Amtrak Hubs

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Thirdrail7

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I did also say short-distance services. My understanding is that the Keystone services originate and terminate at PHL with a few continuing to NYP or connecting to other trains, but all of Amtrak's schedule PDFs redirect to the "modified schedule" alert on their website, so I can't confirm that.
Here are your previously listed criteria for a hub:

In this case, I would be defining a hub as a point with both a major crew base and maintenance facilities as well as a terminus for both long and short distance services Albany has a crew base as well as maintenance facilities but without a terminating LD service I would be hesitant to call it a hub, more of a focus city).[/u]
With the connections available in PHL, i would still call it a hub,
Thank you!
Based upon your definition, I'm struggling to see why you are considering PHL a hub and ALB a "focus." Especially since ALB is known to terminate/originate the Lake Shore Limited during disruption and fans out in four different directions to cover service. No long-distance trains EVER originate or terminate at PHL and prior to the pandemic, ALB originated more regional service (6 starts) than PHL (3 starts.)

If you honestly feel PHL is a hub, you are definitely entitled to feel that way. However, it flies in the face of your own definition.
 

railiner

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Especially since ALB is known to terminate/originate the Lake Shore Limited during disruption and fans out in four different directions to cover service.
If you are going to include the Adirondack, which actually splits off in Schenectady now, is a fourth direction out of Albany (I agree with that), then you might as well add the Ethan Allen, which splits a bit further off that at Fort Edward, and make it "5" different directions...:)
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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If you are going to include the Adirondack, which actually splits off in Schenectady now, is a fourth direction out of Albany (I agree with that), then you might as well add the Ethan Allen, which splits a bit further off that at Fort Edward, and make it "5" different directions...:)
There are also other potential hubs that have the same issue and it is debatable how many directions trains travel in. Technically Seattle and Portland only have travel in two directions, as the EB splits off from the Cascades at Everett and Vancouver respectively. Likewise, the SWC splits from the Pacific Surfliner at Fullerton, not Los Angeles, and the former Southern and RF&P lines separate at Alexandria rather than Washington. Other cases include Raleigh, Charlotte, Richmond, and the SF Bay Area.
 

the_traveler

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If you are going to include the Adirondack, which actually splits off in Schenectady now, is a fourth direction out of Albany (I agree with that), then you might as well add the Ethan Allen, which splits a bit further off that at Fort Edward, and make it "5" different directions...:)
Actuall, the EA spilts just south of Whitehall. The branch is about 1 mile south of the station in Whitehall, so Ft Edward is the last NYS station it stops at.
 

railiner

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Actuall, the EA spilts just south of Whitehall. The branch is about 1 mile south of the station in Whitehall, so Ft Edward is the last NYS station it stops at.
So...if it doesn't stop at Whitehall, is it not fair to say, it splits off at Fort Edward?:rolleyes:
 

the_traveler

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Yes & no.

Ft Edward is like 20-25 miles south of Whitehall. That makes as much sense as your statement that the Adirondack (and in fact EA also) split in Schenectady, not Albany. SDY is 15-20 west of ALB, much like FED is 20-25 south of Whitehall!
 

railiner

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Yes & no.

Ft Edward is like 20-25 miles south of Whitehall. That makes as much sense as your statement that the Adirondack (and in fact EA also) split in Schenectady, not Albany. SDY is 15-20 west of ALB, much like FED is 20-25 south of Whitehall!
I think it does make sense...you can't ride the Ethan Allen to Whitehall, so as far as the passenger is concerned, the train splits at the last passenger stop you can ride to, which is Fort Edward, even though the tracks diverge much closer to Whitehall.
 

the_traveler

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Back in the old days, did the Silvers split at Kissimmee?

They continued together and split at Auburndale, where one section went to Lakeland (only a few miles away) and Tampa, while the other part went to Miami. So I wouldn’t say they split at Kissimmee.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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Back in the old days, did the Silvers split at Kissimmee?

They continued together and split at Auburndale, where one section went to Lakeland (only a few miles away) and Tampa, while the other part went to Miami. So I wouldn’t say they split at Kissimmee.
I would say it depends on the context. If I was describing the route structure to someone unfamiliar with Amtrak then it would be simpler to just say they share the same route as far as Kissimmee.
 

the_traveler

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Well, in that case why say the LSL splits in Albany? The station is in Rensselaer and across the Hudson River from Albany! (Notice the name of the station is not Albany (that’s in Oregon) or Rensselaer (that’s in Indiana), it is Albany-Rensselaer. So why not say It splits in Rensselaer or Albany-Rensselaer instead?
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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Well, in that case why say the LSL splits in Albany? The station is in Rensselaer and across the Hudson River from Albany! (Notice the name of the station is not Albany (that’s in Oregon) or Rensselaer (that’s in Indiana), it is Albany-Rensselaer. So why not say It splits in Rensselaer or Albany-Rensselaer instead?
I actually would say that; I suppose I might say it splits at the Albany Station but wouldn't just say it splits in Albany. However, if you were going strictly based on city limits many airports wouldn't be in their respective major cities so I think it would be reasonable to describe a station by the location it serves.
 

the_traveler

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But it doesn’t split at the Albany station! That is 2,500 miles away in Oregon.

And you say that you’re going to Portland, do you mean the one in OR or ME? You say you’re going to Vancouver, do you mean WA or BC? You say you’re going to Newark, do you mean DE or NJ?

A few years ago, you were going to Las Vegas, was that NV or NM? And Birmingham, was that AL or MI?

These are (or were) Amtrak destinations.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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But it doesn’t split at the Albany station! That is 2,500 miles away in Oregon.

And you say that you’re going to Portland, do you mean the one in OR or ME? You say you’re going to Vancouver, do you mean WA or BC? You say you’re going to Newark, do you mean DE or NJ?

A few years ago, you were going to Las Vegas, was that NV or NM? And Birmingham, was that AL or MI?

These are (or were) Amtrak destinations.
What exactly are you arguing; that stations should only be referred to by their full official name? The vast majority of people using Albany-Rensselaer don't even know about the station in Oregon. Should WAS only be referred to by it's full name (Washington Union Station) since there's a small stop in Washington, Missouri? The state and/or station name can be used to differentiate when necessary but for most passengers it doesn't matter.

On the topic though, I once had an issue boarding the CZ in Chicago bound for Richmond, California as the conductor didn't know such a station existed and insisted I should be getting on the CL towards Virginia instead.
 

the_traveler

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What exactly are you arguing; that stations should only be referred to by their full official name? The vast majority of people using Albany-Rensselaer don't even know about the station in Oregon.
That’s exactly what I’m saying. You should either say the full name or state. Amtrak doesn’t even serve Albany, NY. When you need to fly to Albany, and you ask the agent for Albany, are you being booked to Albany, NY, GA or OR. There was a commercial for some company (I forget which) that said “You booked a vacation to Athens, Greece and find out you’re booked to Athens, GA!”

I think both Portland, Maine and Portland, Oregon are both large(er) cities.

How many times have you heard of someone booking from say Baltimore to Las Vegas. They are told you must take the SWC. Only when the conductor tells then that Las Vegas is the next stop in 30 minutes do they realize they were booked to Las Vegas, NM! The schedule even notes “No Casinos” for Las Vegas, NM because many see Las Vegas and assume Nevada. To make matters worse, NV’s code is LVS and NM’s code is LSV!
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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That’s exactly what I’m saying. You should either say the full name or state. Amtrak doesn’t even serve Albany, NY. When you need to fly to Albany, and you ask the agent for Albany, are you being booked to Albany, NY, GA or OR. There was a commercial for some company (I forget which) that said “You booked a vacation to Athens, Greece and find out you’re booked to Athens, GA!”

I think both Portland, Maine and Portland, Oregon are both large(er) cities.

How many times have you heard of someone booking from say Baltimore to Las Vegas. They are told you must take the SWC. Only when the conductor tells then that Las Vegas is the next stop in 30 minutes do they realize they were booked to Las Vegas, NM! The schedule even notes “No Casinsos” for Las Vegas, NM because many see Las Vegas and assume Nevada. To make matters worse, NV’s code is LVS and NM’s code is LSV!
By your logic, no airline serves Albany, NY either as the airport is not within city limits. There are also no commerical airports in Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans, Miami, Washington, or Detroit, along with other cities. Do you think anyone who flies to Detroit must say they are traveling to Romulus (the city where the airport is located)? As to the fact that there are Amtrak stations in multiple towns of the same name, that has caused issues but I still don't think everyone should have to say the full name. At this point, the vast majority of people book online in which case the state will be clearly identified by the website. If calling, I think it should be up to the agent to clarify, and in my experience they typically do summarize the entire trip before booking. However, I doubt cities such as Portland and Washington's present much of an issue since the stations are so far and so many routes apart, as well as the fact that most passengers at both are corridor passengers and would be very likely to notice having a 3+ day trip with multiple transfers rather than a few hour direct ride.

To me, the biggest issue on this subject is the prevalence of multiple stations in the same city. For example, if someone were to type in Boston-North to New York on the website no results would be returned. This could lead someone to believe that no Boston to New York service exists. It would be nice if a feature could be added to set a city or region as an origin/destination rather than a specific station.
 

jiml

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Most major airports aren't in the cities they serve. The ones that are within city limits are mostly relegated to secondary or regional status.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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Most major airports aren't in the cities they serve. The ones that are within city limits are mostly relegated to secondary or regional status.
Many are not, but there are also a lot of major airports within city limits. Some cities such as Chicago and Denver expanded their limits specifically to include their major airport.
 

the_traveler

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Just using Las Vegas as an example:

Someone wants to book a trip to Las Vegas, they know (or may have been told) they have to take the SWC. So they look at the schedule and see the SWC stops at Las Vegas! They may not notice it’s NM and not NV - after all, it‘s only 1 letter off!
 

John Santos

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Just using Las Vegas as an example:

Someone wants to book a trip to Las Vegas, they know (or may have been told) they have to take the SWC. So they look at the schedule and see the SWC stops at Las Vegas! They may not notice it’s NM and not NV - after all, it‘s only 1 letter off!
Of course, the SWC serves BOTH Las Vegases! (Las Vegi?) For Nevada, you need to take the connecting Thruway bus from Kingman.
 

the_traveler

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Somebody sees Las Vegas and one has a train station and one you need to take a bus. I’m going by train, which do I chose?🤔

Remember that many are not as knowledgeable about Amtrak as us. They only see a stop on the SWC for Las Vegas.
 

niemi24s

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After slogging through all 70+ posts in this thread, I just had to ask:

• If none are now designated as hubs, what are the consequences if Amtrak fails to designate any of its stations a hub?
• If some are now designated as hubs, what are the consequences if Amtrak simply redesignates them all as stations?
• What are the consequences if Amtrak designates all stations as hubs?
 

zethya

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From Amtrak Service Line Plans FY20-24 : "Chicago Union Station is the HUB of Amtrak’s National Network". There is no other mention of a HUB station in the network.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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Just using Las Vegas as an example:

Someone wants to book a trip to Las Vegas, they know (or may have been told) they have to take the SWC. So they look at the schedule and see the SWC stops at Las Vegas! They may not notice it’s NM and not NV - after all, it‘s only 1 letter off!
I have heard of that case causing issues, but again I think it just depends on the context whether the full name is necessary. Regardless, I think we have both got our points across. There's not really much to argue about on the topic.

From Amtrak Service Line Plans FY20-24 : "Chicago Union Station is the HUB of Amtrak’s National Network". There is no other mention of a HUB station in the network.
Is also specifies Amtrak's National Network rather than Amtrak as a whole. If the LD network by itself is considered, the hubs would be different than for the entire system. Chicago is certainly the main hub in such a case, although I would also consider the following cities as hubs.
-New York (terminates 6 LDS)
-Washington (terminal for CL, services 6 total LDs, major transfer point, trains in 4 directions from metro area)
-Los Angeles (terminal for 3/4 LDs from 3 directions, major transfer point)
-New Orleans (terminal for 3 LDs from 3 directions, transfer point from Crescent to SL)

I would then define the following as focus cities:
-Seattle (terminates 2 LDs from different directions)
-Portland (terminal for EB, also serves by CS and acts as transfer point between them)
-Sacramento (transfer point between the CZ and CS)
-Emeryville (terminal for CZ, also served by CS)
-San Antonio (terminal for TE, also serves by SL and acts as transfer point between them)
-Savannah (terminal for Palmetto, served by 3 total LDs, travel in 3 directions)
-Charlottesville (transfer point from Cardinal to Crescent, service in 3 directions
-Galesburg (transfer point from CZ to SWC, service in 3 directions)

I suppose some of them are stretching the definition a little bit, but given how skeletal the LD system is it's hard to leave out any transfer points. Technically Cleveland is also a transfer point but the transfer only works in one direction, is somewhat roundabout, and has very poor hours so I left it out.
 
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