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Taking Crescent to Huntsville, which station is best?


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#1 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 08:06 AM

I am planning a trip to Huntsville, AL, from DC, and since there is no Amtrak station for Huntsville, I was wonder which station would be the best to use? Is there one station that has better "connections" to continue onto Huntsville than another?

Is there anyone who has actually gone to Huntsville using Amtrak, and can share their experiences?

#2 lepearso

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 09:19 AM

Turns out, I live only 50 miles north of Huntsville!

In terms of driving distance, the station at Anniston is about 30-40 miles closer to Huntsville than Birmingham is. However, if you travel on to Birmingham, you have much easier access to rental cars and bus service. Greyhound operates a route directly from Birmingham to Huntsville with several daily departures.

Let me know if you need any further travel advice. I'm very familiar with the area and with both Amtrak stations.

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#3 TVRM610

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 11:25 AM

just to add my experience, I've ridden the Crescent from ATL to Birmingham and back a few times since it makes a nice day trip for me. The Greyhound station is within walking distance of the Amtrak Station in Birmingham, but they are also not exactly right next door either (about 5 blocks I think). Unfortunately the Bus station in BHM is much much nicer than the Amtrak station, which lives in some sort of factory.

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#4 George Harris

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 08:22 PM

Do not know what bus service there is from Atlanta to Huntsville, but you might want to consider it. However, there are several disadvantages and only one advantage.

The one advantage is the 4 hour eariler arrival in Atlanta when coming from DC.

The disadvantages are:
Distance between bus station and train station.
What is the bus service? Any direct? Change at Chattanooga? None?

#5 MattW

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 08:44 PM

I looked at Greyhound and there is a route from Atlanta-Huntsville but it requires a transfer in Birmingham. Me personally, i'd just stay on the train to Birmingham and go direct to Huntsville. The closest BHM-Huntsville bus to the train arrival is 13:00 well after 19 pulls in. Anniston puts you on the same bus as the one from Atlanta with a transfer at Birmingham.
If you use the bus Greyhound's the only carrier I could find for Alabama.
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#6 saxman

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 08:47 PM

Unless you have someone to pick you up in Anniston, AL, Birmingham looks like your best choice. In checking Greyhound schedules, it looks like there are 4 daily buses to Huntsville. The train will arrive in time for the 5:15 pm bus. There's also a 7:15 bus. I also check into leaving from Atlanta on the bus, but all the schedules had you transferring at Birmingham anyways. So may as well use Birmingham. It would also have better rental cars there too.

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#7 George Harris

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 12:33 AM

Bus Atlanta to Huntville AL by way of Birmingham? That is major league round about. makes me suspect that there is no longer any east west service Memphis to Chattanooga on US 72.

#8 MattW

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 11:16 AM

Nope, anything Chattanooga to Huntsville OR Memphis requires a transfer at Nashville.
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#9 Bill Haithcoat

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 03:40 PM

Nope, anything Chattanooga to Huntsville OR Memphis requires a transfer at Nashville.


Then all hands up who want us to bring back the old pre-Amtrak "Ternnssean". :) :rolleyes: :blink:


That actually would get our guest all the way from DC to Huntsville. Or the Birmingham Special changing in Chattanooga to the local #35,36. In fact that would have more convenient times in Huntsville.

Guest, guest...I am just dreaming----- these trains have been gone for years.. :)

#10 George Harris

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 09:33 PM

Then all hands up who want us to bring back the old pre-Amtrak "Ternnssean". :) :rolleyes: :blink:

That actually would get our guest all the way from DC to Huntsville. Or the Birmingham Special changing in Chattanooga to the local #35,36. In fact that would have more convenient times in Huntsville.

Guest, guest...I am just dreaming----- these trains have been gone for years.. :)

Count me as having both hands up. For a simple number of trips, my multiple round trips between Memphis and Knoxville were the largest single part of my train riding milage for a long time.

Unfortunately, reality prevails. There is simply no market for a train with an average end to end speed of around 35 mph when the route is paralleled by roads permitting 70 mph plus. Unless someone is ready to spend megabucks to straighten out the curvaceousness between Chattanooga and Lynchburg anything much faster is not really practical. I got a look at an employee timetable on one of my trips in something like 1965 and it said Passenger train speed limit Bristol to Chattanooga, 80 mph, but when you then turned to speed restricted on curves between milepost and milepost, you found that there were no gaps in the list. In fact, a few miles at 65 mph was the best there was and almost all was really at 55 mph or less, with large chunks of 40 mph and 45 mph. West of Chattanooga, the passenger limit was 70 mph, and a good bit of the line was actually good for it, but there were still lots of slow curves. Remember, the entire route predates the War. (The War Between the States, that is.)

Edited by George Harris, 10 December 2008 - 11:30 PM.


#11 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 10:59 PM

As I read this, Chattanooga Choo Choo is playing. Oh the irony.
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