Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

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

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Which is the worst station? Feel free to comment below to add yours.

Savannah, GA
No votes
Buffalo, NY
Detroit, MI
No votes
Cleveland, OH
No votes
South Bend, IN
No votes
St. Louis, MO
No votes
Houston, TX
No votes
New York Penn
Newark NJ Penn
Stamford, CT
Total votes: 5

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Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

Post by Jeff Smith »


A very interesting read. Brief, fair-use quote:
These Are the Saddest Amtrak Stations in America

Train stations in America span all the styles of architecture this nation has to offer. There’s the the gorgeous Italianate train station in Jackson, Michigan. The Amtrak station in Raton, New Mexico, is a beautiful example of Mission Revival. Even the humble lil’ train station in Mineola, Texas, has got some flair. Whatever you might think about Orlando’s train station, it no doubt looks historic.

The stations I want to talk about are not those train stations. These are not the Art Deco transit hubs that look like vintage monuments to the future, or the Spanish Colonial stations that summon visions of desperados waiting for a train. These are the other train stations—the ones that make you wish you’d left the house a little later so you’d have to spend that much less time waiting at the station.
What do you think? I myself prefer Savannah to Orlando; I think the writer is a bit harsh. And he doesn't mention Windsor Locks LOL (a bus shelter) which hopefully will not be an Amtrak station much longer once the Hartford Line launches commuter service.

Give your thoughts here! I'm trying to add a poll option here; hope it works! I'm omitting some of the choices, admittedly sad, from the article in favor of others. Vote for up to 3.
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Re: Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

Post by deathtopumpkins »

I nominate Sanderson, TX (" onclick=";return false;) )

Sure, it only averages <1 passenger per day, but it doesn't even have a platform. Just a sign next to the tracks.
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Re: Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

Post by R36 Combine Coach »

STL is better than the 1978-2004 and 2004-2008 "Amshacks" and the intermodal terminal goes a long way. However, for certain reasons, Union Station is impractical for passenger use.

Cleveland Lakefront is functional and basic, given the trains serve at early AM hours.

Richmond-Staples Mill is like CLE above, however all trains should serve the Main Street Station downtown rather than a facility on the outskirts.
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Re: Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

Post by mtuandrew »

Two of my votes have to go to SOB, which is worse than the shelters on the Wolverine north of Detroit.

EDIT: And I'm also surprised to see Newark Penn on the list, it's pretty good compared to many stations on and off the Corridor.
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Re: Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

Post by wintower »

The "openslop sink" a.k.a PSNY.

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Re: Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

Post by hi55us »

wintower wrote:The "openslop sink" a.k.a PSNY.
Haha, agreed. Newark, NJ is also significantly better than NYP. Disappointed it was included in this list (and is currently leading!) I like how NWK links up with the Prudential Center and has frequent NJT and Amtrak service from a platform that's easily accessible (without Ushers!).

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Re: Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

Post by westriverrr »

PSNY. I remember the old one and the present one is an insult. Compare to the millions spent on fancy-dancy airline terminals around the world.

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Re: Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

Post by Greg Moore »

Part of the problem is.. define saddest?

I think perhaps "biggest disappointment" works better for me.

I mean an Amshack is pretty sad, but if it's boarding 1-2 people every other day.. I'm not disappointed.

On the other hand, NYP, huge, 1000s of passengers.. but damn disappointing.

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Re: Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

Post by TomNelligan »

I'm surprised to see Newark on that list. It is an architecturally interesting building from the classic era of the Pennsylvania RR, it's in decent shape overall, it's very busy, and it offers a reasonable number of quickie food and beverage options. It's also well patrolled by NJ Transit police and probably the safest place in the city. OK, maybe the men's room is somewhat less than ideal, but just because Newark isn't exactly a tourist mecca doesn't mean that its busiest station rates a place on a list of Amtrak's ten worst.

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Re: Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

Post by Backshophoss »

Stamford,the center island platform was an add on after thought,was designed as a commuter station with no
input from Amtrak.
Worst case sad,I have 2,Deming NM and Lordsburg NM,both flagstops on the Sunset Ltd route,due to UP
upgrading the track,the Deming station was moved away from the tracks,Lordsburg's shelter was demo'ed.
Both are now "land " in the ballast stops,no signage! :( :( :(
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Re: Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

Post by NaugyRR »

I'm gonna go with NY Penn, especially with GCT across town. Granted GCT is at an advantage with being original and remodeled and all, but NYP could certainly be made a little better. I cannot speak for the other Amtrak stations in the country because I've only been in (besides NYP) WAS, RHI, and SAR, all of which I find to be much nicer than NYP.
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Re: Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

Post by Franklin Gowen »

North Philadelphia, PA should be on this list, replacing Newark, NJ entirely as a poll choice. NWK, while imperfect, is greatly superior to NPN, which is just plain awful.

I allocate my second and third votes together for Penn Station New York. I find that facility to be a tremendous disappointment both functionally as well as aesthetically. While PRR was no longer able to sustain the 1910 original, neither did they have to replace it with a claustrophobic rabbit-maze as unpleasant as the one they ended up choosing.
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Re: Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

Post by Jeff Smith »

I included Newark Penn having only been there twice because it just struck me as shabby. If restored, it would be wonderful. But the platforms and shelters are dark and dingy, and the station is just haunted by ne'er do wells lol. But I understand it's at least still an original, and perhaps should not have been included in the list.

Stamford is well known to me. Yes, it's primarily MNRR and as such maybe doesn't qualify for the list. But Stamford is a major business and financial center and Amtrak's tiny part of the station is not really good. Blame the awful design and layout of the station building on CTDOT, but Amtrak's part of the station and operations is just not a good representation for a station with an Acela stop and used by "Masters of the Universe". I'll limit my criticism to just Amtrak's operations there.

Amtrak's window is behind MNRR's near the down escalator to tracks 3 and 5, stuck in a corner even though it's in the middle rear of the station. It has two windows, and a small waiting area (general passenger, not just Amtrak) stuck in front of a shop. It's wedged in with a shoe-horn between the elevator to the track and the escalator down. The seating is atrocious; forget finding an outlet. And MNRR is constantly changing track assignments so you dare not go down to the platform until right before the train. Forget about the appropriate track location (for business, first, café, etc.) for boarding. It would be nice if Amtrak had a separate, ticketed only waiting area. It wouldn't be all that hard to design. No one's suggesting an Acela lounge, but just a separate area for Amtrak ticketholders only.
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Re: Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

Post by Gilbert B Norman »

I'm not sure how Mr. Smith was defining "sad", but I'd like to throw in Ann Arbor as such. This is not saying with the existing Wolverine frequencies that the adequately maintained and staffed "Amshack Plus" is insufficient, but when one looks to the East and sees the "castle" former station, one must wonder why that structure couldn't have remained such?

Niles and Jackson remained; why not Ann Arbor?

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Re: Amtrak Saddest Stations? <POLL QUESTION>

Post by dumpster.penguin »

Someone needs to nominate Schenectady, New York.

I might be a few years out of date, perhaps it's been redone recently in emeralds; but Schenectady was a station of great contrast between the sad indoors (street level and stairway to platform) and the relatively pleasant open-air platform itself. Indoors, the seats were torn and broken, the doors and walls in disrepair, the propaganda posters reminiscent of the cold war era, a portion of the space appeared to be in disuse, not even the water damage to the ceiling was first-rate. The ascent to the track level was harsh and dilapidated. Even the parade of supplicants at the ticket window were sadly unaware of what ticket windows do. And among the bums hanging out was an incompetent who needed simple help and simple words, and received both from a ticket-window clerk, in a way that suggested it was not an infrequent occurrence. Which somehow heightened the sadness of the place.

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