Hammond in Whiting is the station staffed

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Joined
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So I’m taking a Amtrak to Hammond and Whiting and looking at pictures I saw A waiting room and it looks like it was staffed but when I went to their website it said the waiting room hours were closed every day so is it staffed or not
 

MikefromCrete

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At one time, Hammond-Whiting was a fully staffed station, but that was long ago. At one time all the eastern LD's (except the Cardinal) and Michigan trains stopped there. Today, only a couple of Michigan trains serve the station. For some reason, its status has been completely downgraded.
 
Joined
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At one time, Hammond-Whiting was a fully staffed station, but that was long ago. At one time all the eastern LD's (except the Cardinal) and Michigan trains stopped there. Today, only a couple of Michigan trains serve the station. For some reason, its status has been completely downgraded.
Thanks
 
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I wouldn't be surprised if Norfolk Southern somewhat pushed Amtrak to have fewer trains stop there. As only the northernmost track has a platform, all Amtrak trains have to move to that track to stop there adding complexities to an already difficult to dispatch area of railroad. Throw in the likelihood of small numbers of passengers boarding/alighting there, the 'numbers' likely justfied the removal of the agents.
 

railiner

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It was probably used as a 'transfer point' between Eastern and Michigan Amtrak trains when built, but probably not any longer...
 
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I have a lot of memories of a busy Hammond-Whiting station. As connections from the International got dicey in Chicago it became the guaranteed spot to switch to the Broadway and later Capitol Limited for trains to Florida. We used this many years in a row when traveling with our kids. Some years there were even through sleepers onto the Florida trains. Even then it was obvious when the trains would switch tracks several times to reach the single platform.
 

fdaley

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I remember when Amtrak built Hammond-Whiting as a new, staffed station in the '80s, and NARP called it one of the most significant new stations in years. The idea was that there was a really large population on that south and east side of Chicago that would now have direct access to the network without having to go all the way downtown to board, making it particularly useful to people headed to points east. Unfortunately, although it may have worked as a transfer point in some cases, I don't think the local ridership ever came close to expectations. And of course, the three daily departures for the east coast became two when the Broadway was dropped. The International later disappeared too, although by then I think the station had already been downgraded.
 
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I have vague memories of my family being driven by a neighbor to catch a train at it's 'predecessor' station when we lived in NW Indiana - I remember it being desolate and in a big building (reminiscent of Gary's - come to think of it, it might have been Gary). I think we were going west to Denver, but it might have been south to Florida. This would have been circa 74-75ish so I can't think of another station it might have been.

Not sure that this is relevant, but I thought I'd share that tidbit about how the NW Indiana stations have always been a bit underused.
 

fdaley

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I have vague memories of my family being driven by a neighbor to catch a train at it's 'predecessor' station when we lived in NW Indiana - I remember it being desolate and in a big building (reminiscent of Gary's - come to think of it, it might have been Gary). I think we were going west to Denver, but it might have been south to Florida. This would have been circa 74-75ish so I can't think of another station it might have been.

Not sure that this is relevant, but I thought I'd share that tidbit about how the NW Indiana stations have always been a bit underused.
I'm not aware that the big station along the ex-NYC tracks in downtown Gary was ever used after Amtrak Day, though perhaps there was some short-lived routing that had trains calling there. There was a Gary station at Fifth and Chase streets, along the ex-PRR tracks on the south side of the city, that was used until the early '90s, though it was discontinued as a stop on the Broadway & Capitol fairly soon after the Hammond-Whiting station opened, which I think was around 1984.

The ex-PRR stop at Gary was still used by the Valparaiso commuter runs until they were dropped in the early '90s; in its latter years, I remember it being nothing more than a platform -- I'm not even sure it had a signpost. I remember it was in a residential area that seemed kind of depressed and deserted.
 
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I'm not aware that the big station along the ex-NYC tracks in downtown Gary was ever used after Amtrak Day, though perhaps there was some short-lived routing that had trains calling there. There was a Gary station at Fifth and Chase streets, along the ex-PRR tracks on the south side of the city, that was used until the early '90s, though it was discontinued as a stop on the Broadway & Capitol fairly soon after the Hammond-Whiting station opened, which I think was around 1984.

The ex-PRR stop at Gary was still used by the Valparaiso commuter runs until they were dropped in the early '90s; in its latter years, I remember it being nothing more than a platform -- I'm not even sure it had a signpost. I remember it was in a residential area that seemed kind of depressed and deserted.
I don't think it was in downtown Gary - it seemed to be in the middle of nowhere (though, weirdly, a lot of places in NW Indiana often have that feel) or near an industrial area. But maybe it was a Valpo service. I'm going to have to ask my mom and see if she remembers at all.
 

fdaley

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I don't think it was in downtown Gary - it seemed to be in the middle of nowhere (though, weirdly, a lot of places in NW Indiana often have that feel) or near an industrial area. But maybe it was a Valpo service. I'm going to have to ask my mom and see if she remembers at all.
There is a Wikipedia page for "Gary station (Pennsylvania Railroad)" with a photo of a quite large brick station at the 5th & Chase streets site in 1978, so that could be where you boarded in the early '70s. By the time I went through in the late '80s, I couldn't detect any trace of that building, and there was just a big overgrown empty lot next to the platform. It did seem like the middle of nowhere -- maybe even a bit scary.
 

toddinde

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The Hammond station has huge potential, but like everything else at Amtrak, it requires marketing. People have to know the train exists. Hammond should be a major stop. On a different note, with Amtrak adopting a new routing, maybe it’s time to think about the best location for a new, south side station. They should move the historic Hammond station there since it is a beautiful example of Amtrak’s 1970’s standard station design. At the time those stations were rolled out, it was a thrilling development and most welcome.
 

NorthShore

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Considering that the Hammond South Shore station alreasy has significant ridership, using it for Amtrak seems likely to attract attention of people who probably don't even know Amtrak already passes through the area.
 
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