Roadgeek Adam wrote: ↑Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:21 amAllow 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.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.
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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