Most Beautiful Train Stations in the US

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Tlcooper93

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It's a shame (but rather accurate) that South Station is no longer included on this list. It really has fallen into disrepair and could use a makeover.
But maybe Greensboro could be swapped with SS, I don't know.
 
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MARC Rider

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It's a shame (but rather accurate) that South Station is no longer included on this list. It really has fallen into disrepair and could use a makeover.
But maybe Greensboro could be swapped with SS, I don't know.
Wait a second, I was last at South Station in March 2020 right before the pandemic. It seemed like it was in perfectly good shape. In fact, maybe it's in better shape than Washington Union Station, which is in OK shape, but about to get some renovations, so there are some boarded up areas, and the main hall is rather empty.

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Just a few pictures from last week.
 
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Tlcooper93

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Wait a second, I was last at South Station in March 2020 right before the pandemic. It seemed like it was in perfectly good shape. In fact, maybe it's in better shape than Washington Union Station, which is in OK shape, but about to get some renovations, so there are some boarded up areas, and the main hall is rather empty.

View attachment 22929
View attachment 22930



View attachment 22931

Just a few pictures from last week.
South Station, as a tri-weekly visitor, is not is such great shape. Granted, there is a massive construction project that doesnt help the current state (though may make it better once done).
The front door handle fell off when I used it. The platforms are kind of a mess. The food court area is really dirty, and the outer facade could use a face lift.

A beautiful station for sure, but definitely not up to the level of DC union station (my last visit there was May 20th).
 

Tlcooper93

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South Station is going to look a bit different in a couple of years and may get back on this list:

View attachment 22936
Definitely looking forward to it. I've been keeping tabs on the project and its progress through a personal photo library.
On the bright side, train traffic and passenger traffic is back up at SS considerably. It is a crowded place again with many commuter trains back up into the hundreds if not thousands of passengers per load.
Also exciting to see the sleeper train from WAS arrive each morning, dropping off pretty much full loads.
 

Tlcooper93

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I fail to see how that is an improvement I much prefer the older more historical building. Now if we were talking about North Station that would be light years better.
The building itself won't change. They're simply covering the concourse (which was sort of an exposed area in between the bus terminal and the historic station building). Before, the platforms just had basic platform covers. Now they won't be necesary as the platforms will be effectively "inside." If this photo is true, it will indeed be a massive improvement.
 

jis

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North Station has been the basement of whatever they call Boston Garden this year (TD Garden?) for so long it is hard to imagine what they could do with it. At least they are trying to give it a somewhat better entry concourse from Causeway St.

 

cocojacoby

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Oh come on. When they announced this air-rights project most of us thought Penn Station low-ceiling claustrophobic cover it all completely up. Give them some credit here.

And North Station? There's more left of Penn Station than North Station. What are you restoring?
 

jis

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Oh come on. When they announced this air-rights project most of us thought Penn Station low-ceiling claustrophobic cover it all completely up. Give them some credit here.

And North Station? There's more left of Penn Station than North Station. What are you restoring?
Who said anything about restoring? The whole point is that there was very little to restore. It had to be imagined anew.

Boston Garden sat atop North Station from way before anything happened to Penn Station. I remember seeing Ice Capades there in the early '60s. It was still not very attractive. The original station had already been destroyed both internally and with the elevated Lechmere Line and highways externally. The original station facade was destroyed in 1927-28
 
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zephyr17

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Yes, Cincinnati and Kansas City are beautiful edifices, but the portions serving rail passengers are so small in comparison of the entire footprint and not especially comfortable or attractive.
In KC the current facility still beats the one built into the parking garage.

They don't need any more than what they have.

The only change I'd make at KC would be to put the Amtrak facility at the end of the concourse, close to the single remaining platform. Yes, it is a long walk, but that walk has to made outside along the side of the concourse on what amounts to a covered catwalk now.
 

Willbridge

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Who said anything about restoring? The whole point is that there was very little to restore. It had to be imagined anew.

Boston Garden sat atop North Station from way before anything happened to Penn Station. I remember seeing Ice Capades there in the early '60s. It was still not very attractive. The original station had already been destroyed both internally and with the elevated Lechmere Line and highways externally. The original station facade was destroyed in 1927-28
When I first visited Boston in 1987 I went up to take a look at North Station. As I opened the door to leave, a pigeon swaggered in as if it owned the place. Somehow it seemed appropriate.
 

Willbridge

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A sidebar on PDX -- in the 1920's after the Federal takeover ended there was a Chamber of Commerce campaign to replace the 19th century station with a modern and bigger facility. Related to that campaign was the drive to get the interurban lines out of the streets because they interfered with auto traffic. My surmise is that the 1927 renovation was the response. In the 1950's there was a proposal to build a modern and smaller facility near the Lloyd Center (on the East Side). In 1974 there were proposals to either replace Union Station with a piggyback facility or convert it to an upscale retail center. In that era, Amtrak proposed to build a new station at Willbridge, handy to the petroleum ship terminal, in the only Portland ZIP code that generated no passengers in an ODOT study. That was headed off by Senator Mark Hatfield.

In Denver there were three decades of schemes to remove the tracks from Union Station or just remove Amtrak. In the 1980's Amtrak itself considered building a new station in industrial Commerce City to eliminate the back-up move, with lots of parking. What is in popular LoDo now is a compromise that evolved over those years.
 

jloewen

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A sidebar on PDX -- in the 1920's after the Federal takeover ended there was a Chamber of Commerce campaign to replace the 19th century station with a modern and bigger facility. Related to that campaign was the drive to get the interurban lines out of the streets because they interfered with auto traffic. My surmise is that the 1927 renovation was the response. In the 1950's there was a proposal to build a modern and smaller facility near the Lloyd Center (on the East Side). In 1974 there were proposals to either replace Union Station with a piggyback facility or convert it to an upscale retail center. In that era, Amtrak proposed to build a new station at Willbridge, handy to the petroleum ship terminal, in the only Portland ZIP code that generated no passengers in an ODOT study. That was headed off by Senator Mark Hatfield.

In Denver there were three decades of schemes to remove the tracks from Union Station or just remove Amtrak. In the 1980's Amtrak itself considered building a new station in industrial Commerce City to eliminate the back-up move, with lots of parking. What is in popular LoDo now is a compromise that evolved over those years.
So, the renovated Union Station in Chicago includes NOT ONE little conference room ... not even a nook ... that might be used for a little meeting of 3-6 folks. Even DC has a conference room. Amtrak THINKS Union Station has a conference room, but when you phone the station itself, they say they do not. They should!
 
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I think the new MSP station fits the bill...
I think it is nice looking, but very much a pain to use. I bring a group through here every year, and it is so long a walk and mixed up. The people are not very kind either. The way they work a group changes every year. they have us jumping from one floor to another. And by the time you get from the baggage area (that is really small) up the escalators, through the halls, into the sitting area and then through the one door, down to the train level and then all the way to the end of the platform, it seems like miles. And on the return, you finally get into the station and then no real signage for you to find that one door that takes you to the other levels to get your luggage and to the street. No one in my groups has ever said, "wow, what a great station."
 

crescent-zephyr

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I think it is nice looking, but very much a pain to use. I bring a group through here every year, and it is so long a walk and mixed up. The people are not very kind either. The way they work a group changes every year. they have us jumping from one floor to another. And by the time you get from the baggage area (that is really small) up the escalators, through the halls, into the sitting area and then through the one door, down to the train level and then all the way to the end of the platform, it seems like miles. And on the return, you finally get into the station and then no real signage for you to find that one door that takes you to the other levels to get your luggage and to the street. No one in my groups has ever said, "wow, what a great station."
I’ve never used it with a group but I’ve always found it to be a very nice station to use.
 
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I'll put in a plug for my hometown train station - the new Raleigh Union Station is pretty nice. The one downside is the long walk from the waiting area to the platform due to the location of the station. Otherwise, in a great location in the hottest corner of downtown.
 
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