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New Birmingham Station as early as October 2016


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#21 Eric S

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 09:43 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.

 

Birmingham will join Milwaukee, New Orleans, St. Louis, St. Paul, Syracuse, and a whole host of other cities with joint intercity bus/intercity rail stations.



#22 lepearso

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 08:20 AM

AL.com published an article stating, again, that the transit center will open in December 2016.  When it opens Megabus will serve in that location.

 

Greyhound and Amtrak will occupy their new section in March 2017.  At some point a deli and news stand will open as well.

 

There's a push to introduce bus rapid transit when the new facility is up and running.  Apparently the startup funding is already pledged.

 

Here's a link to the article: http://www.al.com/ne...ham_transi.html


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


#23 Palmland

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 10:50 AM

The opening of Birmingham as part of a transit center provides a lot of opportunity for expanded Thruway service. Interstates radiate out from B'ham: Nashville- 3 hrs, Montgomery-2 hrs, Mobile or Memphis-3.5 hours. A mid afternoon arrival from the east on the Crescent could have you in Memphis in time to catch the CONO to Chicago, Montgomery is the state capitol, and Mobile puts you in the middle of the gulf tourist areas.

 

Birmingham also has a lot more room to switch the Crescent than Atlanta and has the room for connecting buses. Atlanta certainly doesn't. The ability to take cars on/off the Crescent in conjunction with more Thruway connections would improve both equipment utilization and ridership.

 

(i had posted this on the 'next few years-2' topic. Moderator -please feel free to delete. My comment seems to fit better here.)



#24 west point

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 06:53 AM

Poster is correct about Atlanta problems. But another problem for Atlanta is Thruway service Chattanooga - Nashville. The situation of traffic gridlock on I-75 and I-24 in Chattanooga means thruway to Atlanta cannot be reliable.

#25 lepearso

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 08:58 AM

I spoke on the phone with Amtrak's director of Interline services. 

 

He thinks that Thruway connections to and from Birmingham will be a low-hanging fruit when the new station opens.

 

A Montgomery connection will be in place right away because the existing Greyhound schedule coincides perfectly with the train schedule.  There's just enough lead time in both directions to make the connection reliable.

 

A connection to and from Nashville can be established on day one with the Crescent going to and from Atlanta and the Northeast.  Unfortunately, that connection would be nowhere near as appealing as a connection with the Crescent going to and from New Orleans.  In order for a Greyhound/Amtrak interface to work on that city pair, Greyhound would need to run an earlier southbound schedule.

 

A Birmingham-Memphis connection could reasonably connect Birmingham with the City of New Orleans and connect Memphis to the Crescent.  It would also connect Tupelo, Mississippi to both routes.  However, Greyhound would need to run another round trip schedule and make an additional stop at Memphis Central Station. 

 

I hope that the officials at Amtrak and Greyhound can work out the details to take advantage of the facility.


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#26 Palmland

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 09:07 AM

Perhaps the state could help sponsor thruway service using the dedicated Amtrak buses as in California or even, on a smaller scale, like North Carolina.

#27 lepearso

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 03:10 PM

We're getting closer and closer.

 

According to AL.com the Transit Center and Megabus stop will go into service in early June.  They were supposed to be in place on May 20th, but the city postponed the opening date until all punch list items are finished.

 

A new cafe will open on the property in June.  Based on the article it seems like it will be a good fit.

 

There is no definite timeframe for Amtrak and Greyhound.  I understand that Amtrak will not start their transition until the facility is completely finished.  Mid-July may be reasonable and realistic.

 

Here's the article: http://www.al.com/ne...al_station.html


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


#28 lepearso

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 10:14 AM

I drove down to Birmingham last weekend to see the progress on the station.

 

The transit center is about 95% completed and should be in business by the end of June.  I understand that Megabus will stop in this location and that Olivia's transit cafe will open at about the same time.

 

The Amtrak/Greyhound section is about 70% completed.  I think that October 1 would be a reasonable opening date.

 

As the transit center opens and the Amtrak/Greyhound facility moved to completion, the contractors will start taking apart the temporary transit facility on the end of the property.  That area will then become parking lot with over 200 spaces.

 

What I like best is the way that the design blurs the line between indoor and outdoor.  When you are standing outside, you can see inside.  When you are standing inside, you can see outside. 

 

 

Attached Files

  • Attached File  BHM2.jpg   189.92KB   15 downloads
  • Attached File  BHM9.jpg   225KB   16 downloads

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


#29 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 10:58 AM

While the old birmingham Amtrak station is beyond basic and not very charming... It was a quiet place to wait for a train. The new station... Connected to greyhound and MegaBus, may not be so.... quiet.

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#30 Bob Dylan

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 11:09 AM

Still looks like a Bus Station, but its definitely an improvement over the dungeon like "Station" that is currently the Amtrak Waiting Room!
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#31 frequentflyer

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 12:34 PM

Why Amtrak is always linked to intercity buses is beyond me.



#32 ehbowen

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 01:08 PM

Why Amtrak is always linked to intercity buses is beyond me.


Because there are hundreds of miles of taxpayer - subsidized streets and highways for every mile of railroad track in suitable condition to host passenger trains.

Edited by ehbowen, 08 June 2017 - 01:13 PM.

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#33 hastybob

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 01:48 PM

To clear up possible misinformation, The pictures above are of the City Bus transit facility. It is almost finished and should be opening soon. The new Intermodal facility for Amtrak and Greyhound is a block away. Amtrak is tentatively scheduled to relocate into the new building in early August. Greyhound will be relocating from 7 blocks away as soon as Morris Ave is repaved and the sidewalks and landscaping is finished. Amtrak will be able to move earlier as the work on 19th St side will be completed soon and that will allow access to passengers. Also, that move will allow the work to start to connect the new building to the old section (and to the trains) to begin.

 

If you would like to see more pictures of the progress, see my album - I just added a night time picture of the building.

 

http://hastybob.rrpi...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.


#34 Bob Dylan

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 02:37 PM

Thanks for the clarification and info, it's good to know that the Amtrak/Greyhound Station won't look like a Bus Station!😎
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#35 Eric S

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 03:41 PM

Why Amtrak is always linked to intercity buses is beyond me.

 

Intercity rail and intercity bus services complement each other. Having intermodal (bus/rail) stations allows connections between the two and also means there are more passengers at a given station, making it easier to provide services such as restaurants at that station that might not be possible with separate stations.



#36 trainman74

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 04:27 PM

When you are standing outside, you can see inside.  When you are standing inside, you can see outside.


So you're saying it has windows? :D

(Yes, I saw what you meant in the photos. Looks good.)

#37 cuppb001

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 05:13 PM

Ive heard few stories of the 1950s L&N depot and see that it was similar in age to stations like Savannah which while not the nicest of stations is kept in a state of good repair. Its clean and serves its purpose well.   I know hindsight is 20/20 but would it have made better sense instead of tearing down the L&N depot in the early 2000s to have renovated it and combine the services at that building?  Or have renovated the L&N building for trains and maintain bus service at the old MAX terminal demolished for the new station?



#38 xyzzy

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 09:40 AM

Full history of the L&N station in Birmingham is posted at http://www.bhamrails...ion_Hist_05.htm. It opened in 1960. I remember using it during L&N days. Unfortunately by the late 1960s it was oversized because of discontinuances. Also, L&N no longer needed the office space upstairs. This led to a downward spiral... the office space was leased out and the passenger waiting room was moved into the former baggage area. Eventually the building deteriorated due to unenthusiastic maintenance and was deemed unworthy of renovation/repurposing because of its internal layout. Nor would it have been easy for the station to serve buses. So, it was demolished... a sad fate shared by the L&N Mobile station that was built in 1956. 

 

The ACL/SAL Savannah station (1962) has held up better over time, but it serves three trains and has always been more patronized. 


Edited by xyzzy, 09 June 2017 - 09:42 AM.


#39 jis

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 01:03 PM

Moreover, until A-Day, Savannah was actually served by more trains than what remained active eventually under Amtrak too.



#40 hastybob

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 10:52 AM

Here is a link to updated photos of the station. Plans right now are for Amtrak to move in around August 1. There will still be construction going on and only one entrance will be open as street work will not be finished on Morris Ave.

 

 

 

Bob

 

Edit - Try this one instead.

 

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


Edited by hastybob, 13 June 2017 - 05:19 PM.

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.





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