• Amtrak in Miami (Hialeah, Miami Intermodal Center/Airport)

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by Station Aficionado
 
I know that the current Amtrak station in Miami (Hialeah) was one of the first Amshacks, with Amtrak moving there in '72 or '73. I'm curious about the old SCL (ex-SAL) station that Amtrak originally used. I know it was located next to Miami Stadium (onetime spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles--someday we'll win again!), and I have read elsewhere that it was not in great shape by the time Amtrak came along. My questions: was it a large facility (like Cincinnati) that Amtrak couldn't justify the upkeep on? Or was there another reason Amtrak moved (I know the neighborhood was in decline for a number of years)? And what did it look like (I've never seen a picture and can't seem to find one on the internet)? Perhaps some of you who took the train to Florida in days of yore can enlighten me. (Moderators, please let me know if this query belongs in SE Railfan or some other forum.)
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Prior to the opening of the present facility located at the Seaboard's Coach Yard in Haleah, Amtrak used the Seaboard's Miami station for which unfortunately I am not able to locate a photo at the web.

That station was located adjacent to the one-time Miami Stadium as noted by Mr. Afficiando. It was visible from I-95 and the last time I drove by there, I noted (and am here to talk about it) that the Mission style head house remains standing. The facility was "functional" and once the ACL trains were rerouted into Miami over the Seaboard during 1963 became quite busy. I have alighted from the Meteor and boarded the Special there during 1967.
  by Noel Weaver
 
In the book "By Streamliner New York to Florida" by Joseph M. Welsh on page 31 is an excellent picture of the exterior of that
station with its neon sign over the entrance. This book came out in 1994 by Andover Publications. I do not know if it is still
in print but I suspect it can be found. It has many good pictures of the passenger trains to and in Florida.
I will have to check some of my old timetables to see if there is also a picture in any of them.
Noel Weaver
  by Station Aficionado
 
Thank you both.
  by JasW
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote:Prior to the opening of the present facility located at the Seaboard's Coach Yard in Haleah, Amtrak used the Seaboard's Miami station for which unfortunately I am not able to locate a photo at the web.

That station was located adjacent to the one-time Miami Stadium as noted by Mr. Afficiando. It was visible from I-95 and the last time I drove by there, I noted (and am here to talk about it) that the Mission style head house remains standing. The facility was "functional" and once the ACL trains were rerouted into Miami over the Seaboard during 1963 became quite busy. I have alighted from the Meteor and boarded the Special there during 1967.
It's not the whole head house, just the portico that's still standing today:

Image

You can more or less see the rear of the station from the platform in this video of a 1967 Seaboard trip from Miami to Winter Haven: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvLhkdA5zEc

James
  by frank754
 
These were taken at what I believe was the former Miami SCL station:

On 2/24/77

Image

and on 3/1/77

Image
  by Station Aficionado
 
Thanks for posting. The flower pot/bumper posts were an interesting touch.
  by JasW
 
Great pics, Frank, thanks. Those must have been taken just before Amtrak decided to decamp in 1977 and set up the station farther NW in the coach yards on the Hialeah border.

I still would love to see a pic of the front of the old terminal, though. I'm not sure I'm willing to buy a copy of the Welsh book to do so, however.

BTW, the tracks leading to the building that was built on the station property -- leading all the way along North River Drive and NW 23rd Street, after spurring off from what's now Tri-Rail track five miles south of the current Amtrak station -- are still there, gated and signaled east to about NW 12th Avenue or so.
  by JasW
 
Finally found a picture in the state library's online archives:

Image
  by CHTT1
 
It looks like an automobile dealership.
  by JasW
 
A car dealership and movie theater. One would think that S. Davies Warfield, having had his architects design all of those wonderful Mediterranean Revival stations from West Palm down to Hialeah, would have had them create something special in Miami. No wonder Amtrak had no problem abandoning this place.

I'm not sure, but I believe it actually was designed by the same architects. They were from West Palm, to which they gave a terrific station, and must have hated/been jealous of Miami.
  by eagle628
 
I think the Amshack is an improvement.
  by Noel Weaver
 
eagle628 wrote:I think the Amshack is an improvement.
It might be in terms of station building but it is not in terms of location.
Noel Weaver
  by trainmaster611
 
JasW wrote: BTW, the tracks leading to the building that was built on the station property -- leading all the way along North River Drive and NW 23rd Street, after spurring off from what's now Tri-Rail track five miles south of the current Amtrak station -- are still there, gated and signaled east to about NW 12th Avenue or so.
Looking at google maps, based on the building that took the place of the station, it looks like the tracks still go all the way to where the station was.

I should also point out that Miami is building a new transit hub that will include the southern terminus for all Amtrak and Tri-Rail trains.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami_Central_Station
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
This is likely as appropriate a topic as any at which to discuss Amtrak use of the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC; which i think is the tentative station code assigned for such. If not, then just more "fanese').

To continue, "last time I checked", namely when I was "down below' this past February, there appears to be conjecture whether Amtrak will use the new facility. While convenience for some passengers would be enhanced, namely for those using public transportation to their final destination and for the apparently quite few that desire to rent an auto, use of MIC would simply represent additional costs and operational deficiency from both handling equipment between the MIC and the Hialeah Maintenance Facility and having to rent facilities at MIC. Further, the likelihood of redeveloping a closed Hialeah station facility for other commercial or industrial use would be remote.

Since I somehow think the majority of Amtrak LD passengers are 'met", the MIC would represent an inconvenience; parking would have to be paid for (possibly a burden for some), longer walks would be entailed (also a burden for some), and a more "visible" security presence (unnerving for some; even if reassuring for many) would be evident.

All told, it appears that Amtrak use of the MIC is a 'stay tuned".
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