Why did B&O close Grand Central Station before Amtrak?

Discussion relating to the B&O up to it's 1972 merger into Chessie System. Visit the B&O Railroad Historical Society for more information. Also discussion of the C&O up to 1972. Visit the C&O Historical Society for more information. Also includes the WM up to 1972. Visit the WM Historical Society for more information.

Why did B&O close Grand Central Station before Amtrak?

Postby AmtrakFan » Sat Nov 27, 2004 10:26 pm

Why did the B&O Close Grand Central Station before Amtrak? I know after it closed they went to the C&NW station.

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Postby PRRGuy » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:33 am

My guess would be that it was just too expensive to keep the building open for the amount of trains using the depot towards the end, remember the soo line was out of there by then.
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The First (and Real!) Richard Daley

Postby 2nd trick op » Sun Dec 05, 2004 6:13 pm

During the late 1960's, a year or two before Amtrak's inception) the Daley Administration recognized that the city didn't need its 6 passenger stations; there were a lot more profitiable uses for the real estate involved. Grand Central had the smallest clientele, so it was the first to go. A TRAINS issue of that period has a fine article on the station.
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Re: The First (and Real!) Richard Daley

Postby MikeF » Mon Dec 06, 2004 12:21 pm

2nd trick op wrote:During the late 1960's, a year or two before Amtrak's inception) the Daley Administration recognized that the city didn't need its 6 passenger stations; there were a lot more profitiable uses for the real estate involved.


Interesting to note that a large portion of the real estate where Grand Central Station stood is still vacant. ...
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Postby NJTRailfan » Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:32 am

They could've easily turned it into apartments and shops like they did with Dearborne. Esp with that nice clock tower with the 6 ton bell. Atleast the clock tower should've been saved with the B&O lettering. That would definantly make the skyline look even better
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Cultural Vandalism in Chicago

Postby atlpete » Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:27 am

Grand Central in Chicago was an antique jewel amoungst the city's (and the country's by the 1960's) six major stations in terms of age and appeareances, sadly it's demise was a harbinger of bad things to come for the rest as well. With arched trainshed, iron gates, clock tower and large stone facade it was a stately remnant, all the more compelling because of the ability to see its classic facade relatively unimpeded from the adjoining highways into downtown. Sadly it's sooty appearance garnered little public support for it's preservation, that and the aforementioned surplus of unused or low utilization yard trackage just south of downtown which had the developers licking their chops. Though ALL worthy of preservation, I never considered Dearborn, LaSalle or Central quite the equal for various reasons. The real killer for me was the Northwestern Station's head building, so beautiful, what treasure, what a waste, torn down for that stupid glass box that replaced it. Fresh out of college in 1980 I participiated in a rather nasty argument with one of the heads of the Chicago Real Estate board over this who couldn't fathom the historic value of a city like Chicago preserving it's classic stations. It still makes me grind my teeth flat just thinking about it. Even Union lost a portion with the demise of its huge vaulted waiting annex, perhaps given the times and climate I should just be grateful for what's left. Sorry for the vent, but I've been waiting a long time to get this one off my chest.
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Postby atlpete » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:24 am

Oh yeah, to the original question, C&O/B&O while operating some of the best and innovative passenger service remaining of the eastern trunks couldn't resist getting out of from under the cost of running that antique even if it meant an additional 45 minutes of running time going to Northwestern. As mentioned there were pressures from the city as well as comparative cost of rent for using Northwestern versus the significant taxes, track & building maintenance etc. at GC for the few B&O and ex-Pere Marquette runs left.
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