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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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The Return Of The Grand Train Station


Los Angeles Union Station LA Weekly

In 1939, what is considered the last great train station to be built in the US opened in Los Angeles. World War 2, and the rapid postwar decline of passenger rail ended a glorious streak of great train terminals that gave us Union Station in Cincinnati and 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Postwar train stations were decidedly smaller, less grand, and in the case of Penn Station in New York, horrific replacements of once great terminals.

No longer.

Plans for new, bold train terminals are being developed in cities across the US evoking an age when rail dominated American travel while looking forward to future innovations such as high speed rail.

Here are some of the more notable new grand train stations:

Washington DC Union Station


Proposed expansion by BeyondDC, on Flickr

A $7 billion redevelopment of the existing Union Station with a modern, multilevel addition to accomodate Amtrak HSR.


Proposed expansion by BeyondDC, on Flickr


Seattle King Street Station

Another major redevelopment of an existing rail terminal and the blocks around it.


King Street Station, Seattle by BeyondDC, on Flickr


King Street Station renovation sign, Seattle by BeyondDC, on Flickr


New York Moynihan Station


NYC Moynihan Station proposal by BeyondDC, on Flickr

A new public train station to be located in the former James A. Farley Post Office adjacent to Penn Station on the west side of Manhattan.





Denver Union Station



A redevelopment of the historic Denver Union Station with intermodal rail and transit facilities. Currently under construction.


http://denverinfill.com/blog/2010/05/union-station-plan-commuter-rail.html


http://buildipedia.com/in-studio/urban-planning/denvers-union-station-gets-a-facelift


Atlanta Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal

A new intermodal rail terminal for Amtrak and local MARTA rail.


Atlanta MMPT by BeyondDC, on Flickr


Atlanta MMPT by BeyondDC, on Flickr


Miami Central Station

Another multi-modal terminal integrating Amtrak with local rail.


Miami Central Station by BeyondDC, on Flickr


Miami Central Station by BeyondDC, on Flickr


Charlotte Gateway Station

A new station integrating Amtrak service with local rail.


Charlotte Gateway Station by BeyondDC, on Flickr


Charlotte Gateway Station by BeyondDC, on Flickr


St. Paul Union Depot


Saint Paul by BeyondDC, on Flickr

A renovation of a historic train station for Amtrak and local transit.


Saint Paul by BeyondDC, on Flickr


Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center

A 4 block redevelopment surrounding an existing historic train terminal that adds multi-modal capability and connects rail passengers with Jacksonville's convention center.


Jacksonville by BeyondDC, on Flickr


Jacksonville by BeyondDC, on Flickr


Jacksonville by BeyondDC, on Flickr


Sacramento Station

A new station for California High Speed Rail.


Sacramento HSR by BeyondDC, on Flickr


Sacramento HSR by BeyondDC, on Flickr


http://denverurbanism.com/San Jose Diridon StationSan Jose Diridon Station


San Jose Diridon Station by BeyondDC, on Flickr

A major new multi-modal CAHSR rail Terminal.


San Jose Diridon Station by BeyondDC, on Flickr


San Jose Diridon Station by BeyondDC, on Flickr


Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center


http://voiceofoc.org/oc_north/article_19bd7cac-cda1-11df-892e-001cc4c03286.html?mode=image


http://www.architypereview.com/17-t...anaheim-regional-transportation-intermodal-ce

A new multi-modal terminal for CAHSR in Anaheim.


http://www.architypereview.com/17-t...onal-transportation-intermodal-ce/description


Fresno Southern Pacific Station


Fresno existing by BeyondDC, on Flickr

A new room in a historic train station for the fast-growing city of 500,000.


Fresno HSR by BeyondDC, on Flickr


San Francisco Transbay Center


SF Transbay Terminal by BeyondDC, on Flickr

A massive multi-modal redevelopment of a key site south of Market St. for CAHSR and BART. Currently under construction.


SF Transbay Terminal by BeyondDC, on Flickr


SF Transbay Terminal by BeyondDC, on Flickr


SF Transbay Terminal by BeyondDC, on Flickr


Los Angeles Union Station

Lastly, Los Angeles Union Station, the last great train station built in the US is due for a major expansion for HSR.


LA concept by BeyondDC, on Flickr


LA concept by BeyondDC, on Flickr

A final design with specifications is to be determined later.


Moynihan Station, NYC

The on-again, off-again proposal to replace Penn Station.


http://gothamist.com/2008/03/05/moynihan_statio_5.php
 

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I think the Los Angeles Expansion and the surrounding area will never happen. It look good but the costs and the weak economy hold this plan back for a long time :-(
 

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Oh No He Didn't
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To be sure, some of these won't come to pass but some of them will. As the US evolves to having more urban communities and Interstates become more congested and costly, the ROI for rail will improve and its use in the States will grow. Having more attractive and highly functional stations that endear themselves to users will help the cause.

The biggest thing the US can do right now is to chip away at the performance issues of the existing rail structure. Find all the spots we can cheaply double-track and straighten routes so that it doesn't take 10 hours to get from Atlanta to DC. In my lifetime rail won't challenge air service in the States for real long distances, but it should be able to compete more effectively with car travel for mid-range options. Anytime your flight involves more time in the airports and on the tarmac as opposed to actually flying, something in that 1-300 miles range, rail should be a strong consideration due to cheaper costs.

If we can at least link up the eastern and western seaboards as well as the rust belt with a faster and more efficient service that would go a long way in this country.
 

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Love me, love my dog...
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To be sure, some of these won't come to pass but some of them will. As the US evolves to having more urban communities and Interstates become more congested and costly, the ROI for rail will improve and its use in the States will grow. Having more attractive and highly functional stations that endear themselves to users will help the cause.

The biggest thing the US can do right now is to chip away at the performance issues of the existing rail structure. Find all the spots we can cheaply double-track and straighten routes so that it doesn't take 10 hours to get from Atlanta to DC. In my lifetime rail won't challenge air service in the States for real long distances, but it should be able to compete more effectively with car travel for mid-range options. Anytime your flight involves more time in the airports and on the tarmac as opposed to actually flying, something in that 1-300 miles range, rail should be a strong consideration due to cheaper costs.

If we can at least link up the eastern and western seaboards as well as the rust belt with a faster and more efficient service that would go a long way in this country.
Good points...it takes 5 hours to get from Atlanta to Charlotte on Amtrak, but I can drive it in 3.
 

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Oh No He Didn't
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To be sure, some of these won't come to pass but some of them will. As the US evolves to having more urban communities and Interstates become more congested and costly, the ROI for rail will improve and its use in the States will grow. Having more attractive and highly functional stations that endear themselves to users will help the cause.

The biggest thing the US can do right now is to chip away at the performance issues of the existing rail structure. Find all the spots we can cheaply double-track and straighten routes so that it doesn't take 10 hours to get from Atlanta to DC. In my lifetime rail won't challenge air service in the States for real long distances, but it should be able to compete more effectively with car travel for mid-range options. Anytime your flight involves more time in the airports and on the tarmac as opposed to actually flying, something in that 1-300 miles range, rail should be a strong consideration due to cheaper costs.

If we can at least link up the eastern and western seaboards as well as the rust belt with a faster and more efficient service that would go a long way in this country.
Well a few examples such as Moynihan Station in NYC and Union Station in DC, I can see being funded and expanded eventually because there is already tremendous support for passenger rail/public transit in those areas (plus they have the highest Amtrak ridership as well), Miami Central Station in Miami and Union Station in Denver is already being worked on as I write this, but with the problems related to the California High Speed Rail among other projects and the lackluster support in congress makes me think that the other proposals won't come into fruitation, hopefully I am wrong but from what I am seeing there is still tremendous backlash over building/expanding passenger rail/public transit in this country.
 

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centralnatbankbuildingrva
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Well a few examples such as Moynihan Station in NYC and Union Station in DC, I can see being funded and expanded eventually because there is already tremendous support for passenger rail/public transit in those areas (plus they have the highest Amtrak ridership as well), Miami Central Station in Miami and Union Station in Denver is already being worked on as I write this, but with the problems related to the California High Speed Rail among other projects and the lackluster support in congress makes me think that the other proposals won't come into fruitation, hopefully I am wrong but from what I am seeing there is still tremendous backlash over building/expanding passenger rail/public transit in this country.
Most of that is from The Far Right, Airlines, Oil companies, and car companies whining about how they wont be making as much money from trashing the environment and building unsustainable crap.
 
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In Search of Sanity
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To be sure, some of these won't come to pass but some of them will. As the US evolves to having more urban communities and Interstates become more congested and costly, the ROI for rail will improve and its use in the States will grow. Having more attractive and highly functional stations that endear themselves to users will help the cause.
For those who don't know it already, the San Francisco TransBay Terminal (shown above) is currently under construction and has been for a year and a half or so. It's a huge project so it won't be finished for another 5 years give or take. Here's a construction cam: http://transbaycenter.org/construction-updates/construction-cameras/beale-camera

As to the rest of what you said, I mostly agree. However in CA on the LA to SF route, HSR makes eminent sense because both the highways and the airports (at least SFO) are near capacity and really can't be expanded much while a good chunk of the traffic is between the northern and southern metropolises. By the time the project could be finished, it will badly needed even though a lot of NIMBYs refuse to believe that now.
 

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In Search of Sanity
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problems related to the California High Speed Rail
Tell me again which other HSR project in the US already has over $12 billion of funding in hand (approx $3.6 billion from the Feds and over $9 billion from the state).

Yes, we are a litigious state and law suits bloom over anything we do. But this one is moving forward in fits and spurts. The CalTrain route (SF to San Jose) WILL be electrified and made suitable for HSR to use. The portion of the route in the Central Valley will soon get started. And if the hardest/costliest parts of the route--through the mountains--don't get built right away, it won't be that long before the need for them is undeniable.
 

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Oh No He Didn't
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Tell me again which other HSR project in the US already has over $12 billion of funding in hand (approx $3.6 billion from the Feds and over $9 billion from the state).
Easy, The Northeast Corridor with several projects underway to increase speeds on the New Brunswick-Trenton segment from 125mph to 160mph in addition to the Gateway Project and new stations in Baltimore and Philadelphia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_Corridor

Plus the main difference between the Northeast Corridor and the other projects is that you even have the oppostion party and business interests supporting it.

Yes, we are a litigious state and law suits bloom over anything we do. But this one is moving forward in fits and spurts. The CalTrain route (SF to San Jose) WILL be electrified and made suitable for HSR to use. The portion of the route in the Central Valley will soon get started. And if the hardest/costliest parts of the route--through the mountains--don't get built right away, it won't be that long before the need for them is undeniable.
Like I said before I do hope it does get built but with the lawsuits, rising costs, etc I am just wondering how voters react when so far the only visible piece that is being constructed is in the Central Valley with the more crucial segments such as Anaheim-Los Angeles being delayed (therefore likely killing the project). Like I said before I will believe it when I see it, but I am not going to hold my breath if the latter still has a likely chance to occur.
 

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In Search of Sanity
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Easy, The Northeast Corridor with several projects underway to increase speeds on the New Brunswick-Trenton segment from 125mph to 160mph in addition to the Gateway Project and new stations in Baltimore and Philadelphia.
That has how much in funding in the bank? I'm not interested in plans that may never happen. Once again, the CA project has the money and is about to turn dirt.

Of course the Northeast Corridor isn't genuine 200+ mph HSR anyway and may never be because of the near impossibility of straightening the right of way and other issues through very high density nearly the whole route. Even in Europe and Asia, they don't run at the highest speeds through urban areas.
 

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In Search of Sanity
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more crucial segments such as Anaheim-Los Angeles being delayed (therefore likely killing the project). Like I said before I will believe it when I see it, but I am not going to hold my breath if the latter still has a likely chance to occur.
The crucial segment is SF to LA and the Central Valley is part of that. If and when that happens, the rest is an "expansion" that become almost inevitable.
 

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Oh No He Didn't
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That has how much in funding in the bank? I'm not interested in plans that may never happen. Once again, the CA project has the money and is about to turn dirt.

Of course the Northeast Corridor isn't genuine 200+ mph HSR anyway and may never be because of the near impossibility of straightening the right of way and other issues through very high density nearly the whole route. Even in Europe and Asia, they don't run at the highest speeds through urban areas.
The upgrade to the New Brunswick-Trenton segment of the NEC is already taking place and the project has the backing of both the state and federal government and even got a cash infusion when Florida Gov. Rick Scott turned down HSR for Florida.

NJ.com: Feds steer $450M to N.J. for high-speed rail

For more details you can give Nexis a PM since he is more knowlegeble on the various rail projects taking place there then I am.
 

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In Search of Sanity
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The upgrade to the New Brunswick-Trenton segment of the NEC is already taking place and the project has the backing of both the state and federal government and even got a cash infusion when Florida Gov. Rick Scott turned down HSR for Florida.

NJ.com: Feds steer $450M to N.J. for high-speed rail
The Feds "steered" a couple of BILLION to CA HSR, some of which was also rejected by Scott. You still haven't shown me more than $12 billion cash in hand for northeast HSR, even at not-quite-HSR speeds, and the reason probably is that no state there has made the commitment CA has. Christie, of course, even rejected the new rail tunnel.

But my point here isn't really a contest between parts of the country. You implied the stations wouldn't happen because HSR in CA was in trouble a la Florida or Wisconsin. While it is NOT in that kind of trouble, the stations don't even really depend on HSR. The San Francisco station, for example, began as a project to bring CalTrain commuter service closer to downtown to a multi-modal location (BART/MUNI Metro will be connected by a block-long tunnel and busses will use the building). Most of the other CA stations are also not dependent on HSR because they are still valid projects combining other rail service with non-rail modes.
 

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Thank goodness the Feds took HSR from WI and FL, and give them to other states who are willing to invest in their future instead of putting them into waste by their stupidity.
 

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Good points...it takes 5 hours to get from Atlanta to Charlotte on Amtrak, but I can drive it in 3.
It's annoying as Hades. Last I checked there are 8 major points where the DC-ATL corridor could be straightened in (comparably) low-cost rural areas that would shave up to 3.5 hours off the trip without needing HSR speeds. Making that run and the connection to burgeoning Charlotte much faster would go a long way to making rail more attractive in ATL. Eventually runs to NO, Savannah and Orlando should be goals, as well, given the distances and their popularity. I'd use the Savannah run 2+ times per year for work, alone.

Most of that is from The Far Right, Airlines, Oil companies, and car companies whining about how they wont be making as much money from trashing the environment and building unsustainable crap.
It hasn't helped that the federal government doesn't have a functional national-level transportation management plan, and that rail advocates haven't effectively illustrated how much roads and air travel are subsidized. Like Neural connections or arteries, if we don't find ways to continuously make our infrastructure stronger then the system will simply grow more congested and prone to failures.

However in CA on the LA to SF route, HSR makes eminent sense because both the highways and the airports (at least SFO) are near capacity and really can't be expanded much while a good chunk of the traffic is between the northern and southern metropolises. By the time the project could be finished, it will badly needed even though a lot of NIMBYs refuse to believe that now.
Agreed. I think the connection to Vegas would also prove a wise economic investment. Would love to see HSR throughout, but at the least we need to make the current model much, much better. I don't need to go from ATL to NYC in 4 hrs, but I sure as hell don't find 14 all that feasible. So as the costs and hassle of air travel keep going up, that simply means more cars on the road or less travel all together.
 

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Thank goodness the Feds took HSR from WI and FL, and give them to other states who are willing to invest in their future instead of putting them into waste by their stupidity.
Devil's advocate: If one or both of those runs had proven successful it might have turned the tide of opinion without deeply-rooted anti-transit communities.

- - - -

I do think generally that HSR is one of the classic cases of Government stupidty via high funded "studies!" Last I checked some $2.3B has been spent on various logistical analyses of whether or not HSR could work here or there. Well last I checked all the core destinations are cities that aren't going anywhere, and almost exclusively to established stations that aren't going anywhere. Make Amtrack and it's partners maintain their routine planning and then use that funding to keep going out and improving the network one increment at a time.

And I say this as a practicing city planner. Preparation is good, but sometimes the resources are better spent focusing on the actual product.
 

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In Search of Sanity
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Devil's advocate: If one or both of those runs had proven successful it might have turned the tide of opinion without deeply-rooted anti-transit communities.

- - - -

I do think generally that HSR is one of the classic cases of Government stupidty via high funded "studies!" Last I checked some $2.3B has been spent on various logistical analyses of whether or not HSR could work here or there. Well last I checked all the core destinations are cities that aren't going anywhere, and almost exclusively to established stations that aren't going anywhere. Make Amtrack and it's partners maintain their routine planning and then use that funding to keep going out and improving the network one increment at a time.

And I say this as a practicing city planner. Preparation is good, but sometimes the resources are better spent focusing on the actual product.
I think CA HSR really doesn't fit this view.

First of all, the new SF station is in the center of downtown where the existing train line doesn't go (a new tunnel will be dug).

Second, the existing AMTRAK train to LA doesn't even come to SF--it comes to Emeryville across the Bay and you have to take a bus to catch it. Once you do, it's hopelessly slow, earning the nickname "Coast StarLATE"--it takes about 12 hours vs 2.5 or so for HSR. It's so bad most people who just want to get to LA preferentially take the inland route ("San Joaquin") that involves another bus ride between Bakersfield and downtown LA.

The reason the existing options are so bad is mountains. Fixing things involves digging new tunnels and that is the principle cost and difficulty of HSR also. If we are going to dig tunnels, they might as well be for HSR.
 

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centralnatbankbuildingrva
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It hasn't helped that the federal government doesn't have a functional national-level transportation management plan said:
Though If it fails, then people may realize how much they will need Eco friendly light rail.
 
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