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  #921  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2012, 7:06 PM
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then why the lack of underpasses? I noticed that the new Normal, IL intermodal station also will eventually be overpass, even though for some reason they are delaying its' construction. This while the interior of the station actually ramps UP to the platform! Why in the world couldn't have constructed an entrance to an underpass from inside the station itself, completely isolated from the weather. What a lost opportunity. It could have even had escalators or those inclined moving sidewalks you see oversees.

Is this just an issue of domestic architecture firms having no clue how to design train stations or is there just an across the board lack of vision amongst all parties when it comes to the most sensible station design. What I'm asking is, have any of these folks been oversees or even studied the design of a foreign train station?
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  #922  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2012, 7:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
^^ Funny you should mention that, Centropolis, as Alton is trying to do exactly this with their new station. Amtrak crawls across the industrial flats, so it is indeed more time-effective for St. Louisans to drive to Alton and catch a train to Chicago.
Yeah, the train is very slow from Alton to St. Louis, though, though I still prefer to take Metrolink in mid county to the downtown station, if leaving from my job on a Friday.

Last edited by Centropolis; Apr 12, 2012 at 8:08 PM.
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  #923  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2012, 7:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
then why the lack of underpasses? I noticed that the new Normal, IL intermodal station also will eventually be overpass, even though for some reason they are delaying its' construction. This while the interior of the station actually ramps UP to the platform! Why in the world couldn't have constructed an entrance to an underpass from inside the station itself, completely isolated from the weather. What a lost opportunity. It could have even had escalators or those inclined moving sidewalks you see oversees.

Is this just an issue of domestic architecture firms having no clue how to design train stations or is there just an across the board lack of vision amongst all parties when it comes to the most sensible station design. What I'm asking is, have any of these folks been oversees or even studied the design of a foreign train station?
There are pedestrian tunnels being built too. Check out the Fridley Station for the Northstar commuter rail. I think price affects what gets built more than anything else. And the site's geography probably affects the price the most.
http://www.northstartrain.org/station_fridley.html
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  #924  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2012, 8:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
then why the lack of underpasses? I noticed that the new Normal, IL intermodal station also will eventually be overpass, even though for some reason they are delaying its' construction. This while the interior of the station actually ramps UP to the platform! Why in the world couldn't have constructed an entrance to an underpass from inside the station itself, completely isolated from the weather. What a lost opportunity. It could have even had escalators or those inclined moving sidewalks you see oversees.

Is this just an issue of domestic architecture firms having no clue how to design train stations or is there just an across the board lack of vision amongst all parties when it comes to the most sensible station design. What I'm asking is, have any of these folks been oversees or even studied the design of a foreign train station?
A pedestrian bridge offers more of a landmark presence than an underpass - this gives the station some sense of place in a less frivolous way than a clock tower.

The underpass also usually requires a weekend shutdown of the rail line. If the freight railroad refuses a shutdown, then the overpass comes out as far cheaper than some complex construction staging to keep the rail line open.

Finally, there's a perception that underpasses are dank, damp, unpleasant, and prone to vandalism. Of course, if you've ever been to Amtrak's BWI station, you'd find that overpasses can have the same problems.

I should note that, in my experiences in Europe, the underpasses are usually at the same level as the station house, because when the rail line was originally built they either elevated it above the surrounding grade or depressed the whole area around the line.
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  #925  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 7:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centropolis View Post
Could the large size of the Dearborn station be due to the fact that it may be a main amtrak station for the entire Detroit area? I mean this doesn't scream "main terminal" in Detroit proper.
Already mentioned, but the station is a stop for Greenfield Village, a major tourist destination -- not to mention it's combining two existing stations -- and is an intermodal center.

BTW, though Dearborn is, indeed, a major stop in the Detroit area, the actual Detroit stop also has a plan for a new intermodal station near the existing station if they ever get the light rail, commuter rail, and high-speed connection worked out, which wuld probably increase its usage to at least that of Dearborn's.
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  #926  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 10:43 PM
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There is one rail station underpass being constructed in the Chicago area, at the 80th Avenue Metra-Rock Island station in Tinley Park.

The new station has just been completed, and the underpass should be finished by August.

Just wanted to throw that in.
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  #927  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 8:36 PM
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I was up in Milwaukee this weekend and decided to drive past the Talgo factory, and what do you know, I saw some of the new coaches sitting out back:

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  #928  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 8:52 PM
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Speaking of Talgo again...first the State cancels the maintenance base, and now the maintenance contract has been cancelled.

Quote:
State kills maintenance contract with Talgo

By Larry Sandler of the Journal Sentinel
April 15, 2012

State officials have canceled a $116 million maintenance contract with a Spanish-owned train manufacturer, escalating a political and legal dispute over two brand-new trains that already have cost the state $71.8 million.

In a letter terminating the contract, a state lawyer also claimed that the costs of testing the trains are rising and that federal officials have found the trains don't meet standards for accessibility to the disabled.

A spokeswoman for the manufacturer, Talgo Inc., denied the allegations and warned the cancellation could lead to legal action.
Link for the rest: http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepo...147526495.html
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  #929  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 8:53 PM
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Oh, I was wrong!

They're not rusting in a warehouse. They're rusting outside of a warehouse!
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  #930  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 9:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Oh, I was wrong!

They're not rusting in a warehouse. They're rusting outside of a warehouse!
Maybe Metra or IDOT should take them into protective custody.
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  #931  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2012, 12:59 AM
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New bi-levels coming to the Michigan Services by 2015:

Quote:
Michigan Amtrak routes get bi-level cars with wireless service in 2015

By David Shepardson | The Detroit News

April 23, 2012

Washington— Michigan's three Amtrak routes will get new, state-of-the-art, bi-level cars that will have wireless service, bicycle storage and more comfortable seats starting in 2015.

Almost 800,000 people rode an Amtrak train in Michigan in the 12-month-period ending Sept. 30, 2011 — the most in the state's history.

The cars will include café/lounge cars, business class cars, standard coaches and cab/baggage cars. The cars will increase seating capacity and will improve on-time performance, the Federal Railroad Administration said Friday.

Last year, Michigan won $106 million to buy 25 cars for use on Amtrak's Wolverine, Blue Water and Pere Marquette routes.

It's part of a $782 million award announced last year by the Transportation Department to buy domestically built passenger rail cars and locomotives that will travel in California, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Indiana and possibly Iowa.

On Friday, the Federal Railroad Administration and Michigan Department of Transportation announced they are seeking bids for U.S.-made rail cars for use in Michigan.

...
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  #932  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2012, 1:11 AM
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Unfortunately the design of these cars is very similar to Amtrak's California Cars, which are based on the Superliner, which are based on the Santa Fe's El Capitan cars dating back to 1955.

The Michigan Services already use Superliners, so visually there will be very little change from the existing cars. Hopefully Michigan at least follows on the white and maroon paint scheme of the Talgos. The paint scheme on California Cars is different than Amtrak's insipid red/white/blue scheme.

On the positive side, look at the nearly level boarding!


source
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  #933  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2012, 8:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Unfortunately the design of these cars is very similar to Amtrak's California Cars, which are based on the Superliner, which are based on the Santa Fe's El Capitan cars dating back to 1955.

The Michigan Services already use Superliners, so visually there will be very little change from the existing cars. Hopefully Michigan at least follows on the white and maroon paint scheme of the Talgos. The paint scheme on California Cars is different than Amtrak's insipid red/white/blue scheme.
The Michigan services primarily use single level Horizon cars. The Superliners, to the best of my knowledge, are used mostly in the winter during prolonged cold periods because the Horizons don't handle colder winter conditions very well.

The Superliners won't be used often for the Wolverine service because the cars are limited to 100 mph max speed. The Horizons can run up to 125 mph, so they will be used on the Wolverine service because of the 110 mph segments in MI. The new bi-level corridor cars are specified for 125 mph, so they won't have the speed limit constraints of the Superliner cars.

What is wrong with the bi-level cars? People will get a better view from the upper windows.
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  #934  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2012, 9:11 PM
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Would be awesome to see something like these Dutch Railway bi-levels working Michigan services, espcially in UMich colors. But since this is Michigan and Amtrak, I guess the loco hauled 50 year old superliner design will do.

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  #935  
Old Posted May 1, 2012, 3:36 AM
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St Paul Union Depot



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  #936  
Old Posted May 1, 2012, 1:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Would be awesome to see something like these Dutch Railway bi-levels working Michigan services, espcially in UMich colors. But since this is Michigan and Amtrak, I guess the loco hauled 50 year old superliner design will do.
Fuck UMich colors. The trains should be blue and white, like the state flag.
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  #937  
Old Posted May 1, 2012, 11:52 PM
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Fuck UMich colors. The trains should be blue and white, like the state flag.
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  #938  
Old Posted May 2, 2012, 2:19 AM
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Why does everyone assume that just because I curse I must be upset?
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  #939  
Old Posted May 2, 2012, 3:03 AM
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Why does everyone assume that just because I curse I must be upset?
Perhaps a lesson in connotation is in order.
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  #940  
Old Posted May 2, 2012, 3:13 AM
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Perhaps a lesson in connotation is in order.
You'd think if I was upset I would have used an exclamation point...
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