Amtrak/Intermodal Station in Syracuse

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According to Wikipedia it is the William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center and Amtrak and Greyhound both stop there. Has anyone been there before? Since I am originally from Wilkes Barre and my parents live there i was thinking of stopping by and either parking in Syracuse and catching the LSL there on my way to Chicago instead of going through NYP or catching a Greyhound in Scranton to Syracuse. Syracuse is only about 4 hours driving distance from Philly vs. 2 hours NJ Transit to New York and 6 hours train between NYP and SYR (it would be longer in time if you took the bus).
 

SP&S

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Several years ago Mrs SP&S and I were in Syracuse to start our return trip back to PDX. Caught the LSL there. Unless things have changed
it is a combined Amtrak/Greyhound station. The dog is on one end and the trains are on the other, with some common facilities in the middle. The Amtrak side was a little nicer looking.

Perfectly fine station. It seemed safe, not a lot to do, and had amazingly comfortable unpadded metal seats. The LSL was a couple hours late but we got to see fireworks from the adjacent baseball stadium. It was my first double spot (just a little weird when you are in the second boarding group). Still have a great memory of the roomette being down and ready for us to climb in to bed. Ahhhh.

Can't speak to long term parking, we arrived in a taxi.
 

Lonestar648

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The Syracuse station is fine, there are taxis available since Amtrak has the Empire Service and LSL stopping plus regular bus service. I rented a car at the airport which is not far off. If I needed to eat before getting on the LSL, I would eat before turning in my rental and getting a taxi to the the station. I can't remember what was in walking distance since many of my trips were in the winter so I didn't want to get out walking in the deep blowing snow and cold temps with my bags.
 

PVD

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I go there twice a year for hockey meetings. The hotel picks me up, since it is not far from the airport, they can usually do drop offs or pick ups on the same run. Lots of different buses to the central NY region there, including CENTRO, the regional transit carrier. Adjacent to Destiny USA Mall, I think it used to be the Carousel Mall, and the minor league baseball stadium.
 

v v

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About 18 months ago flew into NYC and took a midnight-ish Greyhound to Syracuse, all went very well as everything in NYC is connected nicely.

A few days later took the LSL to Chicago, found the Amtrak section of the station equally usable and comfortable as the Greyhound part, it was very clean and the staff friendly. The parking lot was quite large but as we didn't need to use it have no idea if free or has charges.

The little we saw of Syracuse looked good, ate a couple of times at a retro diner which wowed us, can get the name and location for you if you want.

Think the bus was about 6 hours and found it easy to sleep.
 

PVD

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There are nice areas and there are some very seedy areas. The station is up away from the downtown and that area seems fine. We usually stay in East Syracuse, not far from where the huge Carrier plant used to be. When NY had Empire State Games, I spent a summer week in Syracuse many times. We stayed at S/U, and the teams I coached played at the On Center (Onondaga County War Memorial Arena) downtown, and I always thought the downtown was pretty seedy.
 
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How far do you have to go between Amtrak and Greyhound? Do you have to go outside? Is it similar to Harrisburg (I did that way back in 1995-96, I probably don't even remember what that looks like anymore)?
 
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$7 per day is cheaper than Hamilton, NJ where I was planning on parking which is $10/day although the buses might still be an option. According to the schedules I saw between Syracuse and Scranton one way the bus goes straight through but one way I have to TRANSFER at Binghamton (here we go again!) Maybe I could just park my car at Syracuse and save the trouble. Might wind up being the same as the bus fare.

I hope "Ducken Donuts" are good:)
 

zepherdude

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Yes, handy station. I drove up from N.E Pa. to take the train to PDX. Easy to get too and found Amtrak with no problems. I left my car for two weeks and it was ok.
 

PVD

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Keep weather in mind if planning to drive in that area certain times of year.
 

PVD

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I was thinking more in terms of someone not from around there who was going to drive up and leave a car. They could find it buried.
 

PVD

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I was thinking more in terms of someone not from around there who was going to drive up and leave a car. They could find it buried.
 

PVD

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Yes

Actually, folks up there are pretty good with snow, and one of the reasons we go there for our January meeting is that even with snow, it is rarely shut down.

(Thruway, Airport, train and main local roads) There have been some major exceptions, especially North of Syr on I81 and sometimes areas nearby have gotten buried pretty badly and the Thruway shut.

Most of the year this is not an issue, I only mentioned it in case someone was going to leave there car for a stretch during "lake effect snow" season.
 
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Bob Dylan

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Yep, Buffalo gets the Bad Pub, but the Syracuse Area actually gets far more Lake Effect Snow than poor Buffalo!
 

PVD

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And this year our January meeting has just been moved from Syracuse to Buffalo (Amherst) because of the World Jrs. I can take the Maple Leaf out of NYP to Depew, drop my bags at the Hotel and catch the Gold Medal Game at 8 PM downtown. Hopefully US/Canada.....The storms are (usually) scattered around Buffalo 4 feet in one are, a mile away an inch, but they all band together as they move East.....
 

Lonestar648

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Syracuse doesn't always get the entire platform cleared of new snow. More than once I have had to walk through several inches of snow to get to my car. One time it was so slippery, the attendants and the conductors were grabbing people's bags to help steady them getting to the door of the cars. Worse snow I ran into was at Buffalo with over 4 feet in one storm. Took 24 hours, but things were back to normal. This area is prepared for major snow, but even then super heavy rates of falling snow overwhelm even the best preparations.
 
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One thing that I have learned in winter long distance driving thru the years....if you have a choice of routes, always opt for the toll road, as opposed to a parallel 'freeway'....They don't make any money if they don't keep the toll road open...


So driving from say NYC to SYR....I would take the 50 mile longer NYS Thruway instead of the toll free I-80, 380, and 81 route thru PA.....

The same driving across PA....take the Turnpike over I-80, in snow, if you have a choice....say driving NYC to CLE......
 

neroden

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This is my "home station". It's boring but really quite nice.

-- Bus: The Greyhound/Amtrak transfer at Syracuse is trivially easy. Changing buses at Binghamton is frankly kind of unpleasant, with extremely poor information from the bus providers, confusion, and rude behavior, but there is an indoor waiting room.

-- Driving: The Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension is a nice drive any time of year, any weather conditions. It peters out at Scranton. I-81 is OK from Scranton to Binghamton. But the drive is kind of awful from Binghamton to Syracuse -- the drivers are worse in New York than Pennsylvania for some reason, and the pavement is "washboard" the entire way. In bad weather, there are often multi-car pileups on the expressway which shut it down (thank you, bad drivers). In addition, the final elevated section through Syracuse is actually unsafe and parts of it have collapsed within the past few years. I take NY 281 and US 11 (which parallel the expressway) instead, which are much emptier, but in winter you had better be *really* good at rural heavy-snow driving to handle that.

-- Being bored at the station: you can go around the corner to Carousel Mall (sorry, "Destiny USA") -- even ride the carousel if the hours are right -- or go to an even closer collection of "farmer's market" shops (if they're open, which they won't be at 8 PM). This is unfortunately significantly easier in a car than on foot, due to a deplorable lack of sidewalks. If you get there *truly* early (like 6 hours early) you can take the city buses downtown and back, since the Syracuse station is also a city bus hub.

-- Yes, the parking lot is open-air.
 
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PVD

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That is a very accurate picture. I avoid driving up there in the winter for that very reason. I actually think it gets even worse (weather wise, but less traffic) North of Syracuse. ( the curse of having friends in Pulaski, Clayton, and Potsdam) That is exactly why the train is my first choice.....
 

Lonestar648

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For years I had on site projects at Dunkirk, Buffalo, Rochester, Phelps, Syracuse, Utica, and Saratoga Springs, so I used Amtrak several times per month commuting between Chicago and this area. Snow on the highways takes some skill, especially with the wind and drifting. Amazingly, I was never cancelled on Amtrak during the winter, but frequently, some of my team flying in were canceled or severely delayed. I found that Syracuse was the easiest to get a rental car, If I had to fly, the airport had the cheapest flights. Boring, yep, but that is why I always carried a good book or worked on my laptop.
 

Brian Battuello

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I haven't been there at night, but it is a relatively new bustling intermodal place with lots of local and intercity bus connections and a busy cab stand out front. There were people behind counters for several companies including Amtrak. You shouldn't have a problem at 9:52pm or even if the train is running late. They do checked baggage service, so the agent isn't going to go home early.
 
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