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More Amtrak Service In Ohio?

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bms

Lead Service Attendant
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Jan 29, 2018
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331
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Cleveland
I wonder if the 3C train could stop at Cincinnati Union Terminal but instead of laying over there, terminate at a suburban station in Kentucky where there's less congestion. A lot of people would probably use a stop in Florence or someplace like that.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
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Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,574
I wonder if the 3C train could stop at Cincinnati Union Terminal but instead of laying over there, terminate at a suburban station in Kentucky where there's less congestion. A lot of people would probably use a stop in Florence or someplace like that.
I think doing as you are suggesting would only add to the complexity of getting such a service started. The Kentucky State Government would then be involved (for example, it is Kentucky--not Ohio--that has control over the I-75 bride and and I think the other two highway bridges that cross the Ohio River from Cincinnati into Kentucky).

CVG is in Northern Kentucky, not far from Cincinnati. But, getting to/from there from Ohio can be a real "pain" if there are traffic issues on I-75 or on the connectors to the airport.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
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Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,574
the "second-best" boathouse location continue along the riverfront into the park lands between downtown Cincinnati and the river.
This location is totally unacceptable. With the park areas and the construction of the sports stadiums and a major museum in that area, a station would be inconvenient to access. Station related parking at the station? I think that would be impossible to do. Lots of parking options near the stadiums, but would not be convenient to use. Plus, street traffic in the area--particularly if one is not familiar with the area--can be☹!

Using Cincinnati Union Terminal (Center) is the best option. There is a large parking area at the station that is not available (the last I checked) for long term Amtrak customers. Maybe that could be changed? Maybe a parking garage might be constructed by the City?

he Dayton and Columbus stations I've suggested could each be made accessible with a single elevator to an island platform,
Columbus Union Station did not have an elevator or escalators. Dayton's Union Station did not either as I recall. Columbus: the tracks/platform were under the building. Dayton: the tracks/platform were elevated to a second level with the station itself at street level.

At least for Dayton, constructing a station at street level could still be done with ADA access to the platforms--which might still exist, don't know for certain--above the station.

Amtrak had a very small building somewhere in the "yards" away from where the Convention Center was, but was in the downtown area.
 

John Bredin

OBS Chief
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
786
Location
suburban Chicago (Buffalo Grove)
This location is totally unacceptable. With the park areas and the construction of the sports stadiums and a major museum in that area, a station would be inconvenient to access. Station related parking at the station? I think that would be impossible to do. Lots of parking options near the stadiums, but would not be convenient to use. Plus, street traffic in the area--particularly if one is not familiar with the area--can be☹!

Using Cincinnati Union Terminal (Center) is the best option.
I agree that CUT is best by far, if for no other reason than having two different stations in Cincinnati is inconvenient for passengers and inefficient for Amtrak. However, if CUT was taken off the table as it was in 2010 -- does anyone know if the rail congestion significantly improved since then? -- RTC is still better than the boathouse area and light-years better than Lunken Airport.

The 2010 3C plan to not use CUT strikes me as similar to the situation with Richmond Staples Mill and Richmond Main Street, where only a few trains serve the downtown station due to congestion from a trainyard. A bypass around the yard was completed in 2019 but they haven't adjusted the schedule yet to run more trains into Main St.

Columbus Union Station did not have an elevator or escalators. Dayton's Union Station did not either as I recall. Columbus: the tracks/platform were under the building. Dayton: the tracks/platform were elevated to a second level with the station itself at street level.

At least for Dayton, constructing a station at street level could still be done with ADA access to the platforms--which might still exist, don't know for certain--above the station.
As far as I know, nothing's left of Columbus Union Station as the Greater Columbus Convention Center was built on the site. My suggestion was to build new platform(s), with new stairs and elevator(s), where existing tracks pass directly under a part of the Convention Center. In effect, the Convention Center would serve as the station building.

As to Dayton, Google Maps shows that the tracks are elevated one story up (as you said) and some platforms are still there, but apparently just the platforms. Link. There are oblong dark spots on the platforms where stair-holes must have been covered over after the station closed, but I have no idea whether some of the stair-holes were actually elevator shafts.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
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Mar 5, 2014
Messages
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if CUT was taken off the table as it was in 2010 -- does anyone know if the rail congestion significantly improved since then?
I have no idea. And was not aware that congestion is an issue. As one approaches CUT while driving on I-75, there are very large rail yards with many, many freight cars just "sitting". If there is congestion, it might be something that the railroads serving that area could solve.

some platforms are still there,
Thanks for the link to the map. Yes, they surely do appear to be still present.

I have no idea whether some of the stair-holes were actually elevator shafts.
Well, if there was an elevator present, I certainly did use it.

nothing's left of Columbus Union Station as the Greater Columbus Convention Center was built on the site.
That is correct. An attractive and large structure met the wrecking ball some time ago.
 

CTANut

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
50
Location
USA
This location is totally unacceptable. With the park areas and the construction of the sports stadiums and a major museum in that area, a station would be inconvenient to access. Station related parking at the station? I think that would be impossible to do. Lots of parking options near the stadiums, but would not be convenient to use. Plus, street traffic in the area--particularly if one is not familiar with the area--can be☹!

Using Cincinnati Union Terminal (Center) is the best option. There is a large parking area at the station that is not available (the last I checked) for long term Amtrak customers. Maybe that could be changed? Maybe a parking garage might be constructed by the City?



Columbus Union Station did not have an elevator or escalators. Dayton's Union Station did not either as I recall. Columbus: the tracks/platform were under the building. Dayton: the tracks/platform were elevated to a second level with the station itself at street level.

At least for Dayton, constructing a station at street level could still be done with ADA access to the platforms--which might still exist, don't know for certain--above the station.

Amtrak had a very small building somewhere in the "yards" away from where the Convention Center was, but was in the downtown area.
That might have been because they were both torn down years before the ADA was enacted in the 1990s. The CTA did not even open its first accessible station until 1975, and the first elevator equipped station did not enter service until 1980.
 

CTANut

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Oct 29, 2019
Messages
50
Location
USA
I have no idea. And was not aware that congestion is an issue. As one approaches CUT while driving on I-75, there are very large rail yards with many, many freight cars just "sitting". If there is congestion, it might be something that the railroads serving that area could solve.



Thanks for the link to the map. Yes, they surely do appear to be still present.



Well, if there was an elevator present, I certainly did use it.



That is correct. An attractive and large structure met the wrecking ball some time ago.
It also appears there WAS an elevator for freight at one time.
 

CTANut

Train Attendant
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Oct 29, 2019
Messages
50
Location
USA

This was the former station in Springfield. It was torn down in 1969.
 

west point

Conductor
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Jun 9, 2015
Messages
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Didn't CUT had three tracks between most platforms to allow short time storage for interchange of thru cars to various RRs. Didn't the middle track have switches at both ends to the outer tracks?
 

Palmland

OBS Chief
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
931
Location
Carolinas
Didn't CUT had three tracks between most platforms to allow short time storage for interchange of thru cars to various RRs. Didn't the middle track have switches at both ends to the outer tracks?
Yes it did. An innovative design in 1930 that provided a wide 28' platform in the center narrowing to a still generous 15' at both ends to allow for the center track. It was used,as you said, for the through cars passing from the eastern trains to those going south. At age 12 the local switch crew gave my brother and I a ride while he switched a heavyweight Pullman from an arriving train to the Southland, no doubt using one of those tracks. What a shame there isn't more of those 16 station tracks other than the solitary one remaining.

img016 (2).jpg
 

John Bobinyec

Conductor
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
1,793
Location
CYN
Does Cincinnati have an agent now? Amtrak's website says checked baggage service is available, which implies there is an agent on duty, but also says that "Unaccompanied child travel not allowed " - which implies there is no agent on duty.

Thanks,
jb
 

daybeers

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
798
Location
HFD
Does Cincinnati have an agent now? Amtrak's website says checked baggage service is available, which implies there is an agent on duty, but also says that "Unaccompanied child travel not allowed " - which implies there is no agent on duty.

Thanks,
jb
An excerpt from the Amtrak Unaccompanied Minor Policy:
  • Both boarding and arrival stations must be staffed. (Please note that even certain staffed stations do not allow for unaccompanied minors.)
  • All travel must take place on the same day with the scheduled departure time no earlier than 5:30 am and the scheduled arrival time no later than 9:30 pm. Overnight travel is not allowed.
The Cardinal arrives & departs Cincinnati in both directions between 1:30 and 3:30 am, so it fails the daytime qualification. Silly IMO. I did use the program a couple times when I was younger and was well watched and taken care of. Honestly one of the most well-managed and courteous processes at Amtrak in my experience. Would recommend if those can swing it, but overnight travel and the prohibition of transfers makes things tricky and I imagine sadly moves those travelers to airlines. Those with divorced or separated families would get a great view of the country at a young age traveling by train.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,574
On the Op-Ed page of Sunday's Dayton Daily News, there were two pieces written about Amtrak's proposed new services In Ohio, particularly as the plans relate to the 3-C's corridor route. One article was written by the Executive Director of All Aboard Ohio who previously served with the Ohio Rail Development Commission. The other article was written by my Ohio State Senator who is one of the most conservative members of the Ohio State Senate.

Not surprisingly, the gentleman representing All Aboard Ohio was enthusiastic about Amtrak's plans.

The article written by my State Senator had 17 paragraphs. 10 of those paragraphs were "pro" in tone regarding the proposals. 7 of those paragraphs were "cautionary" in tone: in short, the State has to due its due diligence first. Implementing the plan, how will this impact Ohio's budget and taxes? Will the project be completed without the use of eminent domain?

My State Senator is the youngest of our State Senators. He wrote: "I know millennials want the project to happen".

His reaction to Amtrak's proposals are opposite to what I anticipated. If such a legislator can be brought aboard to support the proposals, I am very encouraged that this new service in Ohio could actually happen.

The proposal must first become part of a new Federal Surface Transportation Bill. Time to contact our Senators and members of the House in support of the plans!
 

igor

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Messages
29
As far as I know, nothing's left of Columbus Union Station as the Greater Columbus Convention Center was built on the site.
All that survived were three of the arches from the original station, which was demolished for the Convention Center construction. They moved around a couple of times, but are now part of a development (The Arena District) on the other side of High street:
Arena_District_Columbus_Ohio_CAPABT0083-1m63gyq.jpg

When the convention center was built, the wall next to the tracks was built in such a way that it could be popped out to create a frontage for a new station that was in the Convention Center building. I think that was proposed as the station when the 3C idea was floated before.

Interestingly, Columbus does still have an extant railroad station, the station from the Toledo and Ohio Central located on West Broad Street:2560px-Columbus,_OH_train_station.jpg
 

bms

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
331
Location
Cleveland
I think doing as you are suggesting would only add to the complexity of getting such a service started. The Kentucky State Government would then be involved (for example, it is Kentucky--not Ohio--that has control over the I-75 bride and and I think the other two highway bridges that cross the Ohio River from Cincinnati into Kentucky).

CVG is in Northern Kentucky, not far from Cincinnati. But, getting to/from there from Ohio can be a real "pain" if there are traffic issues on I-75 or on the connectors to the airport.
Oh you're absolutely right that another station adds to the complexity, but can be worth it if it improves the service. Any other suburban station on a CCC line would add to the travel time between the major cities, but a Kentucky stop would not.

To be clear, there absolutely has to be a stop in the City of Cincinnati. But I'm saying the train could also stop in northern Kentucky in Covington or Florence or a place between.
 

Willbridge

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
720
Location
Denver
I looked at Google Maps and the tracks that serve the "second-best" boathouse location continue along the riverfront into the park lands between downtown Cincinnati and the river. While its not ideal to have active tracks through a park [Link], somebody thought them practical enough for passenger service that the Riverfront Transit Center (built in 2003 before the 2010 assessment for the Ohio 3C plan) was intended to be a commuter rail terminal. The commuter rail plans were still floating around as recently as 2016.

Also, I took a second look at the environmental assessment and:
(1) the line(s) serving CUT were ruled out due to freight congestion (hat-tip to Eric S)
(2) the boathouse location had broad support but intense opposition.
(3) Riverfront Transit Center isn't listed as even a considered alternative for the Cincinnati station.
Of course congestion can be relieved by not running trains.
 

CTANut

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
50
Location
USA
On the Op-Ed page of Sunday's Dayton Daily News, there were two pieces written about Amtrak's proposed new services In Ohio, particularly as the plans relate to the 3-C's corridor route. One article was written by the Executive Director of All Aboard Ohio who previously served with the Ohio Rail Development Commission. The other article was written by my Ohio State Senator who is one of the most conservative members of the Ohio State Senate.

Not surprisingly, the gentleman representing All Aboard Ohio was enthusiastic about Amtrak's plans.

The article written by my State Senator had 17 paragraphs. 10 of those paragraphs were "pro" in tone regarding the proposals. 7 of those paragraphs were "cautionary" in tone: in short, the State has to due its due diligence first. Implementing the plan, how will this impact Ohio's budget and taxes? Will the project be completed without the use of eminent domain?

My State Senator is the youngest of our State Senators. He wrote: "I know millennials want the project to happen".

His reaction to Amtrak's proposals are opposite to what I anticipated. If such a legislator can be brought aboard to support the proposals, I am very encouraged that this new service in Ohio could actually happen.

The proposal must first become part of a new Federal Surface Transportation Bill. Time to contact our Senators and members of the House in support of the plans!
The article is attached here
 

Attachments

Palmetto

Conductor
AU Supporter
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May 12, 2014
Messages
2,162
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Miami
"We want to continue cutting taxes for Ohioans...." IOW, we want our cake and eat it, too.
 

bms

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
331
Location
Cleveland
The article is attached here
Reading the state senator's opinion, he opposes state funding. There's close to zero chance of this happening without state funding. If he doesn't vote for state funding, then he's opposed to the project regardless of the fact that he took the opposite position in the first half of his editorial.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,574
"We want to continue cutting taxes for Ohioans...." IOW, we want our cake and eat it, too.
You need to understand this gentleman's previous political positions as a member of the Ohio House. Agree with the Senator or not, he is consistent in his positions on two-three specific issues with one being cutting taxes.
That is a very interesting statement, suggesting there's a market beyond old folks, historians and railfans.
I thought so as well. He is of that generation. It was a statement that I was very surprised to read.

The article is attached here
Thank you for doing this.
 
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