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Checking up on Amtrak's (lack of) ADA compliance


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#21 bratkinson

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 12:34 PM

 

neroden,

 

I will be seeing a lot of the Windsor, CT, station in October so will pass on any impressions I get of whether there are improvements yet, both for Amtrak and their new commuter rail.

 

I do know that, when I went up there last winter, the historic bricks had black ice all over them and I had to hold onto the posts and railings while I tried to move to where the hotel shuttle would pick me up. So even without mobility issues, it was not the greatest station in bad weather. I'm curious to see what they are changing in general.

I'm just disappointed they didn't make the new platform high-level.

 

 

Lack of money, foresight, or brains. 

 

Given that all trains stopping there have more stops with high level platforms than low level, one really has to wonder about which of the above are the major cause of 'gotta save a buck' thereby adding 3-5 minutes to every trip as passengers board and deboard.  Windsor Locks has the same problem.  At least Springfield is in the process of putting in a high level platform.


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#22 lordsigma

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 02:20 PM

 

 

neroden,

 

I will be seeing a lot of the Windsor, CT, station in October so will pass on any impressions I get of whether there are improvements yet, both for Amtrak and their new commuter rail.

 

I do know that, when I went up there last winter, the historic bricks had black ice all over them and I had to hold onto the posts and railings while I tried to move to where the hotel shuttle would pick me up. So even without mobility issues, it was not the greatest station in bad weather. I'm curious to see what they are changing in general.

I'm just disappointed they didn't make the new platform high-level.

 

 

Lack of money, foresight, or brains. 

 

Given that all trains stopping there have more stops with high level platforms than low level, one really has to wonder about which of the above are the major cause of 'gotta save a buck' thereby adding 3-5 minutes to every trip as passengers board and deboard.  Windsor Locks has the same problem.  At least Springfield is in the process of putting in a high level platform.

 

I'm sure their excuse would be they wanted to do as cheap a solution as possible to get by for now since eventually Windsor and Windsor Locks will be getting the same treatment as Meriden, Wallingford, and Berlin at new locations.....but it seems as if they could do temporary makeshift high level platforms for not too much more cost..of course then you could get the situation where the town may not have liked a shabby looking makeshift platform as a long term solution since the hope is 2020 but that is all contingent on funding...

 

On the bright side both stations still have free parking which will probably go the way of the dodo when they get their new signature CTrail stations.


Edited by lordsigma, 25 September 2018 - 02:22 PM.

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#23 iplaybass

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 02:22 PM

.

I'm surprised it's still active at all given the neighborhood's decline, but it's a long way off its former glory as the only Philadelphia stop for all PRR trains west (except the WB Manhattan Ltd,) complete with elevators to the two platforms and checked baggage. In my pre-teen years, my grandfather would take me there to watch the PRR trains on Sundays if I was good; church group summer tours started there on the General, and my family did dozens of Clockers to NYC to visit relatives.

I left for college from there on the National Ltd., and took many trips on the post-Pennsy Broadway until 30th street took over.

It was also the connecting point for NYC/Harrisburg commuters from Chestnut Hill, a 3 to 5 minute walk from the PRR commuter line to the PRR main; maybe that's why it's still active. You effectively save 20 minutes plus by not going the extra 10 minutes into Center City.
 
Just a minor correction....The PRR (and PC) Manhattan Limited  stopped at North Philadelphia, as its only station stop in Philadelphia.   It was the Pennsylvania Limited that served 30th Street Station, Philadelphia among the major East-West thru trains.  
You're right... The WB Pennsylvania Ltd, and EB Manhattan Ltd used 30th street instead of N. Philadelphia. Probably because of the time of day.

I wonder if those trains were wyed into/out of 30th street so the seats faced forward between New York and Philadelphia? Everybody else just turned right/left at Zoo.
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#24 railiner

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 03:06 PM

 

 

 

 

 

.

I'm surprised it's still active at all given the neighborhood's decline, but it's a long way off its former glory as the only Philadelphia stop for all PRR trains west (except the WB Manhattan Ltd,) complete with elevators to the two platforms and checked baggage. In my pre-teen years, my grandfather would take me there to watch the PRR trains on Sundays if I was good; church group summer tours started there on the General, and my family did dozens of Clockers to NYC to visit relatives.

I left for college from there on the National Ltd., and took many trips on the post-Pennsy Broadway until 30th street took over.

It was also the connecting point for NYC/Harrisburg commuters from Chestnut Hill, a 3 to 5 minute walk from the PRR commuter line to the PRR main; maybe that's why it's still active. You effectively save 20 minutes plus by not going the extra 10 minutes into Center City.
 
Just a minor correction....The PRR (and PC) Manhattan Limited  stopped at North Philadelphia, as its only station stop in Philadelphia.   It was the Pennsylvania Limited that served 30th Street Station, Philadelphia among the major East-West thru trains.  
You're right... The WB Pennsylvania Ltd, and EB Manhattan Ltd used 30th street instead of N. Philadelphia. Probably because of the time of day.

I wonder if those trains were wyed into/out of 30th street so the seats faced forward between New York and Philadelphia? Everybody else just turned right/left at Zoo.

 

Yes...you are also correct, on the Eastward trains....noticed that the local New York/Pittsburgh mid day train, the "Juniata". also went via 30th Street Station.   They did not wye them...they rode backwards between New York and Philly.  Looking at the Oct 1968 TT's here...  http://penncentral.r...humb.cgi?pc-ptt


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#25 bratkinson

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 05:44 PM

 

 

 

neroden,

 

I will be seeing a lot of the Windsor, CT, station in October so will pass on any impressions I get of whether there are improvements yet, both for Amtrak and their new commuter rail.

 

I do know that, when I went up there last winter, the historic bricks had black ice all over them and I had to hold onto the posts and railings while I tried to move to where the hotel shuttle would pick me up. So even without mobility issues, it was not the greatest station in bad weather. I'm curious to see what they are changing in general.

I'm just disappointed they didn't make the new platform high-level.

 

 

Lack of money, foresight, or brains. 

 

Given that all trains stopping there have more stops with high level platforms than low level, one really has to wonder about which of the above are the major cause of 'gotta save a buck' thereby adding 3-5 minutes to every trip as passengers board and deboard.  Windsor Locks has the same problem.  At least Springfield is in the process of putting in a high level platform.

 

I'm sure their excuse would be they wanted to do as cheap a solution as possible to get by for now since eventually Windsor and Windsor Locks will be getting the same treatment as Meriden, Wallingford, and Berlin at new locations.....but it seems as if they could do temporary makeshift high level platforms for not too much more cost..of course then you could get the situation where the town may not have liked a shabby looking makeshift platform as a long term solution since the hope is 2020 but that is all contingent on funding...

 

On the bright side both stations still have free parking which will probably go the way of the dodo when they get their new signature CTrail stations.

 

 

Apparently, the station design people at CTRail never took a ride on the NEC to see some innovative solutions for high level platform construction.

 

A couple months ago, filling in the last of my 'never ridden' NJTransit routes (the Princeton Dinky), I had a chance to look at the northbound platform at Princeton Junction on the NEC.  I'm thinking it took less than a day to construct, or, at least, roll into place.  It 'cost' the loss of 1 of 4 tracks in the NEC, but I have little doubt the platform time saved by each train stopping there more than offsets the loss of one track.

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#26 cpotisch

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 05:56 PM

 

 

 

 

neroden,

 

I will be seeing a lot of the Windsor, CT, station in October so will pass on any impressions I get of whether there are improvements yet, both for Amtrak and their new commuter rail.

 

I do know that, when I went up there last winter, the historic bricks had black ice all over them and I had to hold onto the posts and railings while I tried to move to where the hotel shuttle would pick me up. So even without mobility issues, it was not the greatest station in bad weather. I'm curious to see what they are changing in general.

I'm just disappointed they didn't make the new platform high-level.

 

 

Lack of money, foresight, or brains. 

 

Given that all trains stopping there have more stops with high level platforms than low level, one really has to wonder about which of the above are the major cause of 'gotta save a buck' thereby adding 3-5 minutes to every trip as passengers board and deboard.  Windsor Locks has the same problem.  At least Springfield is in the process of putting in a high level platform.

 

I'm sure their excuse would be they wanted to do as cheap a solution as possible to get by for now since eventually Windsor and Windsor Locks will be getting the same treatment as Meriden, Wallingford, and Berlin at new locations.....but it seems as if they could do temporary makeshift high level platforms for not too much more cost..of course then you could get the situation where the town may not have liked a shabby looking makeshift platform as a long term solution since the hope is 2020 but that is all contingent on funding...

 

On the bright side both stations still have free parking which will probably go the way of the dodo when they get their new signature CTrail stations.

 

 

Apparently, the station design people at CTRail never took a ride on the NEC to see some innovative solutions for high level platform construction.

 

A couple months ago, filling in the last of my 'never ridden' NJTransit routes (the Princeton Dinky), I had a chance to look at the northbound platform at Princeton Junction on the NEC.  I'm thinking it took less than a day to construct, or, at least, roll into place.  It 'cost' the loss of 1 of 4 tracks in the NEC, but I have little doubt the platform time saved by each train stopping there more than offsets the loss of one track.

 

Sorry, so that platform basically arrived at that station as a train, and then was just "parked" there? Interesting...


Edited by cpotisch, 25 September 2018 - 05:57 PM.

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#27 bratkinson

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 07:55 PM

That's what it looked like to me.  Where they assembled the 'movable platform' is anyone's guess.



#28 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 08:20 PM

That's what it looked like to me.  Where they assembled the 'movable platform' is anyone's guess.


That look like a platform extension. Not sure its a permanent. When Metra North is working on the track closest to the platform they will deploy a temporary platform or section of a platform that will span the track that is out of service and will reach the next track over. So if major MOW is taking out a track, and there is no switch available to get the train on the platform track. They will deploy these extension.

No reason not to use these things (in picture) as a longer term platform. Just lay set up a short section of railroad tracks adjacent to the live track. Place these type of mobile platform platform on the dead track, add a ramp. Boom we have a ADA platform.
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#29 daybeers

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 08:39 PM

That's what it looked like to me.  Where they assembled the 'movable platform' is anyone's guess.


That look like a platform extension. Not sure its a permanent. When Metra North is working on the track closest to the platform they will deploy a temporary platform or section of a platform that will span the track that is out of service and will reach the next track over. So if major MOW is taking out a track, and there is no switch available to get the train on the platform track. They will deploy these extension.

No reason not to use these things (in picture) as a longer term platform. Just lay set up a short section of railroad tracks adjacent to the live track. Place these type of mobile platform platform on the dead track, add a ramp. Boom we have a ADA platform.

You're correct. Here is the NJ Transit Station Advisory. Track 4 was out of service for much of the summer in NJ due to the high-speed upgrades.


Amtrak travel so far: only 11,218 miles: Springfield Shuttle (13), Northeast Regional (28), Acela (1), Lake Shore Limited (2), Pennsylvanian (2), Capitol Limited (1)

Ambus mileage (3 trips): 108

Other rail transit: WMATA (~900 miles), Metro-North, MTA, MBTA (Subway and Commuter Rail), Metra, CTA, RTA


#30 bratkinson

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 10:31 PM

 

That's what it looked like to me.  Where they assembled the 'movable platform' is anyone's guess.


That look like a platform extension. Not sure its a permanent. When Metra North is working on the track closest to the platform they will deploy a temporary platform or section of a platform that will span the track that is out of service and will reach the next track over. So if major MOW is taking out a track, and there is no switch available to get the train on the platform track. They will deploy these extension.

No reason not to use these things (in picture) as a longer term platform. Just lay set up a short section of railroad tracks adjacent to the live track. Place these type of mobile platform platform on the dead track, add a ramp. Boom we have a ADA platform.

You're correct. Here is the NJ Transit Station Advisory. Track 4 was out of service for much of the summer in NJ due to the high-speed upgrades.

 

 

Per the NJT advisory, it is temporary.  BUT...

 

Considering the attachment of a roof the entire length of the temporary platform, as well as roofs over walkways to the parking lot and the station(?), it may be a longer term temporary than most expected.  It certainly didn't look like an 'extension' added to the regular platform.  I couldn't see any evidence of the regular platform.  However, considering that the southbound platform is very permanent, it likely is an extension, just not too obvious.

 

That said, there's no reason something like that couldn't have been installed at Windsor and Windsor Locks (my usual station, vs Springfield with $10/day parking fee) for a multi-year 'short term' solution.  Lay down some track and roll it in...or off some kind of rail-equipped flat cars.

 

Here's a view of most of platform.  If there's a 'real' one hiding there (which there must be, I presume), it's well hidden.  Given the longitudinal support running the length of the canopy, perhaps the real platform is hiding back there...

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Edited by bratkinson, 25 September 2018 - 10:32 PM.

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#31 41bridge

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 01:37 AM

Regarding Clifton Forge: I took a 1 day Cardinal turn from Charleston, WV on Wed. 8/22. There is construction behind the C&O Bldg. Old waiting room is closed due to the work. New Amtrak Station? Passengers are accommodated currently in a modular building just east of the old building. The access is by a ramp and the single restroom is accesable to a wheelchair so I guess that part passes. I did not see any wheelchair lift or a shelter to house one. Sorry I didn't take any pics. Platform is unchanged. Good lunch at Jack Mason's Tavern across street.

#32 cpotisch

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 10:34 AM

No reason not to use these things (in picture) as a longer term platform. Just lay set up a short section of railroad tracks adjacent to the live track. Place these type of mobile platform platform on the dead track, add a ramp. Boom we have a ADA platform.

How would they get the platform onto the new "dead" track though? Would they set up a switch leading to that track as well?


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#33 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 11:47 AM

I have been on those platforms at Princeton Junction many times, on both sides of the tracks--they are temporary, even though they don't look it. I'm not sure that they would work well as permanent solutions, simply because they are uncomfortable to walk on, especially when you have a lot of people on them at one time (as you do at Princeton Junction during rush hour, for example).

 

It feels similar, for example, to walking on the pedestrian bridge over the river at Harrisburg or on the boardwalk down the Shore when a lot of other people are there, too--not unstable, just slightly shaky.


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#34 neroden

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 03:09 PM

 

 

neroden,

 

I will be seeing a lot of the Windsor, CT, station in October so will pass on any impressions I get of whether there are improvements yet, both for Amtrak and their new commuter rail.

 

I do know that, when I went up there last winter, the historic bricks had black ice all over them and I had to hold onto the posts and railings while I tried to move to where the hotel shuttle would pick me up. So even without mobility issues, it was not the greatest station in bad weather. I'm curious to see what they are changing in general.

I'm just disappointed they didn't make the new platform high-level.

 

 

Lack of money, foresight, or brains. 

 

Given that all trains stopping there have more stops with high level platforms than low level, one really has to wonder about which of the above are the major cause of 'gotta save a buck' thereby adding 3-5 minutes to every trip as passengers board and deboard.  Windsor Locks has the same problem.  At least Springfield is in the process of putting in a high level platform.

 

Windsor and Windsor Locks are both still scheduled for replacement with new high-platform stations.  Connecticut just hasn't funded it yet.  (They'll probably scrape it together eventually; they seem to be funding the whole CTRail project, just not all at once.)   The wheelchair lifts were put in as an interim measure *anyway*, however, which was the *correct* thing to do, given that we have no idea what year they'll get the permanent stations built.

 

Contrast Clifton Forge and Ashland where they didn't do anything.


Edited by neroden, 26 September 2018 - 03:13 PM.

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#35 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 03:57 PM

Who owns the Windsor station? (I'm assuming, from neroden's post above, that it's CT, but I've learned on here to never assume! :))

 

Right now (or at least a few months ago when I was there last), it has an "art studio" in it. That is, of course, totally useless when you are waiting for the early train in cold weather and could use a nice coffee shop or snack shop there instead (there seems to be some sort of cafe right behind it, but that is not open early). The one at Mystic worked well (I hope it is still there and I don't have to eat my words :unsure:?) And Windsor has a lot of commuters traveling south that early, who would use a coffee shop.

 

What they really need is a waiting room--is that in the plans? It is bitter cold out there in the middle of the winter.

 

I also can't imagine that an art studio can afford high rents, so not sure who they are renting from.

 

If the state owns Windsor and Windsor Locks, I would think they would put in the best platforms for the commuter trains? Would that match what Amtrak needs?

 

I realize I am providing more questions, rather than answers, but I promise to check things out when I am there this month (I will not have to be concentrating on black ice yet, hopefully, and will be able to pay attention :)).


Edited by Mystic River Dragon, 26 September 2018 - 03:59 PM.

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#36 EchoSierra

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 06:01 PM

I don't know if Ashland is a simple fix.  The platforms are narrow, and the crossings are not wheelchair accessible since they require a step or two up.  Because of the narrow platforms (abutting roads on both sides), a wheelchair lift might block emergency egress from the platform.



#37 daybeers

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 12:07 AM

Who owns the Windsor station? (I'm assuming, from neroden's post above, that it's CT, but I've learned on here to never assume! :))

 

Right now (or at least a few months ago when I was there last), it has an "art studio" in it. That is, of course, totally useless when you are waiting for the early train in cold weather and could use a nice coffee shop or snack shop there instead (there seems to be some sort of cafe right behind it, but that is not open early). The one at Mystic worked well (I hope it is still there and I don't have to eat my words :unsure:?) And Windsor has a lot of commuters traveling south that early, who would use a coffee shop.

 

What they really need is a waiting room--is that in the plans? It is bitter cold out there in the middle of the winter.

 

I also can't imagine that an art studio can afford high rents, so not sure who they are renting from.

 

If the state owns Windsor and Windsor Locks, I would think they would put in the best platforms for the commuter trains? Would that match what Amtrak needs?

 

I realize I am providing more questions, rather than answers, but I promise to check things out when I am there this month (I will not have to be concentrating on black ice yet, hopefully, and will be able to pay attention :)).

I wholeheartedly agree. I'm guessing the art studio probably moved in when the station as a waiting area was closed by Amtrak (not sure when this was). Maybe there wasn't enough demand. But you're right, there needs to be a waiting room.

 

I would think the new stations at Windsor and Windsor Locks would be built like Berlin, Meriden, and Wallingford were.


Amtrak travel so far: only 11,218 miles: Springfield Shuttle (13), Northeast Regional (28), Acela (1), Lake Shore Limited (2), Pennsylvanian (2), Capitol Limited (1)

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Other rail transit: WMATA (~900 miles), Metro-North, MTA, MBTA (Subway and Commuter Rail), Metra, CTA, RTA


#38 PVD

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 08:52 AM

There is a current Amtrak notice seeking construction contractors for show of interest/pre-qualification for a multi year ADA compliance project for multiple locations that seems to address many of the types of items brought up earlier in the thread. I do not have any details about specifics, but if they move ahead and sign contracts for actual work, instead of studies, and start doing instead of talking, it (almost) has to be an improvement in a major way.


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#39 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 01:29 PM

Not a very valid request for contractors. Multi years, multi locations. Who does that? Bid on sites, and work. A general request like this is a (look at this) attempt to show your doing something, with out doing anything.

#40 PRR 60

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 01:52 PM

Not a very valid request for contractors. Multi years, multi locations. Who does that? Bid on sites, and work. A general request like this is a (look at this) attempt to show your doing something, with out doing anything.

 

This is not an uncommon way to arrange for on-going work that is not presently defined to the point of allowing fixed cost bidding. These types of so-called "blanket" contracts are based on time and material and other unit costs such as mobilization and demobilization.  The unit costs for contracts that last more than a year or so may include escalation based on an agreed upon formula.  There is usually a floor that gives the contractor knowledge of the minimum volume of work over the life of the contract.  As jobs roll out, blanket contractors are assigned and the cost of each job is based on the contract units.  

 

Blanket contracts permit small-scale jobs to go from final plans and approvals to construction very quickly. 


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