Ugliest and Soul-less Amtrak Stations Used in Metropolises Today

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VentureForth

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As a sister thread to Nostalgic and Historic Amtrak Stations Still Used Today, I would like to start one for ugly stations in Metro areas. I'm not going to define Metro areas. Like, I wouldn't want to include Longview, TX which is ugly and soul-less yet in a city of over 70,000. I'm thinking the NY Penn Stations, Jacksonville, FL, Charlotte, NC., etc. New Orleans. Houston. Heck. Maybe Longview does make the list after all.
 

coventry801

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1.New York Penn,
2.Philadephia 30th St.
Basically major stations with underground platforms and tracks but not having tall, spacious, stadium like headrooms. Not to mention artistic ceilings and walls.

Check out those subway stations in Moscow.
 
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Saddleshoes

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I wouldn't call it ugly but the St. Louis station is certainly soulless. It is practical and plain. It is attached to a "transportation center" where long distance buses as well as the St Louis metro transit system pick up riders.

Sadly, about 300 yards away is the stately, old St Louis Union station, built in 1897. It was once the busiest RR station in the world. Now Union Station is a ghost of it's old self which has been turned into an aquarium, mall, hotel, shops and other cheap entertainments. In the front of the station still shows the glory days of railroad travel. The front is still used as a hotel and they have saved much of the architectural jewels within the old station. NOW there is a old RR station with soul!!!
 

sttom

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I'd nominate the Vacaville, CA station for souless. It's basically the train version of a bus stop.
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

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I would nominate the new station in Raleigh
Raleigh needed more space for customers. and the new station has that. What it needs is a small convenience store and a restaurant as well. I can't remember how much free space is there but I seem to remember 2 or 3 rooms that could work. The soul of the building may not be railroads no more than Burlington, NC or Durham, NC have a railroad soul but there is some history in the building and that is nice. I don't know if was ever used much but did not the former station in Raleigh have a small room for 1st class passengers. It seems I was there some years ago and the door was open so I walked in and grabbed a newspaper. Maybe having that at the new station would be nice as there seems to be room.
 

Cal

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Agreed. Probably my favorite tied with Los Angeles Union Station. It was definitely my favorite when it still had the solari board.
LAUS is my closest big station, and while it is pretty, I find Chicago, Moynihan, DC, Seattle, Portland, and maybe even Boston better. The interior of the station close to wear baggage claim just isn't all that great.

I'd nominate the Vacaville, CA station for souless. It's basically the train version of a bus stop.
Looks like a nice, modern commuter stop. It might be empty but I don't think it belongs on this list.
 

crescent-zephyr

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LAUS is my closest big station, and while it is pretty, I find Chicago, Moynihan, DC, Seattle, Portland, and maybe even Boston better. The interior of the station close to wear baggage claim just isn't all that great.
Those stations are all worthy of the list but they don’t beat out LA for me.

LA, Denver and Philadelphia are probably my 3 favorite.
 

Devil's Advocate

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I wouldn't call it ugly but the St. Louis station is certainly soulless. It is practical and plain. It is attached to a "transportation center" where long distance buses as well as the St Louis metro transit system pick up riders. Sadly, about 300 yards away is the stately, old St Louis Union station, built in 1897.
There are lots of unattractive and impractical stations along the national network but for me the most disappointing examples are those that once featured elaborate headhouses that have since been destroyed or repurposed with rail passengers being redirected to rudimentary facilities. Not only have we lost a lot of our best architecture from the past but most of what we build today is probably not worth saving in the future.

I would like to start one for ugly stations in Metro areas. I'm not going to define Metro areas.
How does being inside or outside a "metro area" impact beauty or soullessness?
 
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flitcraft

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Tacoma has to be a contender. Not even any Wifi there! Especially ugly and soulless in contrast to the superb Tacoma Union Station, which at least did get preserved as a federal courthouse. It's worth a visit, if you're in the neighborhood--it has a spectacular Chihuly glass chandelier in the lobby area.

(I have a teeny tiny connection to that courthouse. When the building as being rehabbed into the courthouse, one of the judges asked me to come by and see how things were coming in the main courtrooms. I stood behind the podium, and you could barely see my eyebrows, it was so tall. The judge realized that lawyers come in all sizes, and ordered a special podium for each courtroom that can adjust up and down to fit the lawyers using it. As far as I know, this is the first such podium in a Washington state courtroom, although now the Seattle federal court and the Washington State Supreme Court has them, too. 🙂)
 

sttom

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Looks like a nice, modern commuter stop. It might be empty but I don't think it belongs on this list.
I consider "modern" commuter stops souless. Modern doesn't mean it looks good. I wouldn't consider a BART station good either. And that's basically what Vacaville station is.
 

VentureForth

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How does being inside or outside a "metro area" impact beauty or soullessness?
Just trying to weed out rural platforms. Idea being that major cities should have pride in their Amtrak stop but they don't. I brought this up here about a decade ago, where Brunswick, GA just built a beautiful airline terminal that at the time was used twice a day, three times a week. The projected usage was less than Savannah's Amtrak station... lonely and all but forgotten.
 
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Tlcooper93

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Second that. It's a pit
very unfamiliar with the area. What’s the station situation there? The old building seems really beautiful but there seems to be only 2 tracks active.

Is it kind of like Cincinnati but just with a separate “recently built” Amtrak room instead of the old station?
 

crescent-zephyr

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very unfamiliar with the area. What’s the station situation there? The old building seems really beautiful but there seems to be only 2 tracks active.

Is it kind of like Cincinnati but just with a separate “recently built” Amtrak room instead of the old station?
The old union station is now a crowne plaza hotel. Lovely hotel - I stayed there the night before I caught the Cardinal once.

On the opposite side of the former union station, the current Amtrak station is shared with a greyhound bus station. It feels like your in a prison. It’s really really bad. I’ve used it a few times because I loved riding the Hoosier State when Iowa Pacific owned it. It was so bad that when I got in at 11:50 Pm I didn’t even want to wait for an Uber and I would jump into the first cab I saw.
 

zephyr17

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very unfamiliar with the area. What’s the station situation there? The old building seems really beautiful but there seems to be only 2 tracks active.

Is it kind of like Cincinnati but just with a separate “recently built” Amtrak room instead of the old station?
It isn't in and is not connected to the old Indianapolis Union Station headhouse, which is beautiful.

It is on the other side of the railroad viaduct and across the street. It is a bus station carved out part of the old Railway Express Agency space. REA had access to the Union Station platforms and so does Amtrak, but that is the only thing of Union Station that Amtrak does use.

Think of the skeeviest Greyhound Station you've ever been in, because that is what it is.
 
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zephyr17

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It's cute - and it's heated unlike some small stations.
Do the tracks go anywhere closer to the town - aka, is there somewhere closer they can put the station to the town? If not, then, be glad they have a station nearby. :)
No. The line skirts the town to the north. The original line when straight through town basically where US 2 is now, but they relocated the line in the 1920s because it kept getting flooded out in Tumwater Canyon.

The station is entirely the town of Levanworth's doing. They fought hard for the stop and built that heated building for it. The addition of that stop is pretty recent.
 

AmtrakBlue

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No. The line skirts the town to the north. The original line when straight through town basically where US 2 is now, but they relocated the line in the 1920s because it kept getting flooded out in Tumwater Canyon.

The station is entirely the town of Levanworth's doing. They fought hard for the stop and built that heated building for it. The addition of that stop is pretty recent.
So, really, it doesn't belong in this thread then. It's not ugly and obviously it has the soul of the townspeople who wanted it. :)
 
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