Indianapolis station

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

glensfallsse

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 22, 2017
Messages
62
I’ve been in Indianapolis for a conference this week, so I dropped by the nearby train station for a look. It is butt ugly. It feels like a highway overpass with walls and benches. No character whatsoever. Is there an uglier train station in the country?641E665B-9899-4A08-9AE7-BEC8987B9FB9.jpeg
The older (original, I think) station is across the way. It looks old but stately. I don’t think it’s a part of the train station any more. Sad.
 

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
4,185
I’ve been to many Amtrak stations across the country and Indianapolis is the absolute worst. I’m pretty sure there are prisons that are more charming. I’ll take an old Amshack any day vs. Indianapolis.

The former union station on the other side of the underpass is now a hotel and convention center so it still stands in all its glory.
 

danasgoodstuff

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
356
Location
PDX
I’ve been in Indianapolis for a conference this week, so I dropped by the nearby train station for a look. It is butt ugly. It feels like a highway overpass with walls and benches. No character whatsoever. Is there an uglier train station in the country?View attachment 28652
The older (original, I think) station is across the way. It looks old but stately. I don’t think it’s a part of the train station any more. Sad.
This honestly doesn't look that bad to me, it's indoors and well lit - you could be outside in the weather lots of places.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
6,292
Location
Washington State
This honestly doesn't look that bad to me, it's indoors and well lit - you could be outside in the weather lots of places.
Well, I consider Indy to be the bottom of the barrel of  staffed stations. I've been there several times, unfortunately.

Can't speak to Pittsburgh, only ever been on the platform there when passing through on the Capitol.

Beats grade crossing boarding at Lordsburg, but that's about it. In my mind, even Beaumont, TX beats it now, since they replaced the infamous Beaumont Slab with an attractive shelter.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporting Member
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
24,681
Location
Austin Texas
Well, I consider Indy to be the bottom of the barrel of  staffed stations. I've been there several times, unfortunately.

Can't speak to Pittsburgh, only ever been on the platform there when passing through on the Capitol.

Beats grade crossing boarding at Lordsburg, but that's about it. In my mind, even Beaumont, TX beats it now, since they replaced the infamous Beaumont Slab with an attractive shelter.
My nominee for an unstaffed Station is still Sanderson,Texas although they did build a quasi Platform there, after tearing down the Old SP Station to replace the Gravel Road that was the Platform.

For staffed Stations I'll agree that Indy and Pittsburgh are my nominees with San Antonio getting an unhonorable mention.
 
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
781
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa.
It's Pittsburgh (with an H). And those two stations are both pretty close to the bottom of the barrel.

Pittsburgh got a bit touch up in the past year so it is a LITTLE better now. It has to be better than Indianapolis. But, as one of my late favorite people was fond of saying, you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig.
 

Stremba

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 27, 2022
Messages
56
Location
Crafton
Pittsburgh is my home station so I can confirm; it is functional, but that is about the best I can say for it. It’s even more disappointing because it’s in the basement of the old Pennsylvania Station, which is a magnificent looking brick building with a beautiful rotunda. This building though is now converted to an apartment building, leaving the dump in the basement for Amtrak travelers.
 

jebr

Enthusiastic Transit Rider
AU Supporting Member
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2012
Messages
4,790
Location
"The Last Great City of the East," St. Paul, MN
My nominee for an unstaffed Station is still Sanderson,Texas although they did build a quasi Platform there, after tearing down the Old SP Station to replace the Gravel Road that was the Platform.

For staffed Stations I'll agree that Indy and Pittsburgh are my nominees with San Antonio getting an unhonorable mention.

If we're going with unstaffed stations my nomination would be Elko, NV. Yes, the platform is okay (has a bus-style shelter and standard platform) but there's no way (that I'm aware of, and I visited the station in 2012 and have tried to parse something out with Google Maps) to get between the two platforms for the two different train directions! They're separate side platforms with a fence between the two tracks that appears to be pretty well-maintained (not that anyone should be crossing, or expected to cross, an active rail line outside of a designated crossing anyways.)

If you're taking the train to Reno and park at the westbound shelter, when you come back to the eastbound side you'll have a fun 15 minute walk ahead of you on roads with no accessible sidewalks for your journey (unless you want to jump a concrete barrier!) Same in the other direction as well. At minimum there should be a way to safely cross the tracks at grade level while the train is in the station.
 

Trollopian

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Messages
302
Location
Washington, DC and Pittsburgh, PA
Well aware… It was a typo; to me that seems obvious. I edit my posts a lot as I make many mistakes but I suppose that one slipped through.

It's Pittsburgh (with an H). And those two stations are both pretty close to the bottom of the barrel.

Fun fact: You're both (arguably) right. Pittsburgh lost its "h" between 1891 and 1911, a period that happens to coincide with the building of Daniel Burnham's magnificent Union Station. You can even see it spelled "Pittsburg" inside the famous rotunda. As to why Pittsburgh has an "h" while most burgs don't, leading theory is that it's the city's Scottish legacy. Think Edinburgh.

 
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
4,886
Location
Baltimore. MD
I’ve been in Indianapolis for a conference this week, so I dropped by the nearby train station for a look. It is butt ugly. It feels like a highway overpass with walls and benches. No character whatsoever. Is there an uglier train station in the country?View attachment 28652
The older (original, I think) station is across the way. It looks old but stately. I don’t think it’s a part of the train station any more. Sad.
The worst thing about the place is the seating for waiting passengers. I suspect the seats are so uncomfortable in order to discourage homeless people from congregating there. Unfortunately passengers who have to wait for a late train have to pay the price.

The situation is similar to that of Dallas, which has a nice station, but the waiting room is in the lower level and has similarly uncomfortable chairs, as we found out after the Gathering in 2019 when the northbound Texas Eagle was about 8-9 hours late.
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
10
When I rode of out Indy in 2017 it was TERRIBLE. In addition the staff was extremely rude and unprofessional. Toledo for me from now on.
 

railiner

Engineer
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
9,893
Location
X
Pittsburgh is my home station so I can confirm; it is functional, but that is about the best I can say for it. It’s even more disappointing because it’s in the basement of the old Pennsylvania Station, which is a magnificent looking brick building with a beautiful rotunda. This building though is now converted to an apartment building, leaving the dump in the basement for Amtrak travelers.
Didn’t at one time the Pittsburgh station have a fairly decent lower level, beneath the Rotunda main level, accessed by escalators, etc?
Not sure, but I believe it was used by “Panhandle” division trains. I suppose that section was torn out when no longer needed?
Hard to find good historical info on that…
 

JWM

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 3, 2021
Messages
75
Location
Sarasota, Florida
I’ve been in Indianapolis for a conference this week, so I dropped by the nearby train station for a look. It is butt ugly. It feels like a highway overpass with walls and benches. No character whatsoever. Is there an uglier train station in the country?View attachment 28652
The older (original, I think) station is across the way. It looks old but stately. I don’t think it’s a part of the train station any more. Sad.
I grew up in Indianapolis and at age 72 took a lot trains out of the real Indianapolis Union Station until 1971. It was, and is, a great building, but access to the former track level is gone which is a shame. The Red Caps took luggage up a separate elevator and met you at your car. The N.P. North Coast Limited's Dome Sleepers in the winter in the 1960's were just great. I concur that the present setup is not a station, but a slum.
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2015
Messages
3,703
Location
Los Angeles
I’ve only passed through the Indy station after departing the Cardinal At 5 am. The only issue I had was convincing a relative to venture into that part of town. I basically saw nothing wrong with the station inside or outside other than it wasn’t fancy. How about the Sacramento station before it’s recent overhaul. Maybe charming but pretty wore out.
 
Top