trains, but for the two long distance trains (the only ones calling at Bendix and Elkhart), they're not nearly as useful. The population and commerce centers of the two counties are a bit like a tiny version of Houston - they're very spread out. Couple that with the fact that the ridership is to the east coast, not a typical business connection to the area, and you don't have a recipe for much.

The east coast trains need a safe area with a decent parking lot. A majority of the riders will be driving 20-40 minutes regardless of station location. Consolidating only eases the expenses against the carrier, and might do them some favors with NS as well. As it stands, South Bend station is just west of a major interlocking/trackage rights situation, and Elkhart is on a tight curve and throat to the major yard. Moving to Mishawaka might alleviate the concerns of stopping right on top of major features.
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Bob Roberts
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Re: Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Post by Bob Roberts » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:56 pm

Seems like we have settled into a dichotomy. Many of us think a well-located station has plenty of parking, while others (indirectly) think that parking is a problem (since those folks prefer to be in the middle of it all).

I know its unsolvable, but personally, I ride the train to avoid driving. We should also admit that parking is only important at our origin stations, I doubt the parking is important crowd cares much about the parking at their destination.

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Re: Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Post by Roadgeek Adam » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:09 pm

My point is poor people who may not have cars would not be able to get to Mishawaka. Notre Dame students may not have a car. Why should we force them to find a way to Mishawaka when they should be able to walk or bike or bus downtown in South Bend? Why screw over others because Mishawaka may save time and provide more parking? Not everyone has cars.
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NaugyRR
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Re: Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Post by NaugyRR » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:27 pm

Roadgeek Adam wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:59 pm
Albany-Rensselaer - Where are you building a new stop and it wouldn't close Rensselaer period.
I agree on Albany. My girlfriend works for the state at the plaza and lives just up the hill from the station, so I've gotten pretty familiar with the area over the last year or so (before I was stuck in my Dutchess county bubble, haha). For state workers in particular, I think having direct Amtrak service on the west bank of the river would be a major advantage in itself. Not to mention that there's not really anything in that section of Renssalaer for normal tourists. Every time we pass the station it's because we're either going to Albany or back to her house.

I'd like to throw in the Windsor-Locks station too. I feel like having direct passenger service to Bradley would be hugely advantageous to both markets (flight and rail).
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Re: Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Post by mtuandrew » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:11 pm

Roadgeek Adam wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:09 pm
My point is poor people who may not have cars would not be able to get to Mishawaka. Notre Dame students may not have a car. Why should we force them to find a way to Mishawaka when they should be able to walk or bike or bus downtown in South Bend? Why screw over others because Mishawaka may save time and provide more parking? Not everyone has cars.
I am all for walkable stations, and I think it’s a mistake to combine SOB and EKH into a Mishawaka stop. But, the only people in South Bend or Elkhart who don’t have a car are either students, the indigent poor, retired people, and masochists :P Most of them can get themselves to SOB, EKH, or NLS without a lot of trouble via friends, family, taxi, bus, or ride share, or if they can’t, they can’t afford to travel.

I’d rather keep them in both cities (and move South Bend to downtown when able) as tools to jump-start neighborhood development

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Re: Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Post by SouthernRailway » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:36 pm

NaugyRR wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:27 pm
Roadgeek Adam wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:59 pm
Albany-Rensselaer - Where are you building a new stop and it wouldn't close Rensselaer period.
I'd like to throw in the Windsor-Locks station too. I feel like having direct passenger service to Bradley would be hugely advantageous to both markets (flight and rail).
Agreed. It’s close enough to the airport that a 5-minute shuttle bus ride would be fine, but it’s too long to walk. I don’t know how it could be moved closer to the airport b it a link between the airport and the train station would be very beneficial.

Suburban Station
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Re: Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Post by Suburban Station » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:39 pm

Bob Roberts wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:56 pm
Seems like we have settled into a dichotomy. Many of us think a well-located station has plenty of parking, while others (indirectly) think that parking is a problem (since those folks prefer to be in the middle of it all).

I know its unsolvable, but personally, I ride the train to avoid driving. We should also admit that parking is only important at our origin stations, I doubt the parking is important crowd cares much about the parking at their destination.
Not unsolvable really, we just need to recognize that they are both legitimate needs for a train station. Moving a station to a non place is an extreme. It tends to dilute the economic impact of the station on the host area. Having the station in town with no parking is the other extreme. Neither is always the wrong decision. Some places are too valuable to waste on parking while other places are too small to accommodate demand (think large park n rides for commuters). Its just about always wrong to place a big city station way outside of town. In most cases a station should strike a balance.
I dont think we should go moving sob and Elkhart under the idea it will always be just two long distance trains. If we assume everyone drives, why not just close sob and build a garage at elkhart where the post office is? Presumably the post office no longer ships by rail and can find a more appropriate location. You can have parking and something that helps build a strong town center.
Philadelphia is an interesting case. Big city station with a parking garage but amtrak found it made more sense to maximize parking revenue rather than train revenue. Same in chicago until now (conversion of the property to higher value development is occurring).

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Tadman
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Re: Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Post by Tadman » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:46 pm

Guys. Listen to me. There is no single commerce or population center in the South Bend Metro area. There is no single spot that can feasibly serve walk-up passengers of more than 5% of the passenger base in the metro area.

You also will have a hard time moving South Shore downtown given the $100m price tag, and you will have a hard time moving Michigan trains out of Niles because it's a different route.

Given that, it is best to have a small modern train station in a safe area in order to protect passengers and raise ridership. The poor ND student we are assuming (a) probably doesn't exist given tuition rates; (b) campus is 3-4 miles away, a long hike with baggage; (c) probably lives in apartments on the north end of Mishawaka or Granger, other population centers.

Mishawaka is in the middle of the area, has room for a third track and parking, and is far enough away from the CN trackage rights and Elkhart yard that it could work. There is really no reason for two stations so close.

Also, please note the current station is smack in the center of gang territory. Not super inviting to anybody, poor or not.
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Kilo Echo
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Re: Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Post by Kilo Echo » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:52 pm

Roadgeek Adam wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:09 pm
SouthernRailway wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:02 pm
51st Street would be wonderful. Even some below-ground platforms there for Amtrak, without a station house, would be a big improvement.

NYP and its neighborhood make a terrible impression.
It would never happen now. When I'm talking back in the day, this is 1937. This had a crapton of extra proposals attached.

Also, 33rd and 8th is gentrified to hell. It's not the 1980s anymore. The irony is GCT was in the middle of the Red Light District
When was GCT in the red-light district?
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Suburban Station
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Re: Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Post by Suburban Station » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:13 pm

South shore should be moved downtown. 100 million is chump change by highway standards.

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Re: Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:28 pm

It would be great if the South Shore and Amtrak Station in SOB were moved closer to Downtown. It looks like there is a proposal to either extend the SSL from the airport to Downtown by having the approach to the airport from the west, rather than doing the semi loop that it presently does which takes too long. The Wolverines and Blue Water aren't going to service SOB. They are fine serving Niles as it is on the way to the destinations where they run. What would be nice sometime is if there were state sponsored corridor trains running from Cleveland to Chicago.

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Re: Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Post by Backshophoss » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:35 pm

"Glitter Gulch",aka Times Square,was a start point of a "Red Light"district on W42nd westward,where old movie theaters went X rated on
Manhattan Island. Long since cleaned up and redeveloped
E42nd street was "OLD Money" territory that surrounded GCT,PC tried to make GCT look unmaintainable by doing nothing,
and letting the Homeless "move in",and allowing the "PAN AM"(The Airline) to build their HQ on top of GCT thru "air rights".

Amtrak was in GCT in the beginning,But Congress critter mandate forced the move to NY Penn,a station destroyed by PRR/PC by
building Madison Square Garden on the "air rights".
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STrRedWolf
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Re: Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Post by STrRedWolf » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:38 pm

Roadgeek Adam wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:59 pm
Albany-Rensselaer - Where are you building a new stop and it wouldn't close Rensselaer period.
Wouldn't qualify (even though it's on the other *!)#@( side of the river). There's two bus routes that go from the heart of Albany to the station, and the most regular one has 30-60 minute headway. Shocking, I know. Lets not concern ourselves with stops that have regular bus transit to them, or are withing walking distance.

Middletown, PA? Now that is something I would move closer to the airport and get transit service over to it.

Lewistown, PA. Right in the middle of an interlock!
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Backshophoss
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Re: Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Post by Backshophoss » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:50 am

Trinidad Co,currently a "container" station,due to the ATSF station was lost to I 25 repairs,faces the river and has a port-a pottie as the restroom :(
There's room for an unstaffed station bldg near a major road thru town with some form of food a couple of block of the bldg site.
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eolesen
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Re: Stations that Amtrak should move elsewhere

Post by eolesen » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:31 am

I was going to say Champaign, IL... It's currently downtown and not quite convenient to the UIUC campus, arguably the largest demographic that the service serves.

Moving the station a few miles south would allow that to be in a safer area for college travelers, but would definitely meet with resistance. For whatever reason, there's still a contingent that resents the university's presence....

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