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Question about the Dallas Amtrak Station

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Bill631

Train Attendant
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
73
Hello all,

I am planning my next trip to Texas with my final segment being aboard the Texas Eagle from Chicago to Texas. I usually get off at Longview and take the motorcoach into Houston, which I hate, especially after my last trip on it. The bus-driver was very unpleasant, and was barking rules at us from the minute we got on board. Besides the trip is very boring, and the most exciting thing to see is a sleeping cow at one of the many farms you pass.

So, I am thinking of staying on the Texas Eagle and getting off in Dallas, then renting a car and leisurely driving to the Beaumont area.

My question is about the Dallas Amtrak station. Is it located near downtown Dallas? I am referring to the station listed as being at 400 South Houston Street.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Bill

B)
 

daveyb99

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Messages
910
Location
Grapevine, TX
So, I am thinking of staying on the Texas Eagle and getting off in Dallas, then renting a car and leisurely driving to the Beaumont area. My question is about the Dallas Amtrak station. Is it located near downtown Dallas? I am referring to the station listed as being at 400 South Houston Street.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Yes, DAL is on the west end of downtown. No problems there, except finding a rental car location. I do know FTW (Fort Worth) has an Enterprise in the station. And the fare is about the same to either DAL or FTW, but you get a non-rushed lunch by going all the way to FTW.

A couple of more options:

(1) Amtrak to FTW, then bus to Houston. Amtrak and Greyhound share the station in FTW. FYI: the Dallas Greyhound station is about 5 blocks from Union Station.

(2) Amtrak to SAS (via Texas Eagle) then to HOU (via Sunset Ltd). Certainly alot longer of a trip, but fun fun fun !!!

(3) If you wanted MORE meals but less travel time, try going to AUS. Hertz will meet you at the station with a rental or it is just a short cab ride to the Greyhound station......

Have Fun....
 

racer1735

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
135
Location
Canyon, TX
Hello all,I am planning my next trip to Texas with my final segment being aboard the Texas Eagle from Chicago to Texas. I usually get off at Longview and take the motorcoach into Houston, which I hate, especially after my last trip on it. The bus-driver was very unpleasant, and was barking rules at us from the minute we got on board. Besides the trip is very boring, and the most exciting thing to see is a sleeping cow at one of the many farms you pass.

So, I am thinking of staying on the Texas Eagle and getting off in Dallas, then renting a car and leisurely driving to the Beaumont area.

My question is about the Dallas Amtrak station. Is it located near downtown Dallas? I am referring to the station listed as being at 400 South Houston Street.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Bill
As a Fort Worth native I'm a bit biased in my opinions, but....as mentioned, the fare difference between Dallas and Fort Worth is negligible. There is about one hour extra travel time (on the train) to cover the 30 miles...not all that scenic, but still on the train. Also, the train station in Fort Worth is located very convenient to several rental car agencies. You would probably want to take a cab to whichever one you choose (neighborhood is fine, but i'm thinking that you'll have luggage). You mentioned traveling on down to Beaumont...the station/rental agencies are located very convenient to I-20 East, which you can take to US 287 which connects you to I-45 and the shot down to Beaumont. Maybe a bit farther than Dallas, but still an easy drive.

I envy you...wish I was making this trip!
 
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AmtrakCrescent20

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Messages
232
Both DART light rail lines stop directly in the station, and several bus lines leave from outside the station. You can also take TRE commuter rail between Dallas Union Station(Amtrak station) and the Ft. Worth station.

This is sort of off topic, but Union Station is a good railfan location, with the Texas Eagle, Dart rail, TRE, and UP tracks passing the station. When I was there, wandered all around the 3 platforms without a ticket, including taking several photographs of the Eagle and other trains.

Finally, if you have time, you can visit the Reunion tower, which is right behind the station, accesible via a tunnel. From the outdoor observation deck, you have a great view of downtown Dallas, Union Station, and all the other rail operations in the area!
 

VentureForth

Conductor
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
5,857
Location
Richmond Hill, GA
If you're looking for an eclectic place to stay, you may want to consider the Magnolia Hotel, the Adolphus, or the Hotel Lawrence. In price, the Hotel Lawrence is the least expensive of the three and you can probably get a view of the tracks from your room. Of course, Union Station is in the way. The Magnolia Hotel is midrange (for downtown hotels) and is very nicely appointed. Finally, the Adolphus is a landmark hotel, featuring the replaced historical Mobil Pegasus on it's top - the symbol of Dallas. That is probably the most luxurious of the three mentioned. All three feature early 1910's to 1920's architecture with completely modern facilities.
 
G

Guest

Guest
You can take the Trinity Railway Express from Union Station in downtown Dallas to DFW Airport where you can rent a car. Or, you can take a DART business to the in-town airport, Love Field, and rent a car there.
 

printman2000

Conductor
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
3,753
Location
Amarillo, Texas
You can take the Trinity Railway Express from Union Station in downtown Dallas to DFW Airport where you can rent a car. Or, you can take a DART business to the in-town airport, Love Field, and rent a car there.
Just to clarify, you can take TRE to Centrepoint then take a shuttle bus to DFW. There is not a TRE stop at the airport.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
5
If you are a history buff. Dealy Plaza, Grassy Knoll, Tx book depository, etc is just a block north of Union Station.

Hertz actually list a location for 400 S Houston, but it's actually served by a location at 1200 Ross Ave (less then a mile away) However Hertz will reimburse cab fare with a receipt up to $5. After hours you can take a cab Love Field, they will reimburse up to $10 cab fare with receipt.
 

Bill631

Train Attendant
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
73
Many thanks to everyone for their info and suggestions on the Dallas station.

After reading all the comments, I will probably overnight in Dallas and head down to Beaumont early the next day. It seems there's a lot to see in Dallas, and since the TX Eagle gets in around noon, I probably wouldn't get on the road until early afternoon. Also, I'll probably be a bit tired after the long train trip from NY, so I figure it'll be better to overnight in Dallas and head out fresh the next morning.

So, my next thing to do is find a really good restaurant in downtoown Dallas for a good Texas-style meal-barbecue of course!!!

Thanks again.

Bill B)
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
5
Many thanks to everyone for their info and suggestions on the Dallas station.After reading all the comments, I will probably overnight in Dallas and head down to Beaumont early the next day. It seems there's a lot to see in Dallas, and since the TX Eagle gets in around noon, I probably wouldn't get on the road until early afternoon. Also, I'll probably be a bit tired after the long train trip from NY, so I figure it'll be better to overnight in Dallas and head out fresh the next morning.

So, my next thing to do is find a really good restaurant in downtoown Dallas for a good Texas-style meal-barbecue of course!!!

Thanks again.

Bill B)
Most of the resturants in downtown are located in the West End and in the new Victory development Its just a couple of blocks north on Houston St from the station, For a hotel the Hyatt Regency is right behind the station and would be the most convienient. There is actually a tunnel that runs from the station to the hotel that makes the tracks and platform accessible from either the station or the hotel. Its a full service hotel so the conceriege may even be able to arrange the car rental for you.
 
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Amtrak Watcher

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 1, 2002
Messages
482
Location
Texas
There is a Hertz phone in the Dallas station; it's on the Amtrak counter. Hertz brings the car to the sation for you.
 

Bill Haithcoat

Conductor
Honored Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Messages
4,031
Location
atlanta, georgia
Just out of curiosity, what does the Dallas station look like? Does it bear any resemblance to the old station from years ago? Similar location?

My sister used to live in Dallas, just before JFk was shot. Anything remain of that old station? And, for that matter,what about the Fort Worth station? Anything of that?
 
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daveyb99

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Messages
910
Location
Grapevine, TX
Just out of curiosity, what does the Dallas station look like? Does it bear any resemblance to the old station from years ago? Similar location?
My sister used to live in Dallas, just before JFk was shot. Anything remain of that old station? And, for that matter,what about the Fort Worth station? Anything of that?
The station is mostly empty last time I was there, except for track-side where DART, TRE and AMTRAK all have active platforms. City Buses stop out front. Amtrak has a small ticket office and waiting area inside, but the second floor --- I dont know. From old pictures, it looks very much the same, except for trackside, which has had the overhead walkways torn out. Trackside also includes two or three main through tracks, so you get to see a freight every now and then. Interestingly, the underground platform access still continues west into the Hyatt Hotel.

The old Santa Fe station in FTW has been remodeled into a party facility, and the new Intermodal Center is just a block north. At the Center is AMTRAK, TRE, City Bus, Greyhound. If you timing is right, you can see #21, #22 and #821, plus a TRE in station all at the same time....
 

jphjaxfl

Conductor
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Messages
1,237
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Just out of curiosity, what does the Dallas station look like? Does it bear any resemblance to the old station from years ago? Similar location?
My sister used to live in Dallas, just before JFk was shot. Anything remain of that old station? And, for that matter,what about the Fort Worth station? Anything of that?
Hi Bill:

I believe Dallas Union Station was bulit in the early 1920s and is still a viable station today with Amtrak, Trinity Railway Express Commuter Trains and Dart Light Rail cars all using the tracks through the Station. The station has been updated to a certain extent. Both Union and the art deco T&P stations in Fort Worth still exist. Trinity Railway Express uses the T&P station. This station was once the headquaters for the T&P railroad and has an office building connected with it.
 

gswager

Conductor
Joined
Aug 22, 2002
Messages
2,871
Location
Portales, NM
I've been at Dallas Union Station once. It's an unusual layout, in my own opinion. It's a "L" shaped building. One side is offices, waiting room, etc. and other one is walkway underground with tracks overhead.

It's a busy station and a starting point for tourists such as flowers, JFK's day of tragedy, musuem, observation tower, etc.
 

George Harris

Conductor
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,027
Location
now in California
Just out of curiosity, what does the Dallas station look like? Does it bear any resemblance to the old station from years ago? Similar location?
My sister used to live in Dallas, just before JFk was shot. Anything remain of that old station? And, for that matter,what about the Fort Worth station? Anything of that?
For Dallas: I worked there 1986-1988 and was downtown riding around the DART about 2 years ago:

The main station building is still there as was earlier, but the use is not the same. The overhead concourse that was there in the 60's or earlier is gone. The waiting room and ticket counter are on the ground floor and access to the tracks is by an underground walkway off the south end of the waiting room area. In 1988 only the outer two station tracks and one platform remained. I believe these were 9 and 10. The area between there and the station building was used for parking.

My two year ago visit: They have built two new platforms and one new station track plus the two DART tracks. So, now you have from the main track side going back toward the station:

Tk 10 |platform| Tk 9, Tk 8 (TRE) |platform| DART Tk, DART Tk, |platform

There is still parking of some sort between this last platform and the station building.

You can walk across the DART tracks at grade. There is a cute little set of flashers at least at one of these crossings.

George
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
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The old Union Station is still there and gets a lot of use by the TRE, DART, and Amtrak.





The waiting/ticket area at ground level is nothing special but Nobody has mentioned the upstairs. The staircase/escalators are at the south end of the building by the tunnel entrance.


The former Grand Hall upstairs is used as a rental for banquets, weddings, etc



Tunnel between hotel/platforms/station

 

Bill Haithcoat

Conductor
Honored Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Messages
4,031
Location
atlanta, georgia
Thanks for all the responses to my old-timer questions. Thanks for the great photos. Guess I need to get to Dallas one of these days!!

Brings back a lot of pre-Amtrak memories of the two tone blue Texas Eagle. And a few other trains as well, such as the Texas Chief(which survived the first few years of Amtrak). .

One interesting move some would appreciate was a through Dallas to LA sleeper. It would run from Dallas to El Paso on the Texas Eagle or other train, and then from El Paso to LA on the Sunset Limited (which we all know) or other trains. I remember how invitng it looked sitting there in the station before departure---- all cool and comfortable----- on boiling hot Texas mornings.
 
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printman2000

Conductor
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
3,753
Location
Amarillo, Texas
I have been to the Dallas station many times and have never seen those big staircases nor the upstairs. Next time I am there I am going to have to search around more.

The lobby of the station is pretty sparse and unimpressive.
 

George Harris

Conductor
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,027
Location
now in California
I have been to the Dallas station many times and have never seen those big staircases nor the upstairs. Next time I am there I am going to have to search around more.
The lobby of the station is pretty sparse and unimpressive.
In the past when you walked up those stairs, the concourse over the tracks was straight in front of you through the doors you see in the background of the picture. I am not sure that the doors you see in the picture are even real doors, as the overhead concourse is gone, replaced by the tunnel under the tracks. I walked to the top of the stairs in 1987 or thereabouts, but the big room was blocked off at the time I did it.

George
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
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Here's an old postcard that shows the old concourse and stairs to the trains at the rear of the station. I've been told the original design was that the ground floor was designed for baggage and freight. passengers traffic would go up the stairs to the concourse or wait in the grand hall.

 

George Harris

Conductor
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,027
Location
now in California
Thanks much for that postcard. Beautiful. At the very bottom of the picture looks like the end of a viaduct starting up to go over the tracks. This should be in the place of one of the streets of the current Triple Underpass.

I've been told the original design was that the ground floor was designed for baggage and freight. passengers traffic would go up the stairs to the concourse or wait in the grand hall.
I believe that this is correct.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
5
The Hotel Jefferson that is pictured on the left of that old postard and accross the street from the station is still in existence. Although it's been through several incarnations throughout the years it's been restored and currenlty open as the Hotel Lawrence. New life for the old railroad hotel

Hotel Lawrence website
 
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