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Historical Discussion: Cities with two or more Amtrak stations

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railiner

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Wonder if that's the Dome the D&H altered the paint scheme on? They repainted the red stripe to yellow to more closely match the blue & yellow D&H scheme. When an Amtrak official spotted the Dome in Albany.......Colonie quickly repainted it back to red!
Yes, when the Adirondack started, the D&H seemed to "take ownership" of that train. Mostly, in a good way, of course. If only other host roads did the same...:rolleyes:
 

mlanoue

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New Buffalo, Michigan would have two different stations right now if they keep service running on all the routes that pass through town. The station used to be a bit outside of town, but they moved it to the downtown area in 2009, thus switching to the Wolverine and Blue Water route instead of the Pere Marquette.
 

jis

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Or, vice versa?:)
Well, my point was mainly that since it is Brightline's property they might have a veto power on it even if Amtrak really wanted to go there.

Actually the real issue is though that there is not really enough capacity available there to allow an Amtrak LD type train to hang around on the platform for significant amount of time once all of the Commuter operations get int there full swing in addition to the full blown Brightline service. We seem to have this discussion once every three months. So this is nothing new.
 

Deni

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It annoys me that Chicago doesn't have any other Amtrak stations besides Union. I would think a city of this size could have a secondary stop on the north side for Hiawatha trains and the EB, and south/southwest side stops for other trains.
 

jiml

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It annoys me that Chicago doesn't have any other Amtrak stations besides Union. I would think a city of this size could have a secondary stop on the north side for Hiawatha trains and the EB, and south/southwest side stops for other trains.
Back in the day Hammond-Whiting became an effective "Chicago" stop for connections due to schedule tweaks and when Amtrak timekeeping really started to lag. For example, if connecting from Michigan trains to the Capitol/Broadway, etc., it was often too tight to go all the way to Chicago.
 
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Deni

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Agreed, but I've always thought of Back Bay as being something less than a main station (while not suburban of course). It is my usual "go to" in Boston if visiting and not connecting to another train.
Back Bay is also great to use if you're transferring from either NEC or LSL to the Downeaster. Only one T to take instead of the two you need from South Station.
 

jis

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Back in the day Hammond-Whiting became an effective "Chicago" stop for connections due to schedule tweaks and when Amtrak timekeeping really started to lag. For example, if connecting from Michigan trains to the Capitol/Broadway, etc., it was often too tight to go all the way to Chicago.
Been there and done that a few times.
Back Bay is also great to use if you're transferring from either NEC or LSL to the Downeaster. Only one T to take instead of the two you need from South Station.
Been there and done that too. Also transferred once from NEC to LSL there, a connection that was impossible at South Station due to the way schedules were.
 

railiner

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It annoys me that Chicago doesn't have any other Amtrak stations besides Union. I would think a city of this size could have a secondary stop on the north side for Hiawatha trains and the EB, and south/southwest side stops for other trains.
What about the first stop after leaving Chicago...Glenview, Naperville, Joliet, Homewood, etc...
Each of them is also served by Metra locals, giving access to a lot more intermediate stops, although not sure how convenient the connections are...
 

Devil's Advocate

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So what would it take to add a suburban stop to a larger city? I figure it would need land, county/council approval, host approval, regulator approval, operator agreement, and the ADA hammer fee. Is there something else I'm missing? Because it doesn't seem to be a common occurrence out here on the national network.
 

jiml

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So what would it take to add a suburban stop to a larger city? I guess it would need some land, county/council approval, host approval, regulator approval, operator agreement, and a few million for the ADA hammer.
That might be a whole other discussion. As cities have expanded what were suburban stations have often become commuter stations, with stations in the next town becoming the new suburban. Two cities I've always considered comparable - Chicago and Toronto (both built on a lake and able to expand in only 3 directions) are prime examples of this happening. Former suburban stations in both are now easily reachable on transit, and cities/towns well into the next jurisdiction are often the first stop for Amtrak or VIA, starting with @railiner's list above...

Is there a checklist or something that Amtrak and the FRA maintains or a case study on adding a stop successfully? I can remember on the forum are depressing stories about how it cost twice as much and took twice as long as originally estimated.
Also an interesting topic.
 

Siegmund

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So what would it take to add a suburban stop to a larger city?
There was a time that Amtrak had a "rule" that a long distance train should only stop once every 50 miles, and a trend (90s-ish) toward removing too-close-together stops rather than adding them. They always made exceptions for sufficiently good political reasons, and I am not sure the rule has existed at all for the past decade (the first recent exception I'm aware of was adding Leavenworth, WA to the Builder, 22 miles from Wenatchee, in 2009.)

It does add time to the schedule, and would be an easier sell on routes with more than one train per day, to have one of them be the 'local' and the other the 'express'.
 

IndyLions

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New Buffalo, Michigan would have two different stations right now if they keep service running on all the routes that pass through town. The station used to be a bit outside of town, but they moved it to the downtown area in 2009, thus switching to the Wolverine and Blue Water route instead of the Pere Marquette.
I am sure they moved the New Buffalo station because of its popularity, and they wanted more trains per day.

I was on a Wolverine on a Friday afternoon in the summer leaving Chicago, and it seemed like half the train was getting off in New Buffalo. Every single seat was sold, and it took about a 10 minute stop to get everybody off the train there. After that, there were plenty of open seats.

As a matter of fact, if Amtrak were smart - they would figure out a way to add a flag stop in New Buffalo for the Pere Marquette. In the summers at least, I would think there would be some good justification there.

I still remember paralleling the Chicago freeways / toll roads on that trip which were at a complete standstill. As we cruised on by at 79 mph, it made me understand completely why so many were taking the train to New Buffalo.
 

Shawn Ryu

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Stockton CA, Cabral Station and San Joaquin St.
Oakland CA Jack London Sq. and Oakland Coliseum/Airport
Newark NJ and Newark Airport
Santa Clara CA Transit Center and Santa Clara Great America
I think technically EWR station is not in the city of Newark.

Could be wrong.
 

jpakala

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Philadelphia still has two stations, the huge 30th St Station on Market St and the long-time North Philadelphia Station on Broad St.
 

railiner

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There was a time that Amtrak had a "rule" that a long distance train should only stop once every 50 miles, and a trend (90s-ish) toward removing too-close-together stops rather than adding them. They always made exceptions for sufficiently good political reasons, and I am not sure the rule has existed at all for the past decade (the first recent exception I'm aware of was adding Leavenworth, WA to the Builder, 22 miles from Wenatchee, in 2009.)

It does add time to the schedule, and would be an easier sell on routes with more than one train per day, to have one of them be the 'local' and the other the 'express'.
As we've discussed in another thread, Amtrak at times will add a 'seasonal' stop such as Port Kent, NY for the ferry to Burlington, Vt., or the NY State fairgrounds when the fair is open.

One 'rule' that Amtrak has eliminated over the years, was not selling tickets between a city and its suburbs, if a commuter railroad already did...such as between New York and Poughkeepsie on Metro North territory, even though Amtrak fares were much higher, partly to discourage local traffic.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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As we've discussed in another thread, Amtrak at times will add a 'seasonal' stop such as Port Kent, NY for the ferry to Burlington, Vt., or the NY State fairgrounds when the fair is open.

One 'rule' that Amtrak has eliminated over the years, was not selling tickets between a city and its suburbs, if a commuter railroad already did...such as between New York and Poughkeepsie on Metro North territory, even though Amtrak fares were much higher, partly to discourage local traffic.
That "rule" has not been entirely eliminated, although it is now applied in less cases than it previously was. For example, Amtrak still does not sell tickets for 91 and 97 on the Tri-Rail corridor or between Chicago and Homewood in either direction.
 

NS VIA Fan

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VIA tried running trains through Toronto Union Station to suburban stops on the opposite sides of the city. For example...some Ottawa and Montreal trains started or ended their runs in Aldershot 50km west....and some Windsor trains at Oshawa 50km east.

This is GO territory offering a much more frequent service so those 'run-through' have gradually been eliminated.

But in the Ottawa area and right up 'till Covid.....VIA was starting/ending some Montreal/Quebec City trains at a new stop in Fallowfield located on the Transitway 15km west of the main Ottawa Station.

Are there any locations like this now on Amtrak?....... or the potential of a route such as from Albany or Philadelphia passing through Penn Station to a new Amtrak Station at a suburban location on Long Island? (and would differences in power systems even permit this??)
 

jis

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I think technically EWR station is not in the city of Newark.

Could be wrong.
Yes. You are indeed wrong. The rail station is very much within Newark City.. Airport Terminal A is mostly in Elizabeth NJ. The rest of the terminals are in Newark. That is why you won't find a Newark Taxi in Terminal A Taxi stand. Only Elizabeth Taxis there.
 

jiml

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VIA tried running trains through Toronto Union Station to suburban stops on the opposite sides of the city. For example...some Ottawa and Montreal trains started or ended their runs in Aldershot 50km west....and some Windsor trains at Oshawa 50km east.
One train a day to Aldershot was still a thing last year prior to the pandemic. Oddly it never headed back east on any timetable.
1610635351533.png
When I lived in the Oshawa area, going to the Detroit car show on the through train was a routine every year until it was discontinued in 2012. The VIA 1 coach would be surprisingly full - presumably with GM people, although even more surprising was the number that only rode it non-stop to Toronto, paying easily 4 times the GO price for a nicer seat and a cup of coffee. It was dropped when the massive reconstruction of the Oshawa VIA/GO station started, since there was no place to park the train. Oshawa is now the primary Toronto suburban VIA station on the east route, replacing Guildwood (now physically in the city of Toronto).
1610636201607.png
 
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railiner

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VIA tried running trains through Toronto Union Station to suburban stops on the opposite sides of the city. For example...some Ottawa and Montreal trains started or ended their runs in Aldershot 50km west....and some Windsor trains at Oshawa 50km east.

This is GO territory offering a much more frequent service so those 'run-through' have gradually been eliminated.

But in the Ottawa area and right up 'till Covid.....VIA was starting/ending some Montreal/Quebec City trains at a new stop in Fallowfield located on the Transitway 15km west of the main Ottawa Station.

Are there any locations like this now on Amtrak?....... or the potential of a route such as from Albany or Philadelphia passing through Penn Station to a new Amtrak Station at a suburban location on Long Island? (and would differences in power systems even permit this??)
Along the NEC, you can find opportunities for such ridership...for example, traveling from Newark, NJ to New Rochelle, NY...commuter territory on both sides of New York City, but served by different commuter railroads.
 

Deni

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What about the first stop after leaving Chicago...Glenview, Naperville, Joliet, Homewood, etc...
Each of them is also served by Metra locals, giving access to a lot more intermediate stops, although not sure how convenient the connections are...
That's true, but I think there is a missed opportunity to not have some stops in the city limit serving some densely populated neighborhoods. Hyde Park, for one example, would be a great place to have a stop for the Illini and Saluki trains, and even the CONO. Someone there has to either go downtown or take the Metra all the way to Homewood. (I think that's the first stop after departing Chicago)
 

John Bredin

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That's true, but I think there is a missed opportunity to not have some stops in the city limit serving some densely populated neighborhoods. Hyde Park, for one example, would be a great place to have a stop for the Illini and Saluki trains, and even the CONO. Someone there has to either go downtown or take the Metra all the way to Homewood. (I think that's the first stop after departing Chicago)
A Hyde Park stop makes sense, but it's about the only place in Chicago proper I can think of where a high density neighborhood has an Amtrak line running through it, with enough people within walking distance of a station to merit stopping Amtrak there.

And it would have to be a dense neighborhood within walking distance because most of the in-city Metra stops have little or no parking. I can't see stopping Hiawathas at, say, Healy or Mayfair and enough people boarding to justify slowing down trains whose first stop would otherwise be Glenview. By the time a Hiawatha reaches an in-city station with enough parking to draw Amtrak riders from a decent catchment area, that's Edgebrook and only a few miles from Glenview.

Metra doesn't even stop on its busy BNSF line (hosting Cal. Zephyr, SW Chief, IL Zephyr, & Carl Sandburg) in the city after Union Station except at Halsted (couple of miles from Union Sta.) & Western Avenue (mostly industrial zone). A stop in Berwyn or Riverside might make some sense, but you're already in the suburbs by then and the IL Zephyr & Carl Sandburg stop in LaGrange before Naperville. The Lincoln Service & Texas Eagle also go through mostly industrial zone with no Metra stop (Heritage Corridor line) from Union Station until the suburb of Summit, where Lincoln Service trains also stop.
 
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