Ottumwa, Osceola or Mt Pleasant long term parking.

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Jun 14, 2019
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Hello. I am looking to book a trip to Sacramento from one of these stations. I would be driving several hours and am concerned about long term parking and safety at the station. Does any one have experience from these stations and have a recommendation? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!!
 
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I did some research throughout the forum and found some post that favored Osceola, but the post were over 10 years old. Not sure if anything has changed since then. These small towns don't seem to have parking garages or similar to use as a back up plan. Maybe driving to Chicago may be the safest bet for parking. Thanks again for any suggestions.
 

jimontheriver

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Feb 10, 2016
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I live 45 miles from Mt Pleasant, can't help but think in would be a lot safer than Chicago, small town, lighted lot. I think any of the Iowa station would be OK Just look at them on Goggle Earth, what is the closest for you?
 
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I'm coming from Macon Mo so all three stations would be ok, not too far of a drive. Ottumwa might be a bit closer, but not much. I would be traveling on the fourth of July so I would think it would be a busy travel time. I was trying to find which station had the most long term parking and maybe an alternate lot close by in case the station lot is full. I'm not finding that but I think it's because of that fact these are smaller towns. Do you know if the Mt Pleasant lot is decent size. Thanks again.
 
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Well, I called Amtrak and they said Osceola had 10 long term parking spaces & 10 short term. That doesn't appear to be correct when looking at Google Earth. They said Mount pleasant had 100 long term and 100 short term. That doesn't look correct either.
The parking info on the Amtrak websites and calling Amtrak customer service is not very good imo.
 

como

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I've parked at the Ottumwa station several times for 3 to 5 days. There is a large parking lot adjacent to the station with five or six covered spaces and around 20 additional spaces. I dive up from Columbia, MO and it is an easy drive to Ottumwa. Straight north on 63.
 
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Thanks for the info Como. I appreciate it.
Ottumwa is a possibility then. Osceola is a bit closer but if they only have 10 long term spots or so,,, if anyone has parked at Osceola or Mount pleasant lately & can update the parking I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks again for the information on Ottumwa parking Como!
 

BoulderCO

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In all three cases, we are talking about "small town" Iowa. Having not lived in Iowa for 55 years now, I don't have exact knowledge of which would be better. But I am fairly certain that if you reach out to local residents and authorities you will be able to find a safe place to park - maybe even an offer of a spot that a homeowner will look out after. Suggest arriving a couple hours before your departure when you drive there. Spend that time talking to some locals near the station, the police dept, etc. I'm guessing you will board the train with a sense of security about your vehicle.
 
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Thanks, sounds like good advice. I will definitely arrive with plenty of time to spare. Disappointed that Amtrak doesn't do a better job or more accurate description of the parking at the stations, especially now that so many are unmanned.
 

PaulM

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Quincy, IL
I've left my car many times at MTP, including up to a month several times, and never had a problem.
 
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Thanks Paul. Was it a decent size lot?
Amtrak says it holds 200, but Google maps looks much smaller, like maybe 30. Unless they use the lot across the street for overflow. I'll be there on July 4th heading out west and I'm thinking parades and the like. Could be more people using the lots.
 

CAMISSY55

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Feb 2, 2017
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Hi. I traveled in and out of the Osceola station fairly regularly between 2014 and February 2018. I left my truck there for 10 days or more several times. It is paved and well lit (part of a renovation project completed in sometime 2016, IIRC.)

I never had any trouble, nor did I hear of anyone else having any problems leaving their car there. In my new experience, the intrepid station volunteer was there everyday, rain or shine (or blizzard, one time!) 20-30 minutes before the scheduled arrival time, regardless of delays. I would generally mention to her that I was leaving my car. I felt that there wasn’t much that happened in or around the station that escaped her eagle eye!

Twenty, or so, spaces does sound about right. But, in all that time, I never saw it completely full. Hope that helps.
 

PaulM

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Was it a decent size lot?
Amtrak says it holds 200, but Google maps looks much smaller, like maybe 30. Unless they use the lot across the street for overflow.
Thirty sees about right. I'm not sure about an overflow lot because I've always found a space in the regular lot along side the station.
 
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