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 Post subject: Probably a Pipe Dream, But Who Knows?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:02 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
http://www.wgrz.com/news/passenger-trai ... /329359911


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 Post subject: Re: Probably a Pipe Dream, But Who Knows?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:22 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 895
I would recommend that any proponents of this idea ... and historic-preservation 'fellow travelers' ... start working up a full set of options and logistics for shuttle service, mass transit, easy cab or Uber access, etc. (including support for EV charging and autonomous vehicle access) for this location. Unless there is, at an absolute minimum, full, free, and convenient support for hotel courtesy-van or shuttle transport, the idea is a nonstarter.

I would also look carefully at the Texas and Florida high-speed rail development models to determine exactly what type and scope of PUD improvements to the 'surrounding area' need to be worked up, financed and permitted to jump-start an 'area revival', re-gentrification, or whatever that would go along with this. With respect to the terminal facility itself, there might be some useful object lessons in the project history and proposal for the Sears Crosstown building here in Memphis. I see little if any way that having Amtrak or other 'regional' service to the historic terminal will provide the necessary impetus by itself to improve much of anything ... and I also see that it would synergistically benefit the canalside project, and spending $25M on a brand-new architect-designed building in a showplace development is a far better, and politically safer, use of the available funding. It will take a great deal of good hard work coupled with professional competence to overcome that for a 'preservation-based' approach to work. Who here would be interested?

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 Post subject: Re: Probably a Pipe Dream, But Who Knows?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 3:35 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2076
Get the trains there and the rest will happen.


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 Post subject: Re: Probably a Pipe Dream, But Who Knows?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 4:48 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 329
I have been following this project for decades, their website formerly was up to date on all the volunteer projects, with comments from volunteers, but now is more like a city's tourism PR webpage and it is hard to find out what is being worked on and what needs to be done. There have been two main problems that have prevented a return to rail use in the past: first, where it is located, and second, just the vastness of the station, needing to heat it in a Buffalo winter for two trains a day, and the amount of repairs now required on the huge area to return it to use (the waiting room and baggage areas, absolutely gigantic, have never had any meaningful work after suffering from roof leaks and partially collapsing, and the station is cut off from the departure tracks because Conrail knocked down the bridge between the station and departure tracks to allow stack trains to pass through on the belt line). On the first issue, location, the NYC decided to locate Central Terminal in East Buffalo, away from downtown, thinking that Buffalo would one day be as big as, perhaps, NYC or Chicago, and when that didn't happen the station was located a bit far from downtown for convenience in the poorest, roughest part of Buffalo. A long in the works light rail line to the Buffalo airport and beyond would enormously rectify this problem, and the most logical place to put it would run right past the station on what I believe was the original West Shore main, now a street but a straight shot to downtown. The second issue could be solved by making better use of the station for both rail/commuter and non-rail uses and spreading out the costs of heating it, it would be a good place for interconnection between the Amtrak and possibly commuter trains, light rail to the airport and city transit, it has a tower that could become office space, the main terminal is currently used for events, they are looking into solar heating on the big baggage area roof, etc. I am crossing my fingers that Buffalo city leaders will get their act together, after fiddling like Nero while the station fell into disrepair and was looted by owners in the 80s and 90s, it really is a jewel.


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 Post subject: Re: Probably a Pipe Dream, But Who Knows?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5252
Location: southeastern USA
Consider it as a catalyst for redevelopment rather than a train station - prominent mention of an already in the works plan with a developer already signed on, adding the ability to get on and off a train. Sort of like the Cumbres and Toltec - an economic development project that also runs a preserved railroad. My fair city (fair despite recent events) has been planning its multimodal transporation terminal for years now, including busses, AMTRAK, light rail and streetcars - it will go exactly where the old Southern Railway station used to be before it was demolished about 60 years ago. Unfortunately all the renderings so far are modern ugly concrete crap, when if they started with the style of the historic structure it would brand the city nicely. We'll see..... it won't happen in the near future anyhow.

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 Post subject: Re: Probably a Pipe Dream, But Who Knows?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:38 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
The shuttle buses are easy. Amtrak already runs a bus network called Amtrak Thruway.

For instance Amtrak's San Francisco terminal is on the wrong side of the bay in a former industrial armpit* called Emeryville. Each of the 30 Capitols, 8 San Joaquins and 4 long haul trains, are met coming and going by one of those, whose sole job is hopping over the bridge and dropping people at CalTrain (another former industrial armpit* station), Moscone convention center, the downtown hotels, Fishermans Wharf hotels, and ferry terminal. As a result I could ticket directly from SFM to NYP and only have 12 blocks of walking between my house and Times Square.


* both EMY and Caltrain were surrounded by beat up industry and rough hewn neighborhoods with barred-window liquor stores and syringes and condoms in the gutters. CalTrain's area and the mile nearest EMY have had a renaissance with new tech industry, lofts and shopping.


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 Post subject: Re: Probably a Pipe Dream, But Who Knows?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:27 am 

Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:25 am
Posts: 84
Meanwhile, the suckers in Niagara Falls have a brand new $43M+, 22,000 square foot train station... that Amtrak can legally only lease 800 square foot of... IF they had a contract with the City of Niagara Falls, which they don't.

See page 46 of the October 2016 issue of Snailpace for an real eye-opener about that debacle.


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