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#1 PA Traveler

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 04:34 PM

Since the Capitol Limited and the Pennsylvanian come through here, I thought I'd provide a little bit of information about Pittsburgh. In spite of a sign that says "Notice. For your safety, wait inside the station until your train is announced for boarding," this is a safe area of town. The sign is referring to not going up the steps to the train platform, but we've met a number of people who seem to take it to mean that the area outside the station is unsafe. It's not. The station is at the edge of downtown Pittsburgh, directly across from the new Greyhound station, close to the convention center, shopping, restaurants, expensive hotels, and some interesting places within walking distance of the station.

The John Heinz History Center is only about a ten-minute walk from the station. Not far from there is the Strip District, with lots of ethnic grocery shops and restaurants. The famous Primanti's is here, but that never did too much for me. DeLuca's is also rather famous for breakfast, but we prefer Pamela's and Jo-Jo's. Pamela's is pretty close to DeLuca's, but Jo-Jo's is a little farther down and on Smallman Street, not Penn Avenue. Roland's is one of our favorites for lunch or dinner, but there are a lot of good restaurants right around here. The Strip is particularly fun on a Saturday morning when street vendors set up outside the shops. It's very busy, but it's our favorite time to go.

As for other sites not so close to the station if you are here a little longer, Pittsburgh has much to offer. If museums are your thing, there are lots of them. Carnegie Museum in Oakland is one of the best and best known if you like dinosaurs, geology, architecture, etc. Phipps Conservatory is outstanding and within walking distance from the museum. You can get out on the rivers with a Ducky Tour or for a longer trip, the Gateway Clipper Fleet is not far away. The ride up one of the inclines to see the view of the city from Mt. Washington is well worth it and the Station Square area where you would take one of the inclines has lots of restaurants and shops and a nice view of the city from across the Monongahela River. If you like amusement parks, Kennywood Park is not far away. If you are going to stay long enough to get out into the mountains, Fallingwater is listed in one of our travel books as one of the best places to visit in the world.

I am only scratching the surface, so I'll provide some links. I always like Trip Advisor and use it extensively to plan my trips.

http://www.tripadvis...nnsylvania.html

Also:

http://www.visitpitt...nia/pittsburgh/

http://www.visitpittsburgh.com/

Edited by PA Traveler, 27 September 2011 - 05:32 PM.


#2 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 04:53 PM

I want to hear more about this incredibly dangerous train platform you have. Sounds interesting.
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#3 Acela150

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 08:06 PM

I want to hear more about this incredibly dangerous train platform you have. Sounds interesting.


Me too. Everytime I've been to PGH it seems safe to me. :unsure:

Also there's a hotel pretty much right next to the station. A short 5 minute walk at most. I forget what brand it is. But it's very nice and worth it.
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#4 PA Traveler

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 10:33 PM

Beats me! :unsure:

We have always read it to mean not to go up the steps to the train platform. Period. And the area is gated until the train arrives so that people can't get out to the platform. We never questioned it until we met some people while traveling who took it to mean it's dangerous outside the front doors of the station. :wacko:

I think the hotel is now the Westin Convention Center Hotel, but I know it's changed ownership over the years.

#5 trainman74

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 10:00 AM

The famous Primanti's is here, but that never did too much for me.


For a second opinion, I do like Primanti's sandwiches. And they're very convenient, since you don't have to eat your French fries and coleslaw separately.

(I lived in the Pittsburgh area for about a year and a half in the late '90s.)

#6 Oldsmoboi

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 02:08 PM


I want to hear more about this incredibly dangerous train platform you have. Sounds interesting.


Me too. Everytime I've been to PGH it seems safe to me. :unsure:

Also there's a hotel pretty much right next to the station. A short 5 minute walk at most. I forget what brand it is. But it's very nice and worth it.


It is the Westin. I work in the same building.

#7 Guest_Lauryn_*

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 03:13 PM

Hello!
I plan to take a mini road trip by myself.
I will make a stop at Pittsburgh and plan to stay for 8hr before my train arrives to take me to my next destination. Is it safe for a small girl to walk from the Amtrak station to Primanti (I saw it on Man vs. Food and am very curious)? I visited Mapquest and it says the walk is less than 1 mile and roughly 15 minutes. However, under satellite view, it looks like there are some major intersections. Since I will be there from in the evening, do you have any suggestions of where I can visit with such a limited time frame?

Thank you for reading!

-Lauryn


#8 PA Traveler

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 06:03 PM

Hello!
I plan to take a mini road trip by myself.
I will make a stop at Pittsburgh and plan to stay for 8hr before my train arrives to take me to my next destination. Is it safe for a small girl to walk from the Amtrak station to Primanti (I saw it on Man vs. Food and am very curious)? I visited Mapquest and it says the walk is less than 1 mile and roughly 15 minutes. However, under satellite view, it looks like there are some major intersections. Since I will be there from in the evening, do you have any suggestions of where I can visit with such a limited time frame?

Thank you for reading!

-Lauryn


It should be safe, but I would use caution at night. The intersections shouldn't be a problem. Just go out the door of Amtrak and turn left at the sidewalk. You can cross over to the Greyhound Station and that should be the most major intersection. And there are crossing signals at all of the intersections in the downtown area that you would cross. I would walk down to Penn Avenue and turn right (just a block or two) as that's the busiest street to 18th Street where Primanti's is. But Smallman Street a block farther down will also get you there. It's pretty well lit at night. By the time you get into the Strip, there may not be the crossing signals, but they aren't such major intersections and there are lights at the crossings. I think most things around there will be closed down in the evening, though. It will mostly be the restaurants that will be open around there in the evening, but that does mean other people around. If you are there on a Friday or a Saturday, it will be busier.
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#9 Guest_Lauryn_*

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 07:30 PM

It should be safe, but I would use caution at night. The intersections shouldn't be a problem. Just go out the door of Amtrak and turn left at the sidewalk. You can cross over to the Greyhound Station and that should be the most major intersection. And there are crossing signals at all of the intersections in the downtown area that you would cross. I would walk down to Penn Avenue and turn right (just a block or two) as that's the busiest street to 18th Street where Primanti's is. But Smallman Street a block farther down will also get you there. It's pretty well lit at night. By the time you get into the Strip, there may not be the crossing signals, but they aren't such major intersections and there are lights at the crossings. I think most things around there will be closed down in the evening, though. It will mostly be the restaurants that will be open around there in the evening, but that does mean other people around. If you are there on a Friday or a Saturday, it will be busier.


Thank you so much for replying so quick!

I will be there this Saturday. I just realized the train that I will catch will be at 11:59PM. I plan to visit the town a little bit until it gets a bit dark and then go back to the station and wait for the train. Would you consider this to be safe (as in, in the station). If not, I would just take the train straight to my next destination (Chicago, where I have a friend to go w/ me). I checked on the amtrak page that the station closes at 11:59pm. I am weary because what if the train arrives late, would I be standing outside waiting for it?

#10 PA Traveler

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 08:08 PM


It should be safe, but I would use caution at night. The intersections shouldn't be a problem. Just go out the door of Amtrak and turn left at the sidewalk. You can cross over to the Greyhound Station and that should be the most major intersection. And there are crossing signals at all of the intersections in the downtown area that you would cross. I would walk down to Penn Avenue and turn right (just a block or two) as that's the busiest street to 18th Street where Primanti's is. But Smallman Street a block farther down will also get you there. It's pretty well lit at night. By the time you get into the Strip, there may not be the crossing signals, but they aren't such major intersections and there are lights at the crossings. I think most things around there will be closed down in the evening, though. It will mostly be the restaurants that will be open around there in the evening, but that does mean other people around. If you are there on a Friday or a Saturday, it will be busier.


Thank you so much for replying so quick!

I will be there this Saturday. I just realized the train that I will catch will be at 11:59PM. I plan to visit the town a little bit until it gets a bit dark and then go back to the station and wait for the train. Would you consider this to be safe (as in, in the station). If not, I would just take the train straight to my next destination (Chicago, where I have a friend to go w/ me). I checked on the amtrak page that the station closes at 11:59pm. I am weary because what if the train arrives late, would I be standing outside waiting for it?

.

It's dark around here right now around 7 PM, so you should have a little time. Saturday should be a busy day in the area, and I don't even know if there's a convention in town, which would mean even more people.

The station here is open 24 hours, so you wouldn't be outside waiting for the train. I know the hours read oddly on the website. You have to go into the station to get the train, which is above street level. We usually start out our trips on the 11:59 train to Chicago, and there are always people there waiting.

There is an Occupy Pittsburgh planned on Saturday, but I'm not sure just where that's going to be. And the weather is supposed to be rainy. :o

I hope you have a nice trip and enjoy your little bit of time in the city.

#11 Oldsmoboi

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:02 PM

It's an easy walk from Amtrak to Primanti Bro's and yes, you would be safe.

#12 EMTDON

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:42 PM

There has NEVER been an accident involving that train platform....*knock on wood*

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#13 EMTDON

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:43 PM

The occupy Pittsburgh JUST LEFT last night, they were located next to BNY Mellon building and the USX Tower.

Edited by EMTDON, 09 February 2012 - 08:44 PM.

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#14 dogbert617

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 01:11 AM

It's sad there haven't been any posts in this thread in 6 years, since I was thinking I might do a Pittsburgh Amtrak trip very soon. It's interesting the original post didn't mention(as I'd been doing research on Pittsburgh, for whenever I finally do this trip soon) that there's an Andy Warhol museum, and ditto with one for Roberto Clemente.

 

Just posting here, since maybe for all I know it'd revive interest in this forgotten thread?  :) Who knows, though I cross fingers that it would help get this thread some needed life.



#15 bms

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 12:31 PM

It's sad there haven't been any posts in this thread in 6 years, since I was thinking I might do a Pittsburgh Amtrak trip very soon. It's interesting the original post didn't mention(as I'd been doing research on Pittsburgh, for whenever I finally do this trip soon) that there's an Andy Warhol museum, and ditto with one for Roberto Clemente.

 

Just posting here, since maybe for all I know it'd revive interest in this forgotten thread?  :) Who knows, though I cross fingers that it would help get this thread some needed life.

 

I would recommend:

 

PNC Park - best MLB stadium in the country, even if it's not always home to the best team!

 

University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning - tallest academic building in the United States.  Incredible Gothic architecture, and they have Nationality Rooms for over 30 countries which are open to visitors.

 

East Carson Street - For about 20 blocks this South Side neighborhood is full of bars and restaurants - just don't try to have a beer at every one!


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#16 jis

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 12:45 PM

University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning - tallest academic building in the United States.  Incredible Gothic architecture, and they have Nationality Rooms for over 30 countries which are open to visitors.

That is an interesting building. It brought back memories of the Stalin Gothic buildings in Moscow. I stayed in one at them in the Ukraina Hotel. Another famous one is the Lomonosov University building, which I visited. While poking around from the Wiki article on the Cathedral of Learning, imagine my surprise discovering that The Lomonosov University building is the only one that is taller than the Cathedral of Learning among University buildings! Which would suggest that the Cathedral of Learning is the tallest University building in the western hemisphere.

 

Thanks for bringing it to our attention!


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#17 JRR

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 07:09 PM

It's sad there haven't been any posts in this thread in 6 years, since I was thinking I might do a Pittsburgh Amtrak trip very soon. It's interesting the original post didn't mention(as I'd been doing research on Pittsburgh, for whenever I finally do this trip soon) that there's an Andy Warhol museum, and ditto with one for Roberto Clemente.
 
Just posting here, since maybe for all I know it'd revive interest in this forgotten thread?  :) Who knows, though I cross fingers that it would help get this thread some needed life.

 
I would recommend:
 
PNC Park - best MLB stadium in the country, even if it's not always home to the best team!
 
University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning - tallest academic building in the United States.  Incredible Gothic architecture, and they have Nationality Rooms for over 30 countries which are open to visitors.
 
East Carson Street - For about 20 blocks this South Side neighborhood is full of bars and restaurants - just don't try to have a beer at every one!

Don’t forget the inclines and commuter lines.

A great place to visit!
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#18 bms

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 09:24 PM

 

University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning - tallest academic building in the United States.  Incredible Gothic architecture, and they have Nationality Rooms for over 30 countries which are open to visitors.

That is an interesting building. It brought back memories of the Stalin Gothic buildings in Moscow. I stayed in one at them in the Ukraina Hotel. Another famous one is the Lomonosov University building, which I visited. While poking around from the Wiki article on the Cathedral of Learning, imagine my surprise discovering that The Lomonosov University building is the only one that is taller than the Cathedral of Learning among University buildings! Which would suggest that the Cathedral of Learning is the tallest University building in the western hemisphere.

 

Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

 

 

The interior is even more visually impressive than the exterior.  Anybody who visits should also take the elevator up to the top floors for a beautiful view of the surrounding city.

 

Many of the university's athletes train by running up all 36 stories of stairs - that I don't recommend!


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#19 cirdan

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 03:52 AM

 

I want to hear more about this incredibly dangerous train platform you have. Sounds interesting.


Me too. Everytime I've been to PGH it seems safe to me. unsure.gif

Also there's a hotel pretty much right next to the station. A short 5 minute walk at most. I forget what brand it is. But it's very nice and worth it.

 

 

What's the hotel like?

 

Does it have a suitable bar or similar where I could have a coffee or beer or something, making it a suitable alternative to the rather spartan Amtrak waiting room.



#20 trainman74

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 04:23 PM

What's the hotel like?
 
Does it have a suitable bar or similar where I could have a coffee or beer or something, making it a suitable alternative to the rather spartan Amtrak waiting room.


It's a Westin that's attached to the convention center. It has a lobby Starbucks counter and a restaurant/bar.

If you want something a little more impressive and are willing to walk a couple more blocks, the Omni William Penn is down Grant Street -- it's an old-school hotel (renovated) that has a lobby Starbucks counter and several different bars.
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