Station Developments

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gokeefe
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Re: Station Developments

Post by gokeefe » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:41 am

I noticed that article too in the Southwest Chief thread. Judging by the design the station appears to have been built by the Santa Fe late in the legacy era (Trainweb shows built in 1968). It struck me as one of the very few examples of "mid century modern" railroad stations that might be worthy someday of historic preservation. Note the presence of what would appear to be original finishes and trims in the 2002 photo. Here is another example of the interior. Notice the decorative wrought iron grille over the ticket counter and the curtains by the windows (extreme left of photo). Remarkably cozy feeling. A very good example of how the Santa Fe was committed to passenger comfort right up to the very end. Perhaps "cookie cutter" to many other examples elsewhere but I can't think of any right off.

The Great American Stations listing for Fort Madison is one of the more interesting ones I have ever read. One paragraph barely acknowledging the current station and then the rest is all material discussing the 1910 Santa Fe structure which is already considered historic and certainly worthy of the extensive discussion. There is a lengthy section regarding the potential return of Amtrak to the 1910 station.
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Gilbert B Norman
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Re: Station Developments

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:46 pm

From the Great American Stations piece immediately linked by Mr. O'Keefe:
The current Amtrak station, whose design incorporates red brick and metal siding, was built in 1968 by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway—commonly referred to as the “Santa Fe.” Located at the east end of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF—successor to the Santa Fe) freight yard, it replaced a downtown complex that included a depot, Railway Express Agency (REA) building, and freight office.
The station simply replaced the former station at Shopton, which was a service stop for the Santa Fe trains. Shopton handled passengers, and even though the previous station has much history attached to it, it is simply no surprise that the Santa Fe made the consolidation.

There is no preservation value to the existing structure, and ought to join the former GBS (Amtrakese Galesburg - Santa Fe) wherever its rubble ended up.

Arlington
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Re: Station Developments

Post by Arlington » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:01 pm

The renovation of Mass' Springfield Union Station is nearing completion, though I can't quite tell when it'll be done (it had been a "Fall 2016" target)

As of January:
Image

And Jan 2017 Photo Gallery on the Springfield Redev. Auth page.

Project Page: Springfield Redevelopment Authority / Springfield Union Station
Last edited by Arlington on Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

gokeefe
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Re: Station Developments

Post by gokeefe » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:19 pm

That definitely sounds as though they are very close to completion. Excellent news.

I've had some very experienced industry professionals from other organizations indicate that station renovations and rehabilitation can result in as much as a 30% increase in ridership without any additional service. It was pretty surprising to hear but they felt it was borne out by the numbers.
gokeefe

mtuandrew
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Re: Station Developments

Post by mtuandrew » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:48 pm

Based solely on NARP's 2015 numbers for MSP, the move to St. Paul Union Depot from Midway Station actually cost the Empire Builder over 20,000 annual riders. 2012 had 115,100 arrivals and departures, 2013 had 112,100, 2014 had 89,700, and 2015 had 90,700. (The move was on May 7, 2014.)

Hopefully the numbers in Springfield don't reflect those in St. Paul.

https://www.narprail.org/site/assets/fi ... s_2015.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

gokeefe
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Re: Station Developments

Post by gokeefe » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:18 pm

Unlikely. There were serious operational delays during the past five years related to freight train congestion.
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Woody
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Re: Station Developments

Post by Woody » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:46 pm

gokeefe wrote: ... some very experienced industry professionals from other organizations indicate that station renovations and rehabilitation can result in as much as a 30% increase in ridership without any additional service.
This is an amazing claim, even if it's only half true.

Amtrak has been and still is riding a big wave of new/restored/rehabbed/upgraded stations nationwide. Now I'm expecting continued growth in ridership across the system from better stations, and nevermind low gas prices. LOL.

Seattle's King Street Station got a full make-over, Portland got a seismic retrofit. Tacoma will get a new station as soon as, uh, well, it's in the budget. And iirc, most or all the stations on the Cascades trunk line Seattle-Portland are getting upgrades as part of the Stimulus upgrades. Except for Centralia, which will surely be in the next phase.

With the 110-mph Lincoln line Stimulus upgrades, most of the distance St Louis-CHI, all or almost all the intermediate stations got new or rebuilt stations. Likewise on the Stimulus upgrades on the Wolverine line, from Porter, IN, to Troy/Birmingham. And a new intermodal station in East Lansing opened in October for riders on the Blue Water line.

North Carolina has upgraded almost every station on the Piedmont/Carolinian route between Charlotte and Raleigh. Similarly Virginia has upgraded several, and built a new one to extend service to Norfolk. (Later this year another new service will reach a new station in Roanoke.)

Most or almost all stations between New Haven and Vermont have been redone as part of the upgrades to the route of the Vermonter, including, finishing almost any day now, the key one at Springfield.

A big reworking at Albany-Rensselaer seems more track-work than station-work, but reducing delays will make a much more user-friendly spot. Further west, a new Niagara Falls station is recently in service, a new Rochester station is under construction, and Schenectady is promised.

The Keystone route has several new stations, notable Lancaster, with more budgeted to come soonish. On the route of the Pennsylvanian, little ole Johnstown inaugurated a new one a few months ago.

On the Northeast Corridor itself, work is underway in at least a small way, for improvements at Penn Station NY and Union Station in D.C., as well as BWI. Huge redevelopments around Penn Station Baltimore and 30th Street Station in Philly are under study. And something has been going on at Newark, Del, and Kingston, R.I., for so long that I forget what it is. LOL.

Other noteworthy new stations have opened in Birmingham, AL, Beaumont, TX, and other cities. Even little Waterloo, serving Ft Wayne, got a new attended station, while waiting for a new platform.

Upgrades are on-going at CHI Union Station and Los Angeles Union Station.

An old station in Marks, MS (between Memphis and Greenwood), is being renewed at a stop that has not seen passenger trains since before Amtrak was formed.

Meanwhile every year, several dozen stations get upgraded to ADA compliance. Not all are completely revamped, but improvements include everything from accessible toilets to new clocks to new platforms.

One project at Maricopa will have nice short term and huge long term benefits. The current station has a bad site with a short platform. As a result, the Sunset Ltd. makes three stops to load and unload riders. All the while it blocks a nearby main street, fouling early morning rush hour traffic, and it blocks Union Pacific's southern main line! A new station, with separate station tracks, will eliminate these problems.

Maricopa has been one of the worst, if not the worst, bottlenecks on the Sunset's route. Fixing it brings daily service a big step closer. Local bus and limo operators serving the airport have told Amtrak they will meet daily trains. But with the current 3-days-a-week schedule, who pays the drivers the other 4 days? So daily Sunsets will be met by buses and limos to connect to the Phoenix airport and downtown. The PRIIA forecast was for daily Sunsets to double ridership, and Maricopa-serving-Phoenix will probably have the largest increase of all the scheduled stops.

Apologies to all cities with new stations that I have failed to mention.

gokeefe
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Re: Station Developments

Post by gokeefe » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:52 pm

Woody wrote:
gokeefe wrote: ... some very experienced industry professionals from other organizations indicate that station renovations and rehabilitation can result in as much as a 30% increase in ridership without any additional service.
This is an amazing claim, even if it's only half true.
Agreed. Had it been anyone else other than the person who said it I never would have given it any credence. It was a pretty remarkable insight from a very experienced professional.
gokeefe

electricron
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Re: Station Developments

Post by electricron » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:34 pm

gokeefe wrote: Agreed. Had it been anyone else other than the person who said it I never would have given it any credence. It was a pretty remarkable insight from a very experienced professional.
Who was this experienced professional, or who were these experenced professionals? It's hard to give them any credence when they remain unnamed. How about a link to a direct quote? Anything but hearsay would be greatly appreciated!

east point
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Re: Station Developments

Post by east point » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:22 pm

Although most of the posters here appreciate the older stations that are of various designs it "MAY" be that many persons only notice cookie cutter designs ?
Last edited by east point on Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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shadyjay
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Re: Station Developments

Post by shadyjay » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:01 pm

mtuandrew wrote:
gokeefe wrote:That definitely sounds as though they are very close to completion. Excellent news.

I've had some very experienced industry professionals from other organizations indicate that station renovations and rehabilitation can result in as much as a 30% increase in ridership without any additional service. It was pretty surprising to hear but they felt it was borne out by the numbers.
Based solely on NARP's 2015 numbers for MSP, the move to St. Paul Union Depot from Midway Station actually cost the Empire Builder over 20,000 annual riders. 2012 had 115,100 arrivals and departures, 2013 had 112,100, 2014 had 89,700, and 2015 had 90,700. (The move was on May 7, 2014.)

Hopefully the numbers in Springfield don't reflect those in St. Paul.

https://www.narprail.org/site/assets/fi ... s_2015.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Although I have never been there (or anywhere in the midwest for that matter)... I have read/seen that Midway station was located more in the suburbs between the twin cities, vs St Paul Union which is right in downtown. Not sure of the intermodal connections at either, but its possible that the "midway" station attracted more due to better accessibility between the two cities. Was parking free? I'm guessing its paid now. That can impact things.

It's my guess that the opening of Springfield-Union will not lead to a ridership decline in any way. Having arrived/departed from there, I have some knowledge here. First, its located on the north end of the "subway tunnel" from the existing station. So it's still a downtown station. A new parking garage will be connected to the station. Intermodal connections with a bus terminal also being part of the facility. And in another year, new commuter service from Springfield south to Hartford & New Haven. And the ongoing discussion about e/w commuter service towards Worcester and Boston and n/s service to Greenfield via the Conn River. Not to mention the fact that it'll be a much nicer facility than the existing "Amshack". Bucket seats in a building designed for far fewer passengers than today, vs a building built during the heyday of railroading, with (I'm assuming) better seating. Plus more options for food besides a vending machine or two.... even if it is just a Subway and Dunkin' Donuts initially.

So it looks like its all pros for Springfield-Union. Can't wait to see it when it opens, now sometime this spring.

afiggatt
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Re: Station Developments

Post by afiggatt » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:21 pm

mtuandrew wrote:'s 2015 numbers for MSP, the move to St. Paul Union Depot from Midway Station actually cost the Empire Builder over 20,000 annual riders. 2012 had 115,100 arrivals and departures, 2013 had 112,100, 2014 had 89,700, and 2015 had 90,700. (The move was on May 7, 2014.)

Hopefully the numbers in Springfield don't reflect those in St. Paul.
As noted, the Empire Builder took a significant hit in ridership due to the severe delays in 2014 and into 2015 that it is still recovering from. That distorts the numbers for MSP and the move to the St. Paul Union Depot.

In FY2013, the EB had a total of 536,391 passengers. In FY2016, the total was 454,625. FY16 was an improvement over FY15 with 438,376 passengers.

For the St. Paul Union Depot station, the passenger count rebounded a bit to 96,539. Still below the FY2012 and FY2013 numbers. If the EB can maintain a reasonably reliable OTP, the MSP numbers could bounce back to the FY2012 levels. But ridership loss caused by delays as bad as they were in the worse of the 2013-2015 period can take years to recover from.

mtuandrew
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Re: Station Developments

Post by mtuandrew » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:48 pm

shadyjay: Union Depot is in downtown St. Paul, and does have pay parking. Midway was in St. Paul's western industrial area, a few miles closer to Minneapolis and with free parking. SPUD isn't appreciably further from the interstate though, and has much better transit access. Beyond the poor timekeeping, I wonder if there is also some loss of ridership from Minneapolis' western suburbs?

Woody
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Re: Station Developments

Post by Woody » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:33 pm

mtuandrew wrote:
gokeefe wrote: ... some very experienced industry professionals from other organizations indicate that station renovations and rehabilitation can result in as much as a 30% increase in ridership without any additional service.
Based solely on NARP's 2015 numbers for MSP, the move to St. Paul Union Depot from Midway Station actually cost the Empire Builder over 20,000 annual riders. 2012 had 115,100 arrivals and departures, 2013 had 112,100, 2014 had 89,700, and 2015 had 90,700. (The move was on May 7, 2014.)

https://www.narprail.org/site/assets/fi ... s_2015.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The rehabilitated St Paul station is a thing of beauty. But it not near the center of Minneapolis.

Hoping that the state of Minnesota will fix this with a new Minneapolis station when it extends the foreshortened Northstar commuter service to St Cloud as part of its proposed second frequency CHI-Milwaukee-St Paul-Minneapolis-St Cloud. A new Minneapolis station is a top priority in the State Railroad Plan, 2009 edition.

But I do feel that this move of some distance makes it a special case, unlike almost all the other rebuilt stations.

In my post above, I chose not mention the new or seriously remodeled stations in Denver and Sacramento. In both cases, iiuc, the tracks were moved farther away from the stations' main entrances. And in Denver, the re-do may abort any trains heading south to Colorado Springs and Pueblo. Oy vey.

east point
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Re: Station Developments

Post by east point » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:53 pm

The Empire Builder ridership for the first 3 months of the FY 2017 coach vs. 2016 is essentially the same. For sleeper ridership it is down 6%+ for FY 2017.

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