Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak stations’

Washington US Lounge To Close for Remodeling

December 29, 2022

Amtrak’s Metropolitan Lounge at Washington Union Station will close for renovation starting on Jan. 20.

Amtrak said the project will involve creating remodeled kitchenette space, redesigned conference rooms with new furniture; updated accent finishes at the entry and reception areas; refinished wall and floor treatments, new lighting, and expanded baggage storage spaces.

The service advisory did not say how much the project will cost or when it will be completed.

Rhinecliff Station Closed for Remodeling

December 22, 2022

The Amtrak station in Rhinecliff, New York, has been temporarily closed for remodeling.

In the meantime, Amtrak has located a temporary station in a trailer in the parking lot adjacent to the station building. The trailer includes an ADA accessible waiting area, restrooms and a ticket office.

The renovations include creating ADA compliant access and ticketing, updated restrooms and new HVAC, electric and plumbing systems.

There are no changes to access the platform, the parking lot entrance from Charles Street or the drop-off area there.

In a service advisory Amtrak said scheduled for Rhinecliff, which is served by Empire Corridor trains, remain unchanged.

Gulf Coast Service Expected to Start in 2023

December 19, 2022

Amtrak’s proposed service along the Gulf Coast is expected to launch next year although no date has been set.

News reports indicated the details of an agreement between Amtrak and its host railroads that will pave the way for the twice-daily service to begin remain confidential.

What is known is that Amtrak will pay for the creation of a station in Mobile, Alabama, the eastern terminus of the route. CSX is expected to pay to build a station track in Mobile so passenger trains are not blocking traffic on the mainline.

Amtrak wants to operate between New Orleans and Mobile on a route once used by the tri-weekly Sunset Limited.

The route will use tracks of Norfolk Southern and CSX with most of the route being on track of the latter. It is not yet clear if Amtrak plans to operate one a day or twice a day when it begins service next year between New Orleans and Mobile.

In a related development, the Southern Rail Commission is seeking a $179 million federal grant that would pay for part of the instructure work needed for the New Orleans-Mobile route to host passenger service.

The funds would come from the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement fund.

CSX is expected to pay almost $10 million toward matching the grant while the Alabama State Port Authority will contribute $750,000 and Amtrak will pay $6 million.

Grant funds will be used to pay for infrastructure work in 12 areas and include new switches and turnovers, siding extensions, crossovers, and station, yard, and crossing work.

That work is expected to take until 2026 to complete but Amtrak expects to be able to operate on the route during that time.

Once the infrastructure work is completed, the travel time between New Orleans and Mobile is expected to be 2 hours, 23 minutes.

Southbound Trains Bypassing Newark, Delaware Stop

December 9, 2022

Southbound Amtrak Northeast Corridor trains are temporarily bypassing the Newark, Delaware, station stop this weekend due to construction.

In a service advisory Amtrak said the station stairway is being repaired. The work does not affect northbound trains, which will continue to stop in Newark as scheduled.

The advisory said the service suspension is in effect through Dec. 11.

Train 193 will bypass Newark on Dec. 9 and discharge passengers at Wilmington. SEPTA Train 5227 will honor Amtrak tickets and accommodate Train 193 passengers traveling between Wilmington and Newark.

Trains 87 and 135 will bypass Newark station on Dec. 10 and 11 with no alternate transportation provided.

First Phase Completed of New Charlotte Station

December 9, 2022

The North Carolina Department of Transportation recently finished the first phase of construction of its new Gateway Station in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Amtrak sent a test train to the facility on Nov. 30 to test clearances of the boarding platforms.

An NCDOT spokesperson said the first phase of the project cost $86.38 million, which included $30 million from the federal government, $47,350,000 from the state, and $9,034,986 from the city of Charlotte.

The facility once complete will link Amtrak passengers with direct access to uptown Charlotte via  the CityLYNX Gold Line, bus routes, and other local transit.

The Gateway station is located near West Fourth Street and West Trade Street near the Greyhound Bus Station.

Amtrak now uses a station on North Tryon Street that is served by a single CATS bus route and has limited accessibility for pedestrians.

The $52 million second phase of the development of Gateway Station will be undertaken by the City of Charlotte.

Although no date has been given for completion of the second phase, a city spokesperson said officials want to see it completed “in the next few years.”

The second phase includes constructio0n of a multi-story, and multi-use building that will feature railroad operations in addition to space for retail, residential, commercial and dining accommodations.

Amtrak Station Briefs

December 5, 2022

The Amtrak station in Gallup, New Mexico, is closed and passengers no longer have access to the waiting room or restrooms.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said passengers can still reach the boarding platforms. The advisory did not provide a reason for the closure or say how long it would last.

The station closure began on Dec. 1. Gallup is served by Amtrak’s Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief.

Amtrak’s station in Palm Springs, California, continues to be hindered by high winds and sandstorms that cause sand drifts near the station.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said its trains may bypass Palm Springs, which is served by the tri-weekly New Orleans-Los Angeles Sunset Limited, when conditions there are hazardous.

Passengers bound for Palm Springs on days when Trains 1 and 2 bypass the station will instead be taken to the Ontario, California, station located 70 miles west of Palm Springs.

No alternate transportation between Ontario and Palm Springs will be provided.

Amtrak said it is working with host railroad Union Pacific to implement a long-term fix.

The Amtrak Thruway stop in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has been moved. The current location is the Hampton Roads Transit Center at 1912 Arctic Avenue.

The new location will be Parks Avenue and 19th Street near the Virginia Beach Convention Center. The bus shelter is located between 19th and 20th Streets.

USDOT Awarded Amtrak $4.3B This Fall

December 2, 2022

Amtrak was awarded $4.3 billion this fall by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which the agency described as “unprecedented funding.”

The funds are being used to modernize Amtrak rolling stock and stations. The latter largely involves bringing Amtrak stations into compliance with access standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

USDOT said much of the funding is coming from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act., which the agency said will allocate to Amtrak $22 billion over a five-year period. That legislation was approved in November 2021.

That money, USDOT said, will be used to bring 280 stations into compliance with the ADA and replace a fleet of 1,000 rail cars and locomotives.

Some of the new equipment is entering service this year and more than 525 new rail cars and locomotives will begin service by the end of the decade.

The USDOT news release said some funding will be used to work down an infrastructure maintenance backlog and to invest in modern technology systems.

Cities Eye, Support New Amtrak Service

November 29, 2022

Although there no plans yet by Amtrak to serve Madison, Wisconsin, and Vicksburg, Mississippi, both  cities are supporting bids to create Amtrak stations.

Officials in Madison said they will begin a study in early December that will identify potential station sites.

The study will be the subject of a meeting on Dec. 7 in the Madison Municipal Building at 4:30 p.m.

Madison officials noted that extending Hiawatha Service to Madison from Milwaukee is part of the Amtrak Connects US plan. They also cited funding allocated by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for new Amtrak service.

In Vicksburg the Board of Mayor and Alderman have approved a resolution supporting development of a new Amtrak route that would serve the city.

The route would link Meridian, Mississippi, with the Dallas-Fort Work region and is part of the Louisiana 2020 Rail Plan developed by the state’s department of transportation.

The state is seeking a federal grant that would fund development of the route.

Aside from Vicksburg, the proposed service would also serve Jackson and Monroe, Mississippi, and Shreveport, Louisiana.

Discussions of the service have focused on creating a section of the Crescent, which operates between New York and New Orleans.

LaPlata Station Renovations Completed

November 16, 2022

A ceremony held Nov. 13 in LaPlata, Missouri, marked the completion of a $6 million station rehabilitation project.

The former Santa Fe station, built in 1887, is now accessible under ADA standards. LaPlata in northern Missouri is served by the Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief.

During the project the station received new windows, bricks, roof, gutters and siding.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said pre COVID-19 pandemic ridership for Trains. 3 and 4 was 11,000 annually, which he said is 10 times the population of La Plata.

Officials said the station was last modernized in 1945 and the objective of the recent rehabilitation was to maintain that 1940s appearance.  

Renovations Set for Homewood Station

October 28, 2022

Chicago commuter rail operator Metra has awarded a contract to renovate a station in Homewood, Illinois, that also is used by Amtrak.

The $14.5 million went to IHC Construction Companies to make the station headhouse more accessible by installing an entrance ramp.

Other work will include rebuilding the boarding platforms and installing wind breaks, a warming house and gatehouse.

Workers will install new drainage, ventilation, lighting and interior features in the pedestrian tunnel and replace the elevator connecting the tunnel to the platform.

The work is expected to begin next spring and take two years to complete.

Homewood is served by Amtrak’s Chicago-Carbondale-New Orleans trains.