Station Developments

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Station Developments

Postby Station Aficionado » Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:44 pm

The new station in Grand Rapids will open on Monday Oct. 27:
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The station, named for [a] former West Michigan congressman, is slated to depart its first train of passengers to Chicago at 7:40 a.m. Monday, Oct. 27, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation. A grand opening ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. that day and is open to the public.
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The Vernon J. Ehlers Amtrak Station is located at 440 Century Ave. SW, adjacent to The Rapid's Central Station. Officials tout the convenience of the two being close together for passengers looking to get around the city by bus, including Silver Line.
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And the State of Washington has come out with a new design for the Tacoma station that will be constructed at Freighthouse Square:
Tacoma’s new Amtrak station design Tuesday night passed near-final muster from an advisory committee that 10 months ago had loudly rejected a prior preliminary design.

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The new drawings showed a glass-walled, 180-foot-long station equipped with transparent garage-door-like walls that can be raised in fair weather to create a station open to the outside on both its street and track sides. The proposed station would be built in the middle of the 1,000-foot-long Freighthouse Square building at East 25th and D streets near the Tacoma Dome.

The design will include a clock tower structure that will be a visual landmark for the station and ultimately could serve as a support and an elevator shaft for a pedestrian bridge between the existing Sound Transit garage, the new station and the new south platform at the station.

The state’s plan doesn’t include funding for the pedestrian bridge, and the tower may not be included in the project if the Federal Railway Administration (FRA) objects. David Smelser, WSDOT’s project manager for the station, however, pledged to lobby for inclusion of the tower in the design that the FRA approves.

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The state plans to submit the basic design to the FRA at the end of November. If the federal agency approves that and a subsequent final design, construction of the station is expected to begin in late 2015 or early 2016 with the station opening in 2017 when trains begin using the new route.

I like this design, especially the ability to make the station "open air" when the weather permits. The design seems quite in keeping with the rest of the Freighthouse Square structure. The new station is necessitated by the upcoming reroute of Amtrak trains away from Point Defiance.
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Re: Station Developments

Postby Station Aficionado » Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:22 pm

On the downside, in Atlanta, the proposed new Amtrak depot near Atlantic Station appears quite dead:
A nearly 14-acre swath of land west of Atlantic Station has remained vacant for the better part of the last decade. But what was once set to become a multi-modal transit hub could now be turned into a mixed-use development by an all-too-familiar face: Jeff Fuqua.

The vacant site located down the street from Atlanta Waterworks at the southeast corner of 17th Street and Northside Drive had once been eyed as a possible transit-oriented development that would include new Amtrak and Greyhound stations. Local real-estate developer Carter led the talks with Houston-based real-estate company Lionstone and the State Road and Tollway Authority, which each owned roughly half of the total land.

But the property went back on the market after Carter's talks broke down. SRTA Director of Marketing and Communications Malika Reed Wilkins tells CL the authority has received numerous inquiries for the site over the years. A key component for Carter's transit-oriented development included approximately $6 million in federal funding from Amtrak to help build a new ADA-compliant station and platform. However, the talks stalled, the federal cash eventually expired, and the deal fell apart.
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So, it looks like we're back to square one on new Atlanta station. Recall that the PIP for the Crescent conditioned various improvements for that train on a new station. Ditto for additional trains.
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Re: Station Developments

Postby Station Aficionado » Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:32 pm

The new Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) is opening on December 13. Not thrilled with the exterior--makes me think of a glass quonset hut. On the other hand, it will be a big improvement over the current Amshack.
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Re: Station Developments

Postby Suburban Station » Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:02 pm

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Re: Station Developments

Postby Greg Moore » Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:28 pm

Station Aficionado wrote:On the downside, in Atlanta, the proposed new Amtrak depot near Atlantic Station appears quite dead:
A nearly 14-acre swath of land west of Atlantic Station has remained vacant for the better part of the last decade. But what was once set to become a multi-modal transit hub could now be turned into a mixed-use development by an all-too-familiar face: Jeff Fuqua.

The vacant site located down the street from Atlanta Waterworks at the southeast corner of 17th Street and Northside Drive had once been eyed as a possible transit-oriented development that would include new Amtrak and Greyhound stations. Local real-estate developer Carter led the talks with Houston-based real-estate company Lionstone and the State Road and Tollway Authority, which each owned roughly half of the total land.

But the property went back on the market after Carter's talks broke down. SRTA Director of Marketing and Communications Malika Reed Wilkins tells CL the authority has received numerous inquiries for the site over the years. A key component for Carter's transit-oriented development included approximately $6 million in federal funding from Amtrak to help build a new ADA-compliant station and platform. However, the talks stalled, the federal cash eventually expired, and the deal fell apart.
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So, it looks like we're back to square one on new Atlanta station. Recall that the PIP for the Crescent conditioned various improvements for that train on a new station. Ditto for additional trains.


I've given up on Atlanta ever really doing anything with passenger rail.
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Re: Station Developments

Postby orulz » Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:05 pm

I am frankly glad that the Atlanta station on 17th street is dead. Lenox was always a superiorr option in my mind. This is directly adjacent to a yellow line MARTA station and in a very busy neighborhood, and also further from downtown so it won't wind up stepping on the toes of the downtown MMPT whenever that gets built. Pretty good highway access. Also, closer to the geographic center of the Atlanta metro.
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Re: Station Developments

Postby Station Aficionado » Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:24 pm

orulz wrote:I am frankly glad that the Atlanta station on 17th street is dead. Lenox was always a superiorr option in my mind. This is directly adjacent to a yellow line MARTA station and in a very busy neighborhood, and also further from downtown so it won't wind up stepping on the toes of the downtown MMPT whenever that gets built. Pretty good highway access. Also, closer to the geographic center of the Atlanta metro.

Ok, but what movement is there toward a station at Lenox? The Atlantic Station proposal was the only idea that has gotten off the ground at all (although, admittedly, it did so only by a fraction of an inch). Atlanta is going to be one of those place where we may have to beware of making the perfect (or better) the enemy of the good (enough). And, at this point, pretty much anything is going to be better than Brookwood/Peachtree.

With nothing on the horizon as far as a new station in Atlanta, I hope Amtrak goes ahead with the alternative suggestion in the PIP and institutes Thruway service from Savannah, Macon and Chattanooga to Gainesville.
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Re: Station Developments

Postby jstolberg » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:14 pm

Station Aficionado wrote:And the State of Washington has come out with a new design for the Tacoma station that will be constructed at Freighthouse Square:
Tacoma’s new Amtrak station design Tuesday night passed near-final muster from an advisory committee that 10 months ago had loudly rejected a prior preliminary design.

***********************

The new drawings showed a glass-walled, 180-foot-long station equipped with transparent garage-door-like walls that can be raised in fair weather to create a station open to the outside on both its street and track sides. The proposed station would be built in the middle of the 1,000-foot-long Freighthouse Square building at East 25th and D streets near the Tacoma Dome.

The design will include a clock tower structure that will be a visual landmark for the station and ultimately could serve as a support and an elevator shaft for a pedestrian bridge between the existing Sound Transit garage, the new station and the new south platform at the station.

Those Cascade riders really like their clock towers.
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Re: Station Developments

Postby Station Aficionado » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:50 am

jstolberg wrote:Those Cascade riders really like their clock towers.
Image
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They do indeed. See also this.
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Re: Station Developments

Postby AgentSkelly » Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:05 pm

How else are we supposed to tell time in the NW when the sundials are worthless for 3/4 of the year? :P
New Westminster to Amtrak 516, whats up with the extra 4 axles, over?
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Re: Station Developments

Postby Station Aficionado » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:16 pm

Du Quoin, IL is making preparations to construct new station facilities:
Amtrak is pressuring communities with passenger stops to buy into its goal of rebranding its image and functionality by constructing new passenger stations.

For small communities like Du Quoin the proposal is for the construction of unstaffed passenger pavilions. The stations have no heat or air conditioning and no restrooms, but they are enclosed.

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However, the massive concrete boarding platform and safety railing is largely compliant. The next generation of Amtrak passenger cars should provide walk-on entry at ground level.
Duncan said the current chamber office and Amtrak station --a converted Du Quoin National Bank drive-through facility taken over during the end of the Armstrong administration---is inefficient as a matter of heating cooling and upkeep.

He said the building’s days are numbered.

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At the end of the discussions it was felt that the best plan would be to demolish the chamber building, relocate the chamber offices elsewhere (perhaps at the expense of the chamber) and build an unstaffed passenger station that would borrow from the already-available Amtrak design above. The cost would be anywhere from $150,000 to $300,000 with a federal transportation (TIGER) grant paying for most of the project. Du Quoin’s share would come from TIF business development funds.

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The proposed design is similar to the structures recently built at Alliance, OH, Rennselaer, IN and other locations. I like the design. It has a railroad "feel" and the building materials can be varied (unlike with Amshacks). But I wonder about an unheated structure in a northern climate. Maybe Du Quoin should look at what its upstate neighbor came up with.
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Re: Station Developments

Postby Station Aficionado » Wed Oct 29, 2014 3:34 pm

Ground has been broken for the new station in Rochester:
Work on Rochester's long-awaited new Amtrak station began Tuesday, at least ceremoniously, when Rep. Louise Slaughter led a brigade of shovel-wielding pols at a soft groundbreaking.
The $29.5 million station, to be built on the site of the existing Amtrak facility on Central Avenue at the north edge of downtown, is scheduled to open by 2017. The new facility will be slightly larger and more accessible than the current dilapidated station.
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Slaughter, state Assemblyman David Gantt, D-Rochester, state Senator Joe Robach, R-Greece and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren joined several others in tossing symbolic shovelfuls of earth Tuesday afternoon outside the existing station. About 50 guests looked on.
Gantt said he grew up not far from the original station on the site, a grand edifice designed for the New York Central Railroad by noted Rochester architect Claude Bragdon. It opened 100 years ago this year but the last remnants were torn down in 1977 to make way for the current building.
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The new station will feature a brick-and-stone facade and high arched windows, both visual elements borrowed from Bragdon's design.
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In addition to the new station building, I believe that there will also be track and platform improvements (although I don't recall if they're coming out of the same funding).
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Re: Station Developments

Postby Station Aficionado » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:50 pm

Huntley, Illinois is moving forward with plans for a new station that will be served by the Rockford train:
Area residents would start boarding Amtrak trains from downtown Huntley by late 2015, under a $3.55 million agreement with the state unanimously approved by the Village Board on Thursday.

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Under the deal, both parties would have a new train platform and additional station parking constructed no later than late November 2015, meaning passenger train service in Huntley would start then.

The Huntley station would be located in the area bounded by Main Street to the north, Church Street to the east, Mill Street to the south, and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks to the west.

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The state potentially could change course again, depending on whether Republican Governor-elect Bruce Rauner wants to extend his campaign pledge to shake up Springfield to his predecessor's passenger rail plans.

"The ongoing planning efforts on all of our projects are continuing, and we anticipate sharing information about them during the transition process," [an IDOT spokesman] said. "We are prepared to address any questions the new administration might have regarding the current status of our projects."
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Re: Station Developments

Postby Station Aficionado » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:59 pm

Station Aficionado wrote:The new Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) is opening on December 13. Not thrilled with the exterior--makes me think of a glass quonset hut. On the other hand, it will be a big improvement over the current Amshack.

A recent story on the tenants who have signed leases for space in ARTIC lists an opening date of December 6. Perhaps the final preparations are ahead of schedule.
The Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) has signed several new retail and restaurant tenants, the center said.

The new tenants include grab-and-go grocery store Mission Market; the Hive Bar; a brewery and burger restaurant called R.A.D. Nano Brewery; vegetarian restaurant Silo; the third Orange County location of steam kettle cookery Ritter’s; and The Oyster Bar.

These join the already-signed coffee and tea shop, The Lost Bean.

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[ARTIC] opens Dec. 6.
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Re: Station Developments

Postby Arlington » Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:58 pm

Its good to have this thread as a catch all for the stations (given their diverse ownership and that they often straddle multiple routes).
There's a lot going on (and scattered across threads)
- Troy, Dearborn, and Grand Rapids (can it be moved from the Talgo thread)?
- Keep an eye on the Vermonter thread as the work in CT and Mass progresses.
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