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Legacy Club at CUS

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Manny T

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PVD thanks, the Master Plan is a great read! If I can summarize my conclusions, and I am not an architect or engineer, the current Metro Lounge space will be added to Amtrak's existing coach waiting rooms for the purpose of enlarging the coach waiting rooms. The Metro Lounge then will be relocated to a larger space off the Great Hall, across the east-west passageway from where the old Metro Cafe was (Lounge will not be IN the Metro Cafe space but across from it). Also a caveat--the master plan is just a proposal, I think.
 
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PVD

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At least they finally woke up and admitted there is a problem. Just like in NYP huge numbers of daily commuters go through space shared with a "regular" railroad station. Of course, the plans will change, some things added, some things deleted, funding and timelines will always be touchy, but the major tenants and stakeholders are putting their heads together with the landlord (Amtrak)
 

OlympianHiawatha

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Has anyone actually been IN the Legacy and can give a report of how it measures up to the Metropolitan? I have a layover there Tuesday and even after doing my running around will have a couple-three hours to kill and wonder if it is worth the $10.
 

neroden

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I've attached the most current CUS plans I've got for entertainment. What is eye opening, are the daily passenger numbers. Compared to the Amtrak sleeper/first class numbers, it is easy to see why the place is such a fiasco.
Thanks! Dunno if that's still current, but it shows Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge on the southeast corner of the Great Hall, taking up the entire corner and two floors (!!) -- the Metro Deli in the northeast corner of the Great Hall is replaced with the *ticket counters* for Amtrak.

I have to say my favorite part of the plan is the high-level platforms (converted from the mail platforms) -- which would undoubtedly be used by the Lake Shore Limited immediately -- but it might take a long time to build those.

In terms of staging, it looks like relocation of the Metro Lounge has to be done early, because that allows the Metro Lounge space to be converted to ordinary-waiting-room space. Relocation of the ticket counters will probably also be done early, to open up the walking space on the south side of the concourse. The plan doesn't show where the Amtrak customer relations & police offices (which need to move to open up the north side of the concourse) will go, but I'm guessing somewhere in the Great Hall in the spaces marked for 'retail'.
 
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jis

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AFAIR there are already a few high level platforms in place in that mail platform corner. They are just not easily accessible from the headhouse at present.
 

neroden

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AFAIR there are already a few high level platforms in place in that mail platform corner. They are just not easily accessible from the headhouse at present.
Yes, there are two. They'd have to be renovated (the platform edges are crumbling etc., and you'd want to lock out the stairs which go up to the former mail sorting building above).

It's actually straightforward for the Red Cap carts to drive onto them, and I once saw an Amtrak employee drive onto one of them on a motorcycle. They don't like unescorted people walking to those tracks from the headhouse because it involves a grade crossing of the through tracks, which is potentially dangerous. Hence the plan to convert the 'steam tunnel' into a passenger walkway.
 

jis

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Yeah, they will need to build some good access path from the headhouse. I don;t know what their plans are. I also don;t know if instead they plan to create a new HL platform closer to the headhous perhaps between the through N-S track and the river. who knows?
 

amtrakwolverine

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I was there on the 21st of July. It's real nice. Can sodas and small bottles of water at no charge. It is coke products. Flat screen TVs with shows other then the news.they escort you out to the train ahead of everyone including pre-boards I think. I left my debt card behind by accident as they don't take cash only credit or debt cards but anyway they tracked me down on the train to give me back my card. METRA riders can use the club also.
 

Manny T

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I also noticed that Metro Lounge appears on 2 levels of the Master Plan in approx. the same location. I'm wondering if that means the Lounge will be on 2 floors connected by a staircase (nice!), there will be 2 separate Metro lounges--one on each floor; or whether a single Metro Lounge will be double height (also nice!), like the Legacy Club is now. Not that it matters that much; I'm willing to wait and see the final product (how long??) to find out.
 

Anderson

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That's probably going to be a single two-floor lounge, and it might even just be a function of a really high ceiling that it shows up on two levels.

(On a related note, I have to wonder how much something like this in NYP (or even NYG) could rake in with memberships. I suspect there are more than a few commuters who would toss down an immodest amount to ensure they had someplace to duck in the next time NJT gets royally screwed up.)
 

Devil's Advocate

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I am sure this is progress? But we will miss the quiet Great Hall to just sit and relax looking at the architecture and enjoying the ambiance without the hustle bustle of the traffic that will now engulf the Hall. :unsure:
You seem to be confusing a major urban transit center with a suburban library or museum. I'm ready for the Great Hall to serve a functional purpose again, and not just as a quiet place for tired old NIMBY's to reminisce.
 

Anderson

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I am sure this is progress? But we will miss the quiet Great Hall to just sit and relax looking at the architecture and enjoying the ambiance without the hustle bustle of the traffic that will now engulf the Hall. :unsure:
You seem to be confusing a major urban transit center with a suburban library or museum. I'm ready for the Great Hall to serve a functional purpose again, and not just as a quiet place for tired old NIMBY's to reminisce.
I'm going to agree here. I generally find it somewhat painful that the ticketing area of Union Station in LA is basically dead space now. Yes, I realize that there would be issues retrofitting it to handle modern ticketing systems but that doesn't make it less painful in a way to see such a fine space not in use.

More to the point, the basement in Union Station (Chicago) is horridly overcrowded as things stand. Granted, no small part of this is down to planning based on ridership numbers from a few decades back (let's face it, there are plenty of decisions which were valid back in the 70s and 80s which look stupid now...but which would have shown up as being correct for several decades) and Amtrak has managed to exacerbate the issue with their handling of boarding practices (trying to check tickets for every passenger for a peak-hour Hiawatha is not the smartest way to efficiently move people, and the lines simply can't be handled well in the space available...but the area is frequently swamped with passengers regardless.
 

neroden

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That's probably going to be a single two-floor lounge, and it might even just be a function of a really high ceiling that it shows up on two levels.
I'm hoping for two floors with an elevator.
I'm also hoping for multiple entrances. There should be an entrance from the Great Hall, obviously. But there should also be a ground-floor-level entrance; sleeper passengers coming from Chicago should be able to walk right in on the west side of Canal Street, separating them from the main pedestrian traffic flow. And the third entrance should be on the south side in the former taxi loop, for the Red Cap carts to drive passengers needing assistance to their train without going through the concourse.

But a high-ceiling room would be OK, I guess.
 

Manny T

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I've taken a dozen round trips on the Hiawatha and never had my ticket pre-checked before boarding in either direction even once. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. I always welcome the Quiet Car after the cramped conditions in Union Station.

As far as the Great Hall is concerned, as much as I love it's cavern-like emptiness, I think one shouldn't complain about lining up coach passengers for LD trrains there. If you take that position, and of course coach PAX are excluded from the Metro Lounge and probably won't pony up for the Legacy Club, you are essentially confining them to Amtrak's coach waiting rooms, which is cruel and unusual punishment imo.
 

PVD

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Multiple entrances might be more convenient for passengers, but they have the potential of raising costs in a big way, or creating odd traffic flows. Right now, the standard lounge design for airlines/Amtrak brings passengers past a check in desk which keeps out (most of) those who don't belong. Having multiple points of entry might require paying someone additional.
 

neroden

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Well, the Red Cap entrance would only be used by Red Caps, so that wouldn't be an issue.

There are usually two people working at the Metro Lounge at Chicago anyway -- what harm in putting one upstairs and one downstairs? If it doesn't work out, they can always shut one of the entrances.
 

PVD

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You may be right, but we are talking Amtrak. You could even separate the stream of passengers without luggage to drop away from the storage area which would help also, but .......
 
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OlympianHiawatha

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Since it seems no one here has yet to actually go in the Legacy (including me as I currently sit in a not at all crowded Metropolitan) I can report the Red Cap who handles the Bag Storage said as of now Legacy is not much different than Metropolitan other than tending to often get more crowded since it is open to anyone with a Tenner. It does go up to $20 after 1 AUG and there are rumors they may start selling alcohol.

With just a couple hours to lay out I took his word and kept $10 in the Kitty.
 

PVD

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All the way back at the beginning of the thread, someone posted interior pictures, and a little later there is one person who went inside. When I went through last month I couldn't see any reason to pay $10 either.
 

Bob Dylan

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It sounds like they'll give u a quickie "free look" if its not crowded! Don't know if I'd pay the $10 ( soon to be $20)unless I was riding Coach since Biz Class,Sleeping Car and AGR Status members get to use the Metro Lounge for Free!
 
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