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New Birmingham Station as early as October 2016


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#1 lepearso

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 10:03 AM

Finally some good news on the new Birmingham, Alabama Intermodal Transit Center!

 

According to an article late last week the new facility is under construction and - except for a few thousand honey bees - is right on schedule.  The local transit section is expected to open in June 2016 with Amtrak and Greyhound moving in as early as October 2016.

 

Here's the link:  http://www.al.com/ne...d_in_const.html

 

The facility itself is part of a complete transformation of downtown Birmingham.

 

The building across the street will be redeveloped as a parking facility with a mix of retail businesses: http://www.al.com/bu..._renovatio.html

 

A new pedestrian bridge will connect the intermodal station with the popular railroad park area: http://blog.al.com/s.../post_1085.html

 

Major employers are relocating into largely abandoned historic downtown buildings and a new downtown supermarket is under construction: http://www.al.com/bu...cery_store.html

 

It's always good to see improved rail passenger facilities.  In the case of Birmingham, the improved facility is part of something much bigger and much better for the entire city!


TARP: Tennessee Association of Railroad Passengers www.tarprail.org


#2 cirdan

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 10:57 AM

I've never been to Birmingham AL, apart from briefly standing on the train platform while passing through on The Crescent.

Does anybody have any insights what the place is like? Is it worth maybe spending a day or two?

#3 Bob Dylan

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 11:02 AM

I've never been to Birmingham AL, apart from briefly standing on the train platform while passing through on The Crescent.

Does anybody have any insights what the place is like? Is it worth maybe spending a day or two?

Everyone has their own tastes, but based on my 70+ years of visiting and living in the South, there are many places better to visit in this Region!

Except for historical purposes, mostly to do with the Confederacy and Segregation/Civil Rights, I'd say that Mobile is the only City in Alabama worth visiting! YMMV

Edited by Bob Dylan, 10 November 2015 - 11:08 AM.

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#4 xyzzy

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 11:19 AM

For history buffs and people who are particularly interested in civil rights, it's hard to beat Montgomery.

In my mind B'ham isn't great as a tourist destination although it is one of the few places in the southeast where a railfan can see more than NS and CSX. 



#5 hastybob

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 05:28 PM

Anyone interested in seeing the progress of the project, I have an album of photos showing the progress. I am updating it every week or 2.

http://hastybob.rrpi...s.aspx?id=94874

 

This is a project that started in 1983! Talk about slow moving, this has to take the prize. But, finally it is happening.

 

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Ponce de Leon, Piedmont(the Southern one!), Southern Crescent, Floridian, Crescent, Gulf Breeze, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Champion, Palmetto, Montrealer, Adirondack, Broadway Ltd, Capitol Ltd, Lake Shore Ltd, City of New Orleans, Sunset Ltd, Coast Starlight, Southwest Chief, Rio Grande Zephyr, San Francisco Zephyr, California Zephyr, Desert Wind, International Ltd, North Coast Hiawatha, Cardinal, Pioneer, Lone Star, Colonial, Georgia Railroad Mixed (branch line)...... and numerous Corridor named and unnamed trains, plus a few Amtrak and LOTS of non Amtrak special trains.


#6 lepearso

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 06:50 PM

Bob, thank you so much for sharing that!  It's a relief to see all the progress.

 

Your time and effort to keep everybody updated is very helpful.


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#7 afigg

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 12:16 AM

This is a project that started in 1983! Talk about slow moving, this has to take the prize. But, finally it is happening.

 

Bob

Nah, the prize (in the US) for long stalled transit / public transportation project is likely the long sought Second Avenue subway in Manhattan. First approved in the late 1920s to replace the second avenue El, then proposed again when the Second Ave El was shut down in the early 1940s, then actual construction stated in the 1970s with several tunnel segments built before work stopped due to the NYC budget crisis. Phase 1 is scheduled to open in December 2016.

 

Anyway, the restoration of the station in Springfield, MA had a similarly very drawn out process, most of it spent doing a study. then nothing for years because of the lack of money.  Thanks to the influx of stimulus funds, TIGER grants, various federal funding sources, and a push to build intermodal stations to provide a public transportation hub, there will be a bunch of new and upgraded Amtrak stations opening over the next 2-3 years.



#8 lepearso

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 09:24 AM

They're still making progress in Birmingham, Alabama!   By all appearances this project will be finished and ready to open in 2016!  I hear that it's on budget too!

 

Here's the link to a short news article with a photo:  http://www.wvtm13.co...-shape/38600702

 

You can also see Bob Hasty's recent update that shows the steel frame nearing completion:  http://hastybob.rrpi...id=94874&Page=2


TARP: Tennessee Association of Railroad Passengers www.tarprail.org


#9 PaulM

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 02:13 PM

 I'd say that Mobile is the only City in Alabama worth visiting! YMMV

 

And then only the older part of town, i.e., inside the Belt Line.  IMHO it's Walmart Country is the worst there is.



#10 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 12:19 PM



 


 I'd say that Mobile is the only City in Alabama worth visiting! YMMV

And then only the older part of town, i.e., inside the Belt Line.  IMHO it's Walmart Country is the worst there is.

Bellingrath Gardens, south of Mobile, the best gardens in the South, with semitropical flowers in a lush jungle beside a bayou, makes a good visit if you like that sort of thing.

 

Good seafood places, one downtown I liked a lot, and wonderful roadside mom-n-pop place near the Gardens (ask for directions).

 

Of course, Mobile will be even better when the train comes back, the CONO extension by another name. :)


Edited by WoodyinNYC, 11 April 2016 - 02:14 PM.


#11 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 02:16 PM

They're still making progress in Birmingham, Alabama!   By all appearances this project will be finished and ready to open in 2016!  I hear that it's on budget too!

Glad to hear about the Birmingham's new station, and wishing them more trains to use it.

 

The Southern Rail Commission has a dotted line on the map Atlanta-Birmingham-Tuscaloosa-Meridian-Jackson-Monroe-Shreveport-Dallas-Ft Worth. But not sure how that ends up at a maintenance base, maybe on down to San Antonio? Then SAS-Houston-Lafayette-New Orleans? Then NOL-Birmingham-ATL, getting 3 trains a day ATL-Birmingham? This requires more thinking.

 

Maybe CHI-Memphis-Tupelo-Birmingham-Montgomery-Mobile-New Orleans//Florida would work, too. The Southern Rail Commission has another dotted line for that Birmingham-Montgomery-Mobile leg, nothing yet for the Memphis-Birmingham segment. But I know folks here like to chatter about CHI-Florida service, like the typical 15% end-to-end riders would make that line work, so I put it out there.

 

Well, all that dreaming goes into some 5-year plan that's at least 10 years away. LOL. But we celebrate every step, and the new station is a good step.

 

So good on Birmingham. The better facilities and public transit links, and putting it in the Intermodal Center raises the visibility among potential riders and helps the Amtrak brand.


Edited by WoodyinNYC, 11 April 2016 - 02:18 PM.


#12 hastybob

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 10:41 AM

The City plans for the building to be finished as follows:

July 2016 - City Bus transfer building to be finished and in use.

October 2016 - The Intermodal building essentially finished - BJCTA office to be occupied

December 1 2016 - Amtrak and Greyhound opening day!

 

In the mean time, there is still a lot of work to be done on both buildings. I hear the contractor is actually ahead of schedule. (Hope for good weather!)

room partitions are going up in the BJCTA office area, office floors just poured in the Amtrak / Greyhound areas, brickwork started, lots and lots of piping and a/c duct work started, etc, etc.

 

I'll post new pictures soon, just waiting for something noteworthy to see.

 

Bob


Ponce de Leon, Piedmont(the Southern one!), Southern Crescent, Floridian, Crescent, Gulf Breeze, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Champion, Palmetto, Montrealer, Adirondack, Broadway Ltd, Capitol Ltd, Lake Shore Ltd, City of New Orleans, Sunset Ltd, Coast Starlight, Southwest Chief, Rio Grande Zephyr, San Francisco Zephyr, California Zephyr, Desert Wind, International Ltd, North Coast Hiawatha, Cardinal, Pioneer, Lone Star, Colonial, Georgia Railroad Mixed (branch line)...... and numerous Corridor named and unnamed trains, plus a few Amtrak and LOTS of non Amtrak special trains.


#13 lepearso

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 07:26 AM

On Memorial Day I made a special trip to Birmingham (by Amtrak, of course!) to see the progress on the new Intermodal Station.

 

This enormous downtown project is "on time and on budget" according to everything I have read so far.  Supposedly the transit facility will open in October.  It appears to me that it could open sooner than that.  The larger building that will house Amtrak, Greyhound, and Megabus, should be open for business in December, if not sooner.

 

I walked around the downtown area to see with my own eyes that Birmingham is coming back to life.  There are more parks, more businesses, and more downtown residents than this city has seen in years.  There's also plenty of new construction and renovation within a five-block radius of the new station.

 

While I was walking around downtown I was twice approached by individuals looking for the Amtrak station.  If the old station wasn't hidden already, the construction project has made it even less visible.  There's a temporary wooden platform under the railroad viaduct that leads to a temporary entrance.  Some newcomers are finding it difficult to spot.  When the new station is completed Amtrak will have a much more visible presence downtown even if it just has two trains per day.

 

I rode Amtrak round trip from Atlanta.  Once again, I was amazed at how crowded and overwhelmed the Atlanta Amtrak station is.  Yet, this city can't seem to agree on a plan to replace it.  As Birmingham's new facility comes on line and a new facility gets under way in Charlotte, perhaps Atlanta will get a clue.  We'll see.

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TARP: Tennessee Association of Railroad Passengers www.tarprail.org


#14 neroden

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 01:29 PM

I believe this doesn't improve the platforms, correct?  So that project will have to wait for a later year...


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#15 lepearso

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 09:11 AM

That's correct.  This project does not do anything to address the platforms, nor does it address the ancient elevator at the platform.

 

I guarantee when the new station is up and running the local powers-that-be will wonder why nothing was done at trackside.  Hopefully a plan of action will be funded and implemented.

 

The platform needs resurfacing and canopies need repairs to stop leaks and improve their appearance.  The elevator needs to be replaced and the subway needs new signage and some cosmetic changes.

 

We will see what happens and when.


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#16 hastybob

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 04:10 PM

Here is the latest update on the timeline from the City.

Opening has been pushed back until March/April for the Intermodal portion of the station. There are several contracts that are just being awarded and are to be done after the building is finished. Those include new streetscaping and pavement 16th st to 19th Sts.; furnishings (seats), PIDS (if you know what that is), etc.

 

The portion under the tracks and at platform level are not being done by the City. Since this area is still owned by CSX, the City Government is is not allowed (by law) to do work on private property. So, this will have to wait for money from other sources (grants) to do this work. And, we must keep in mind that the ADA laws will govern how much work will have to be done.

 

There is a small amount of work to be done under the track to connect the exiting to the new building. This HAS to be done for fire code, ADA access, etc.

 

For the latest photos of the work, check this out. I updated it just today.:

 

 

http://www.rrpicture...s.aspx?id=94874

 

Bob


Ponce de Leon, Piedmont(the Southern one!), Southern Crescent, Floridian, Crescent, Gulf Breeze, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Champion, Palmetto, Montrealer, Adirondack, Broadway Ltd, Capitol Ltd, Lake Shore Ltd, City of New Orleans, Sunset Ltd, Coast Starlight, Southwest Chief, Rio Grande Zephyr, San Francisco Zephyr, California Zephyr, Desert Wind, International Ltd, North Coast Hiawatha, Cardinal, Pioneer, Lone Star, Colonial, Georgia Railroad Mixed (branch line)...... and numerous Corridor named and unnamed trains, plus a few Amtrak and LOTS of non Amtrak special trains.


#17 Palmetto

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 07:46 AM

One would think that, given this project is a major improvement to the city's infrastructure, the city fathers [and mothers] would be very well aware of the scope of the project, and that it doesn't include platform work at this point in time.  Perhaps not?

 

In any case, is there a project that is at least proposed to do the platform/elevator work?



#18 GaSteve

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 01:45 PM

I spoke to one of the Amtrak folks last week.  To put it mildly, he's not looking forward to sharing space with the bus terminal.  His opinion of the bus riders used words and expressions I dare not post here.



#19 Metra Electric Rider

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 01:58 PM

That's an impressive new building, though I think it'll be later in opening than December. But maybe work is quicker in the south (the construction season is longer too) - and I'm a pessimist about construction schedules.


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#20 VKurtB

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 03:54 PM

Is there going to be enhanced bus connections to Montgomery and Huntsville? That would make the Crescent a much more compelling choice, especially as unless you're in Charlotte, flying to Huntsville can get pricey.






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