Raleigh-long ramp and no escalator to platform

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McLeansvilleAppFan

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Raleigh's new station has a long ramp to tunnel under one track. It is long and a bit steep but no problem for me. There is an elevator to get back up to the platform but I take the steps. What I noticed yesterday, and had never thought about it before, but there is no escalator to help those that may need the help to get back up to the platform. There is space by the steps for an escalator that can change directions as needed. Anyone know why this is the case. The station opened in 2018 so they have had time to install something.
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

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I thought that might be the answer. I think I read the platform had to be reworked as the slope was not good for wheelchairs, though that could have been on the contractor as a mistake they made and I may be misremembering that also. But I could see this fix being costly enough to change the budget for other issues.

Now there could be some supply chain issues. I work on a college campus and a parking deck has an elevator in need of repairs and has been out of service for months waiting no parts and the elevator in my building was also waiting for parts for a time. Lucky I don't need an elevator to move around floors.
 

John Bobinyec

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The platform, when constructed, did indeed have too steep a slope to the sides making it unsafe for wheelchairs. The crown of the platform had to be shaved down before the station could open.
jb
 

RebelRider

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They didn't have the money to put the escalator in at the time. What's taking so long now, I don't know.
jb

I believe a compounding factor was the Buy American provisions and that a domestic escalator was much more expensive than from a foreign manufacturer and that it wasn't budgeted accordingly.

There is also a space to add an escalator next to the steps at the east entrance. I suspect this thread will be revived in 10 years to lament the fact there are still no escalators in Raleigh.
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

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There is also a space to add an escalator next to the steps at the east entrance. I suspect this thread will be revived in 10 years to lament the fact there are still no escalators in Raleigh.
I assume you are talking about the east entrance to the actual station. I did sort of notice that as that was the way I arrived. What I did notice is the incorrect inspection sticker in the elevator that goes from the outside pavilion to the lower level at the east entrance. The original date was listed at 1918 instead of 2018. I took my chances and made it one and off that elevator. The other elevator up to the top observing deck was listed correctly at 2018.

The train was 90 minutes late so I had time to explore every nook and cranny, which was my plan. They have a nice little display about the history of Raleigh railroads on the lower level.
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

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As I was watching two trains arrive at Greensboro I was also watching the station agent switch the escalator from up to down movement. It took seconds but at Greensboro there are a lot of north-south meets with some wanting up and some wanting down. I guess at some point they could convert the steps to a second escalator and not have steps. It would have been more expensive to go ahead and make enough room for a 2nd escalator and Raleigh seems to have a bit narrower width than Greensboro at the stairwell shaft steps but if they ever need more up/down egress it is only going to be more expensive. Then again I am not sure if they could make this wider and not effect platform safety and then one has to consider the room for the actual rail line , which are three different lines merging and such right near the Greensboro station. I guess it is the best that can be done. At guess just having the escalator at Greensboro is pretty good considering what some stations have.
 

jpakala

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At KC and I'm sure some other places (even though they may be big) there are only an elevator and stairs. The vertical distance is not short, so the stairs are quite a hike and the elevator is not very fast and waiting is required to allow all passengers to reach the station (after then a lengthy covered walkway on the station level). Many choose the elevator owing to luggage they have or their age or condition even though they don't need a wheelchair or walker. At St. Louis there are stairs, elevator, and escalator.
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

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At KC and I'm sure some other places (even though they may be big) there are only an elevator and stairs. The vertical distance is not short, so the stairs are quite a hike and the elevator is not very fast and waiting is required to allow all passengers to reach the station (after then a lengthy covered walkway on the station level). Many choose the elevator owing to luggage they have or their age or condition even though they don't need a wheelchair or walker. At St. Louis there are stairs, elevator, and escalator.
I would love to see pictures of the inside of the station and the tunnel part of the Greensboro station from the 1930s or even the 1970s before the station closed for Amtrak in 1979. I am curious how they handled all of this but I guess it was one wide staircase. I am not even sure if an elevator was in place. All I have seen are external views of the front of the station. As a member of Carolina Assoc for Passenger Trains I did a tour around 2002 or so. At that point the great hall/waiting room had been redone and that, I think had stayed in use some for receptions after the closing in 1979 of the Amtrak station. We walked back to the tunnel area and baggage claim and at the time they were not sure if they were going to dig out the tunnel or not. From what I remember the tour guide said the tunnel had been filled in with dirt years before. The elevator may have only come about with the rebuilding to bring back Amtrak in 2005. Both the escalator and elevator are from the last few decades and not 100 years ago. There is a separate tunnel for baggage and those that need help getting to the platform via golf cart. It may have been both of those tunnels were open to passengers and one could take a ramp from the end of the tunnel to the platform or take some steps. Again I wish there were some pictures from decades ago.

The next station south is High Point. They dug a ditch to lower the tracks in the Depression as a jobs program from what I have been told. This is a smaller station and it is a good many steps to get down to track level but an escalator would be in the elements here more not hard to justify with the ridership when the elevator can handle those that need help with stairs. I think they have an elevator that may have been installed when this station was being redone, which was right around the time Greensboro redid their station.
 

Michigan Mom

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Interesting thread. I will be at the Raleigh station in the not too distant future so will pay closer attention to the facilities there.
 

John Bobinyec

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Interesting thread. I will be at the Raleigh station in the not too distant future so will pay closer attention to the facilities there.
Okay. As you enter the east end of the station (the end opposite the ticket windows) there is a set of stairs. Right next to them was a space for an escalator. And after going down the long ramp and underneath the tracks to go up to the platform you'll see another set of stairs, again with a space for an escalator right next to them.

jb
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

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Okay. As you enter the east end of the station (the end opposite the ticket windows) there is a set of stairs. Right next to them was a space for an escalator. And after going down the long ramp and underneath the tracks to go up to the platform you'll see another set of stairs, again with a space for an escalator right next to them.

jb
One thing about the east end of the station is that it can be avoided if you can't do steps but are capable of walking as the auto drop off area is at ground level to the ticket agent/seating/waiting area. Hopefully the escalator at the platform is a priority as that has not option beyond waiting on a small elevator or using the golf cart route (or just taking the stairs). This is a checked baggage stop so if one has a lot of large bags and do not need access to them then checking the bags will help some with the steps.
 
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