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Possible Atlanta Union Station


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#1 battalion51

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 01:49 PM

I was watching the local news at Noon today (since Comcast is trying to fix my friggin HBO and OnDemand) when I saw a blurb about a proposal being pushed by the Regional Transportation Planners. They're pushing to build a station just south of the Georgia Dome on top of the existing NS tracks. The new station would connect the existing MARTA station at CNN Center/Philips Arena, Greyhound, Amtrak, and the proposed high speed rail. There is an open plot of land that the station could be built on. This location is right in the heart of downtown with close proximity to CNN Center, Centennial Park, the Georgia World Congress Center, and many of the downtown hotels, restaurants, and businesses. No price tag was given, but I'll be interested to see if this gets any traction (no pun intended).

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 02:25 PM

I was watching the local news at Noon today (since Comcast is trying to fix my friggin HBO and OnDemand) when I saw a blurb about a proposal being pushed by the Regional Transportation Planners. They're pushing to build a station just south of the Georgia Dome on top of the existing NS tracks. The new station would connect the existing MARTA station at CNN Center/Philips Arena, Greyhound, Amtrak, and the proposed high speed rail. There is an open plot of land that the station could be built on. This location is right in the heart of downtown with close proximity to CNN Center, Centennial Park, the Georgia World Congress Center, and many of the downtown hotels, restaurants, and businesses. No price tag was given, but I'll be interested to see if this gets any traction (no pun intended).


That's interesting. I recently heard that the Georgia Dome was nearing the "end of its time" (what a waste). Did they really call it Union Station? I'm not real fond of that area being someone's first glimpse of Atlanta. I still think the old GM plant at Doraville would be an excellent location for a new station.

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#3 AAARGH!

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 02:28 PM

That's interesting. I recently heard that the Georgia Dome was nearing the "end of its time" (what a waste). Did they really call it Union Station? I'm not real fond of that area being someone's first glimpse of Atlanta. I still think the old GM plant at Doraville would be an excellent location for a new station.

Jody

Huh? I thought the Georgia Dome wasn't 20 years old. How could it be anywhere near the end of its time?
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#4 wrjensen

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 02:34 PM

From the AJC:

ATL new station
Cost $300 M
Total Amtrak Miles: 9,197
Trains:SWC 5, NEC 12, LSL 1, Ann Rutledge 1,

#5 haolerider

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 02:56 PM

I was watching the local news at Noon today (since Comcast is trying to fix my friggin HBO and OnDemand) when I saw a blurb about a proposal being pushed by the Regional Transportation Planners. They're pushing to build a station just south of the Georgia Dome on top of the existing NS tracks. The new station would connect the existing MARTA station at CNN Center/Philips Arena, Greyhound, Amtrak, and the proposed high speed rail. There is an open plot of land that the station could be built on. This location is right in the heart of downtown with close proximity to CNN Center, Centennial Park, the Georgia World Congress Center, and many of the downtown hotels, restaurants, and businesses. No price tag was given, but I'll be interested to see if this gets any traction (no pun intended).

This concept has been studied for quite sometime now. The land is there and interestingly enough, it is the same site as one of the old passenger rail stations that was destroyed in the early 70s in the interest of urban renewal. While the Dorraville plant site would work for Amtrak, it is not centrally located and would not be a benefit for MARTA or any other passenger rail - i.e. Atlanta to Macon to Savannah. There is an issue with Amtrak getting into the downtown location and I can't recall if it has been solved yet. It involved a conflict with the proposed Beltline around Atlanta.

#6 TVRM610

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 03:26 PM

I too have heard about this idea for a few years. I think it is greatly needed. Atlanta really needs to develop a rail hub like Chicago with corridor trains serving Chattanooga, Birmingham, Charlotte, Macon, etc. This is such a growing area and the interstates are desperately over-crowded around ATL... the need is definately there.

I think every major city should have a station with links to multiple forms of transit (light rail, bus, LD/Regional Rail and easy connections to airports).

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#7 MattW

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 03:56 PM

Much as I love any station, it will flop unless there's a relatively easy connection to Five Points. Much as I hate MARTA as it is now, unless you have convenient access to Five Points, people wont necessarily use any transit connecting to the station. Even if, it's only one station away, unless there's a walkway, people just won't use it.

Now, on the Amtrak side of things, the Atlanta/Decatur Beltway was the right of way to be used (I've heard both names). Currently, the Crescent uses part of this RoW when it's truncated to Atlanta. There's a WYE track up near Armor yard and about a mile north of the current station that's used to turn the trainset. This Beltline meanders down the eastern neighborhoods of Atlanta before meeting CSX at their Hulsey Intermodal yard. The problem is the stupid NIMBYs and former mayor franklin wanted some park space and light rail mumbo jumbo put on this abandoned RoW and from what I understand have started work on an area called "Fourth Ward park."

I've created a Google Map which highlights what I've said.
Map Key:
  • Blue line: Beltline route from Armor WYE to Stations sites
  • Red Triangle Line: The WYE of tracks formed by CSX and NS where a station site would be near.
  • Purple Line: The current route the Crescent takes from where the new route would have split off to where the new route would have rejoined
  • Blue Line, plus eastern leg of Red Line, plus Green Line: The new route the Crescent would have taken.
I've also got markers on there for the Armor WYE, the junction of the Beltline with existing CSX trackage at Hulsey, the sites of the old Atlanta Union and Terminal Stations, the site of the current station and sadly, the site of Fourth Ward Park where they're apparrently doing stuff to the RoW already.
Link to the Map

Edited by MattW, 22 January 2010 - 04:03 PM.

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#8 battalion51

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 11:28 PM

Matt, I could be completely wrong here, but I'm fairly certain that the line that runs under CNN Center creates a much smaller wye than you indicate on your map. If you switch over to just pure map you can see what I'm talking about. If I can I'll try to get down there tomorrow to do a visual inspection on it.

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#9 jphjaxfl

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 06:46 AM

I lived in Atlanta from 1996 to 2003. They had talked about the intermodal transportation center to be built in conjunction with the Olympics as well as a train from Atlanta to Athens. The AJC ran several news stories about the same thing in the years I was there. It has never happened. If they can't even come up with funds for a commuter train for Atlanta to Macon, they won't fund the intermodal transportation center. This article is probably because Macon has recently restored their Union Station so it is passenger train ready now. Macon had the foresite to keep their Union Station unlike Atlanta that demolished two perfectly good train stations. When the first train uses the Atlanta intermodal transportation center, I will believe it.

#10 KurtisB

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 09:33 AM

I'm all for this, even though by the time it is built, if it is built, I'll be living in California instead of Atlanta.

The current Amtrak station in Atlanta is not adequate. Small station building, inconvenient access to the platform (a stairway/elevator at ONE and only one end), no direct Marta connections, etc. An Atlanta 'Union' Station would certainly fit the bill.


Just my $0.02.

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 02:29 PM

Just so you know. I saw several days ago that input is being solicited for a revival of the top of 285. In small print there was a reference to light rail.

I can't remmeber where I read all of this, but, yes, the Dome is fast becoming obsolete.

#12 battalion51

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 05:30 PM

OK, so several things.

I took a look today and there is a series of divergences underneath CNN Center and there is a run through track as well as a diverging move, which creates the smaller wye that I suggested in my earlier post.

Also, somewhat comical story. I was at work last night and my boss and I were looking out a window and he said, "And you have a nice view of the train from here." I said, "No the tracks are on the other side of the building." He responds with, "What do you call that then?" motioning to a light rail vehicle sitting in the middle of Centennial Park. Well, he was right. The Siemens guys plopped a Light Rail Vehicle down right in the middle of the park. I went and took a look today and it looks like they're trying to get the contract should the funds for Light Rail get approved. The vehicle they brought is one of the new vehicles for Charlotte (#117). I will try to get some pictures up in a little bit and share them accordingly.

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#13 wrjensen

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 03:11 PM

[list]
[*]Blue line: Beltline route from Armor WYE to Stations sites
.
Link to the Map


Looks like the tracks are gone got this Leg.
Total Amtrak Miles: 9,197
Trains:SWC 5, NEC 12, LSL 1, Ann Rutledge 1,

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 05:10 PM

I too have heard about this idea for a few years. I think it is greatly needed. Atlanta really needs to develop a rail hub like Chicago with corridor trains serving Chattanooga, Birmingham, Charlotte, Macon, etc. This is such a growing area and the interstates are desperately over-crowded around ATL... the need is definately there.

I think every major city should have a station with links to multiple forms of transit (light rail, bus, LD/Regional Rail and easy connections to airports).


Add Montgomery, Augusta and Savannah to that list. Most of us would like to get to the beach without driving through the pine trees of middle Georgia and to an Auburn game.

#15 MattW

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 05:33 PM

[list]
[*]Blue line: Beltline route from Armor WYE to Stations sites
.
Link to the Map


Looks like the tracks are gone got this Leg.

Yes, they mostly are, but the right of way is now the problem. Can't have tracks without a right of way.
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#16 battalion51

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 02:51 AM

True. But there's always eminent domain. :lol:

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#17 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 09:19 PM

Eminent domain rarely works, especially in places with high real estate value, such as cities.

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#18 battalion51

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 11:22 AM

Sorry to resurrect an old topic. I finally pulled pictures off my digital camera from last month. Below are a few shots of the light rail vehicle that sat on International for a couple of days in the middle of Centennial Park. I also included a shot of the Crescent sitting on its spur waiting for the Northbound trip to NYP. The last sleeper or two usually sits right over I-75, and the entire train is clearly visible from I-85.
Posted Image
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#19 acelafan

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 12:14 PM

Sorry to resurrect an old topic. I finally pulled pictures off my digital camera from last month. Below are a few shots of the light rail vehicle that sat on International for a couple of days in the middle of Centennial Park. I also included a shot of the Crescent sitting on its spur waiting for the Northbound trip to NYP. The last sleeper or two usually sits right over I-75, and the entire train is clearly visible from I-85.

Does anyone happen to know the status of proposed light rail in Atlanta? I lived there about 7 years ago and there were suggestions to run light rail up Peachtree Street. It seems Atlanta (and the general state of Georgia) is not very warm to rail though - they'd rather widen interstates. Any hope of the light rail project becoming a reality in Atlanta? I'm actually contemplating a move back to Atlanta but the rail options are so limited there. I'd rather live in DC where there are several choices of transportation besides autos, but it's Mega Bucks to live there.

Edited by acelafan, 13 February 2010 - 12:14 PM.


#20 battalion51

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 12:46 PM

I think they're trying to get some money from the stimulus to get the project going. They've made noises about it, but I don't know how close it is to coming to fruition. I want to be hopeful, but I'm still of the opinion that I won't believe it until construction starts. I never thought I'd see the Marlins get their own stadium, but they're building it, so I have to believe.

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