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Yes there are a lot of colleges on Amtrak lines. The problem there is not much Amtrak for those students to go home or aunt Millie. Yes they can get to many big cities. Every route added gives another possibility for students .

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Yes there are a lot of colleges on Amtrak lines. The problem there is not much Amtrak for those students to go home or aunt Millie. Yes they can get to many big cities. Every route added gives another possibility for students .

 

Still - a lot of colleges and universities are in relatively isolated rural towns served by Amtrak. Davis, California is certainly part of the Sacramento metro area, but it's far enough that someone without a car will look seriously to Amtrak to get there or elsewhere on weekends. In California, Amtrak has service to relatively isolated college towns like Arcata (Humboldt State), Chico, Merced, Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo, or Santa Cruz.

 

Amtrak even has thruway services that go specifically to college campuses, like Cal Poly SLO from the San Luis Obispo station or as a stop on a longer thruway route.

 

A lot of college campuses run shuttles between train stations and the campus. Here's an example:

 

https://www.csuci.edu/publicsafety/parking/Rideshare_Information.htm

WHO: All students, faculty and staff of CSU Channel Islands are welcome to enjoy the benefits of public transportation via the Vista Bus.WHEN: The Vista Bus Shuttle Service is available Monday through Friday 7:00am to 10:30pm. The bus is also scheduled Saturdays from 7:00am to 5:30pm to and from Oxnard and 7:30am to 5:20pm to and from the Camarillo Metrolink Station.

 

I live close enough to the Berkeley station to know that the campus doesn't have any specific service between the station and campus. There is an AC Transit bus though. However, Berkeley has so many transportation options that I don't think Amtrak is used that often by students.

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California with its extensive train and thruway bus systems is an exception. Only the NEC can compare favorably/.

 

California actually isn't all that densely populated. I looked at all the UC and CSU campuses, and I think maybe a couple aren't really served by some sort of Amtrak service. That includes some middle of nowhere places like Chico or Arcata. And the place that don't have service include Northridge or Long Beach, which have access to Amtrak via other services like Metrolink.

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Cornell U is mostly in Ithaca, but their Weill-Cornell Med School and School of ILR is in NYC Opening this year will be their new research institute (jv with Technion of Israel) on Roosevelt Island.

No, ILR's in Ithaca. The Med School is in NYC on the grounds that it was impossible for doctors to properly learn medicine without experiencing the diseases of a big city.

 

The Roosevelt Island thing is such a terrible idea... oh well.

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Another town that has Amtrak service with a major university is Clemson. And the public transit will actually take you from the college to the station for free even at the horrible hours the train calls at Clemson it's still possible to use it. Even though be careful on the southbound using transit. And I can speak for its ridership it attracts more students (university traffic) then other people in the local area.

 

The most memorable passengers there is this couple one goes to University of Virginia and one attends Clemson. So once a month one goes south the next month one goes north. Amtrak we make long distance go the distance.

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Another town that has Amtrak service with a major university is Clemson. And the public transit will actually take you from the college to the station for free even at the horrible hours the train calls at Clemson it's still possible to use it. Even though be careful on the southbound using transit. And I can speak for its ridership it attracts more students (university traffic) then other people in the local area.

 

The most memorable passengers there is this couple one goes to University of Virginia and one attends Clemson. So once a month one goes south the next month one goes north. Amtrak we make long distance go the distance.

The Clemson station has been served by only a connecting bus from Greenville for the past year. Although trains will once again stop in Clemson, it is reliant on Norfolk Southern track work of which no completion date in known.

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The Virginia NER and LD trains connect to several college campuses.

 

Ashland (ASD) (one stop north of RVR) serves Randolph Macon College

Petersburg (PTB) is between Petersburg and Colonial Heights, serves Virginia State University.

Norfolk (NFK) connects to the HRT light rail, which directly serves Norfolk State University. HRT buses also connect to Old Dominion University.

Williamsburg (WBG) connects to WATA buses which serve the College of William and Mary.

Charlottesville (CVS) serves the University of Virginia.

Lynchburg (LYS) serves Lynchburg College and connects to a regional bus service serving Blacksburg - Virginia Tech.

Fredericksburg (FBG) serves the University of Mary Washington.

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Took me a while before I looked at this thread again, but as Neroden said, ILR is Ithaca based, the NYC location of ILR is an extension....

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Dear Old Nebraska U isn't too far from the new Lincoln station, beings that the campus and downtown are right next to each other. However, I haven't seen many students hanging around at midnight to board the Zephyr. Maybe if I came back at 3am there might be more going to Chicago.

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Dear Old Nebraska U isn't too far from the new Lincoln station, beings that the campus and downtown are right next to each other. However, I haven't seen many students hanging around at midnight to board the Zephyr. Maybe if I came back at 3am there might be more going to Chicago.

When I lived in Omaha in '71 and '72, the BN was sitll running football specials to Big Red's home games at Lincoln.... :cool:

 

I don't believe Amtrak had any involvement in that operation.....

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Our Zephyr in September 2016 was packed with Cornhuskers fans wearing red who boarded in the wee hours. It was hard to get a seat at breakfast!

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I would say any city with connecting rail service to Amtrak should count. My top choice college, Northwestern, is in Evanston, Illinois, a town without Amtrak service. However, there is frequent Metra and CTA rail service to downtown Chicago where they connect with a short walk to Amtrak. Glenview station is even closer, although there is no direct rail service between Evanston and Glenview, in addition to the fact that Glenview is a stop on only the Empire Builder and Hiawatha Service. Contrast this to other towns, where Amtrak may stop in the same city as the college but is not within walking distance and lacks effectiveness public transit if any exists whatsoever. One example of this is the University of Central Florida. Although it is in Orlando and relatively close to both the Orlando and Winter Park stations, there is not convenient public transit to either.

I have actually done this exact connection with Metra on the UP North Line from Evanston, IL to catch LSL 49 to Springfield, MA in June 2016. It was a pretty easy connection, though the walk from the Metra stop at Olgivie Transportation Center to Chicago Union Station is not very well marked.

 

One could always take the #208 Pace bus west to Golf/Waukegan to get off, then transfer to the next northbound #210 bus to get up to downtown Glenview. Or another idea is to take the #208 bus to Golf/Harlem, and then the #423 bus northbound till you got to Glenview. You could do vice versa to get back, though I'll note the #210 and #423 buses end early in the evening on weekdays, and that it has NO weekend service. I sometimes have on weekends(when desperate) taken the #208 Pace bus along Golf Road to Harlem, then walked the 25-30 minutes north into Glenview! Or vice versa back after getting off at Glenview, providing I walked to Golf/Harlem in time before the last eastbound #208 bus.

 

Since I know that strategy isn't for everyone, you might just be best(if it's a weekend/holiday, or if it's too late in the evening on a weekday) to request an Uber/Lyft car from Glenview, to get back to Evanston. Or vice versa, to get from Evanston up to Glenview.

 

 

Isn't South Bend college town?

Notre Dame is in the town of Notre Dame, but it borders South Bend; I think it is close enough.

 

University of Notre Dame is definitely within South Bend, IN. It is NOT it's own separate town from South Bend, not sure why you thought that. There are a few nearby municipalities outside of South Bend though, such as Roseland(this is a very tiny one most people forget about), Mishawaka, and Granger to name examples. And yes a lot of people do take the South Shore Line besides Amtrak to get to South Bend, since the fare is cheaper(vs. Amtrak) from Chicago.

 

Moving on, I'm surprised noone has mentioned all the Illinois colleges(public and private) that are served by Amtrak. Which include Knox College in Galesburg, Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois State University in Normal(not to forget Illinois Wesleyan in Bloomington), University of Illinois at Springfield(UIS) in Springfield, Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, University of Illinois(UIUC) in both Champaign and Urbana(IIRC, the college has buildings in both communities), Eastern Illinois University in Charleston(NOT technically right on Amtrak, but I've heard of students who get rides or bike between Charleston and Mattoon on a bike path between those communities to board the train there), and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Don't forget the Champaign-Urbana/Carbondale, and also the Galesburg/Quincy line have 2 trains in each direction a day, and 4 trains a day overall(not counting the long distance Southwest Chief and California Zephyr). For the Chicago-Saint Louis line(serving Bloomington-Normal and Springfield), there are 4 trains a day in each direction, and 8 overall(excluding the Texas Eagle, and from my personal experiences I'd be careful about riding that train since it often runs late).

 

The other colleges that jump to my mind in the Midwest served by Amtrak include Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan State in East Lansing, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Marquette and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Viterbo University and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in La Crosse, WI, Winona State University in Winona, MN, University of Minnesota and Macalester College not far from the St. Paul stop(plus I suspect more I'm forgetting), Purdue University in West Lafayette(you'd get off at Lafayette, and it's across the river), and IUPUI and Butler University in Indianapolis. Wouldn't be surprised if I'm forgetting some other Midwest colleges, but unfortunately some places have graveyard train arrival times(i.e. Cincinnati having both only a late at night Cardinal train and only 3 times a week, Fargo, ND having the daily Empire Builder come in both directions late at night, etc). I think Saint Cloud, MN has a Minnesota public college too(a la Winona), but the train times are early in the morning and late in the evening. Not as bad as Fargo's train times for the EB, but keep that in mind.

Edited by dogbert617

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The other day I noticed a fellow wearing a t-shirt in UVA colors with the Amtrak logo on the front. On the back it said The Hoo-ville Express. This is a kind of pun - UVA students call themselves Wahoos for some reason, often just Hoos. I take it also a reference to C-ville [a frequently seen shortening of Charlottesville] as well as to the Hooterville Cannonball of Petticoat Junction fame. I ran after him and asked where he got it. He said Amtrak was throwing out during a football game last year. I thought this was very clever marketing all around

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Winona State University in Winona, MN, University of Minnesota and Macalester College not far from the St. Paul stop(plus I suspect more I'm forgetting), Purdue University in West Lafayette(you'd get off at Lafayette, and it's across the river), and IUPUI and Butler University in Indianapolis. Wouldn't be surprised if I'm forgetting some other Midwest colleges, but unfortunately some places have graveyard train arrival times(i.e. Cincinnati having both only a late at night Cardinal train and only 3 times a week, Fargo, ND having the daily Empire Builder come in both directions late at night, etc). I think Saint Cloud, MN has a Minnesota public college too(a la Winona), but the train times are early in the morning and late in the evening. Not as bad as Fargo's train times for the EB, but keep that in mind.

 

 

To build a bit more on the Minnesota-specific options:

 

Both Detroit Lakes and Staples have community colleges, but neither of them have great public transit options (especially during the calling times of the trains) and neither is within walking distance of the station. St. Cloud has SCSU, and the train station is a mile or two from campus. There's a decent bus system to get around town while you're there, but it doesn't look like the bus service runs during either of the scheduled times. A taxi/Uber would be needed for that.

 

St. Paul (and the neighboring Minneapolis) has the U of MN Minneapolis campus along the light rail, with the St. Paul campus accessible via a couple of local buses and the campus shuttle. Macalaster and Hamline are both along the A Line "rapid bus" on Snelling Avenue, and St. Thomas and St. Catherine's are along city bus lines in town. Augustana is also near a fairly frequent bus line and a decent walk from the light rail. There's Metropolitan State University which has a couple of campuses along bus lines, and there's a smattering of community colleges as well as some for-profit colleges that I'm not familar with transit access. Bethel appears to have a shuttle bus that connects to the A Line, but otherwise is inaccessible via transit, and Northwestern's bus service is so vague that I'm not sure what that offers, and public transit service is simply a suburb circulator that wouldn't easily connect with either of the calling times. I'm sure I forgot some of the colleges, but that's the ones I can think of.

 

Red Wing might have a community college but I'm not aware of any 4-year colleges (or anything nearby transit.) Winona has Winona State, which is within walking distance from campus, and the town has okay if not amazing public transit. There's also Saint Mary's, but it's not within walking distance of the station and I'm not sure how good the transit access is from there into town.

 

Out of all the options, Winona State is the closest/easiest to access via Amtrak, with the U of MN having a better overall "transit-only" experience with the METRO lines. If frequent bus service (buses every 10-15 minutes most of the day) is good enough, that would open up Macalaster, Hamline, St. Thomas, Augustana, and the Minneapolis campus of Metropolitan State University. St. Catherine's has less frequent bus service but still late enough to be able to connect to Amtrak. The rest of the campuses that I'm aware of would require private transportation of some sort to catch the train at least some of the time.

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My Alma Mater Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State U.in San Marcos,only 25 miles South of Austin, has a Non-staffed Stop for the Eagles with a Shed like "Station" outside the Intermodel Station for Local and Long Distance Buses..

 

In the old days there were 2 Stations there for the M-K-T ( "The Katy") and MoPac. Several Pasenger Trains called there daily including The Texas Special,The Texas Star and Mopac's Texas Eagle which had a Dome Car!😍

 

Texas State now has 35,000+ students and lots of them ride the Eagles as do Area Residents from surrounding towns and San Marcos itself.

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I would say any city with connecting rail service to Amtrak should count. My top choice college, Northwestern, is in Evanston, Illinois, a town without Amtrak service. However, there is frequent Metra and CTA rail service to downtown Chicago where they connect with a short walk to Amtrak. Glenview station is even closer, although there is no direct rail service between Evanston and Glenview, in addition to the fact that Glenview is a stop on only the Empire Builder and Hiawatha Service. Contrast this to other towns, where Amtrak may stop in the same city as the college but is not within walking distance and lacks effectiveness public transit if any exists whatsoever. One example of this is the University of Central Florida. Although it is in Orlando and relatively close to both the Orlando and Winter Park stations, there is not convenient public transit to either.

I have actually done this exact connection with Metra on the UP North Line from Evanston, IL to catch LSL 49 to Springfield, MA in June 2016. It was a pretty easy connection, though the walk from the Metra stop at Olgivie Transportation Center to Chicago Union Station is not very well marked.

One could always take the #208 Pace bus west to Golf/Waukegan to get off, then transfer to the next northbound #210 bus to get up to downtown Glenview. Or another idea is to take the #208 bus to Golf/Harlem, and then the #423 bus northbound till you got to Glenview. You could do vice versa to get back, though I'll note the #210 and #423 buses end early in the evening on weekdays, and that it has NO weekend service. I sometimes have on weekends(when desperate) taken the #208 Pace bus along Golf Road to Harlem, then walked the 25-30 minutes north into Glenview! Or vice versa back after getting off at Glenview, providing I walked to Golf/Harlem in time before the last eastbound #208 bus.

 

Since I know that strategy isn't for everyone, you might just be best(if it's a weekend/holiday, or if it's too late in the evening on a weekday) to request an Uber/Lyft car from Glenview, to get back to Evanston. Or vice versa, to get from Evanston up to Glenview.

 

 

 

Isn't South Bend college town?

Notre Dame is in the town of Notre Dame, but it borders South Bend; I think it is close enough.

University of Notre Dame is definitely within South Bend, IN. It is NOT it's own separate town from South Bend, not sure why you thought that. There are a few nearby municipalities outside of South Bend though, such as Roseland(this is a very tiny one most people forget about), Mishawaka, and Granger to name examples. And yes a lot of people do take the South Shore Line besides Amtrak to get to South Bend, since the fare is cheaper(vs. Amtrak) from Chicago.
Here is a citation as to Notre Dame's location: http://colleges.startclass.com/l/1402/University-of-Notre-Dame. Here is the Wikipedia article of the town (technically a CDP): https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notre_Dame,_Indiana. Lastly, attached is a map of the location of Notre Dame relative to the South Bend city limits.

 

As to the bus from Evanston to Glenview, it is certainly an option but not my preferable choice. In any place where it is within reason to complete an entire trip via rail without any bus segments I would chose to do so, even if it takes longer. The change of buses and fast speed of Metra to Downtown Chicago means it really isn't even that much of a difference.

post-11836-15009270408238.jpg

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Wow, a lot of responses here! Brings back old memories. While I was at the University of Cincinnati, I lived in Iron Mountain, Michigan (yep, a upper, eh), and rode the Chicago Northwestern line from Powers, Michigan ( about 30 miles east of Iron Mountain) , to Chicago. There I had to change stations to catch the "Jame Whitcomb Riley" to Cincinnati. I remember the pride in the voice of the conductor as he announced the departure and the stops. Great memory!

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Wow, a lot of responses here! Brings back old memories. While I was at the University of Cincinnati, I lived in Iron Mountain, Michigan (yep, a upper, eh), and rode the Chicago Northwestern line from Powers, Michigan ( about 30 miles east of Iron Mountain) , to Chicago. There I had to change stations to catch the "Jame Whitcomb Riley" to Cincinnati. I remember the pride in the voice of the conductor as he announced the departure and the stops. Great memory!

Iron Mountain's a beautiful area! I'm a "troll" (south of the bridge) from Grand Rapids, but my family loves camping in the UP every other summer.

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The other day I noticed a fellow wearing a t-shirt in UVA colors with the Amtrak logo on the front. On the back it said The Hoo-ville Express. This is a kind of pun - UVA students call themselves Wahoos for some reason, often just Hoos. I take it also a reference to C-ville [a frequently seen shortening of Charlottesville] as well as to the Hooterville Cannonball of Petticoat Junction fame. I ran after him and asked where he got it. He said Amtrak was throwing out during a football game last year. I thought this was very clever marketing all around

Probably more Dr. Seuss than "Petticoat Junction" - http://blogs.weta.org/boundarystones/2014/03/21/all-%E2%80%98hoos-down-%E2%80%98hooville-persistent-myth-grinch-charlottesville

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Up this way, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Drexel and Temple are served by SEPTA and/or Amtrak. They are heavily used.

It would seem that a rail lines serving other colleges would see good ridership but many of the RR lines to colleges have been abandoned. Here are some examples, many of which are no more:

Penn State in State College,PA is a huge campus. Its student body numbers over 40,000, yet it has not seen branch line rail service in years. That branch line is still near the campus and it connects to the Pennsylvanian line West of Lewistown.

The defunct Monon RR served six colleges and universities along its line:

Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.
Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.
St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana.

The state or Amtrak never bothered to pick up three of these routes . Should be a ready market there but some of the lines that served these institutions were entirely abandoned. Is there a good market for passenger rail at Colleges and Universities?

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Up this way, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Drexel and Temple are served by SEPTA and/or Amtrak. They are heavily used.

It would seem that a rail lines serving other colleges would see good ridership but many of the RR lines to colleges have been abandoned. Here are some examples, many of which are no more:

Penn State in State College,PA is a huge campus. Its student body numbers over 40,000, yet it has not seen branch line rail service in years. That branch line is still near the campus and it connects to the Pennsylvanian line West of Lewistown.

The defunct Monon RR served six colleges and universities along its line:

Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.

Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana.

The state or Amtrak never bothered to pick up three of these routes . Should be a ready market there but some of the lines that served these institutions were entirely abandoned. Is there a good market for passenger rail at Colleges and Universities?

The former Monon line now CSX still operates with Amtrak's Cardinal and Hoosier States from Chicago to Crawfordsville! I attended Indiana University in Bloomington when Monon operated Thoroughbred still operated until 1967. I was very pleased when Amtrak started using the Monon line in 1975 for The Floridian. Even though the Bloomington, IN stop was in the middle of night, there were lots of IU students using the train. The Cardinal/Hoosier States was also changed from the former C&O line through Marion and Richmond to the Monon line which it still uses.

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