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.