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Dallas Union Station - Early Closures

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There have been several on-line postings about the Dallas station closing down at 5:30 PM and shutting out passengers. I was there yesterday and discussed this with both an Amtrak employee and security guard. Bottom line is that Amtrak passengers who can show valid ticket reservations are still allowed into station after closing, but they must use the track-side entrances. The Texas Eagle northbound #22 has scheduled arrival just after 3PM so any delays to it would come into play here. All others are denied access. My past observation is that very few DART passengers use the station which would represent the only other significant class of travelers there.

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Bottom line is that Amtrak passengers who can show valid ticket reservations are still allowed into station after closing, but they must use the track-side entrances.

Didn't know this. Is this true in all cases or just at Dallas?

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I believe TRE also stops there, you actually cross their tracks to get to the track the TE comes in on.. If I remember correctly, the TVMs are out on the platform, so probably not a huge deal for commuters. Again, this is not an Amtrak owned station, they are a tenant. As long as their passengers can get in and use the ticket window, baggage check, and the bathrooms, I'm not sure anyone is missing much. The exterior is pretty nice, but I thought ths interior was pretty dreary.

 

For reference sake, my trip to Dallas was last fall, arrived on a Thursday, leaving that Sunday, so while my comments are based on personal experience, I can not say if anything has changed since.

Edited by PVD

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Bottom line is that Amtrak passengers who can show valid ticket reservations are still allowed into station after closing, but they must use the track-side entrances.

Didn't know this. Is this true in all cases or just at Dallas?
Just Dallas. The station building is privately owned and the owner got tired of it being used as a hub for homeless people, at least that's what my friends in Dallas have said. I hadn't heard they where allowing Amtrak passengers in after hours, so at least the owner is bending the policy a bit for common sense.

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I believe the city owns the station, but the Grand Hall is used for events by Wolfgang Puck Catering and the adjacent Grand Hyatt. One could safely assume their lease allows them to demand certain things from the city, a safe and inviting environment being one of them. I was there during the day, and they had Dart folks and security in the building, I'm sure the evenings were not so pleasant.

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I believe TRE also stops there, you actually cross their tracks to get to the track the TE comes in on.. If I remember correctly, the TVMs are out on the platform, so probably not a huge deal for commuters. Again, this is not an Amtrak owned station, they are a tenant. As long as their passengers can get in and use the ticket window, baggage check, and the bathrooms, I'm not sure anyone is missing much. The exterior is pretty nice, but I thought ths interior was pretty dreary.

 

Never been to that part myself, but apparently there is also a nice part to the sttaion retaining many of the grand orifginal features. But that's in private use and not open to Amtrak passengers.

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It's the upstairs, it is a beautiful event space. That's probably what precipitated this whole thing in the first place.

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I use to volunteer at Dallas Union Station and I don't recall homeless being very much of a problem. The whole thing could use an upgrade and it would be nice if some retail and food outlets would move in for commuters and Amtrak passengers to use. Even the Fort Worth station has a Subway, a hotdog stand, and some other things that make it better.

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On 7/11/2018 at 9:29 AM, PVD said:

I believe TRE also stops there, you actually cross their tracks to get to the track the TE comes in on.. If I remember correctly, the TVMs are out on the platform, so probably not a huge deal for commuters. Again, this is not an Amtrak owned station, they are a tenant. As long as their passengers can get in and use the ticket window, baggage check, and the bathrooms, I'm not sure anyone is missing much. The exterior is pretty nice, but I thought ths interior was pretty dreary.

 

For reference sake, my trip to Dallas was last fall, arrived on a Thursday, leaving that Sunday, so while my comments are based on personal experience, I can not say if anything has changed since.


I visited Dallas Union Station Tuesday afternoon on Nov. 6th. as DART was offering free rides all day if you had a valid Voter Registration card. I did. I wanted to see what brochures and schedules Amtrak had available. The only thing they had out was a xeroxed schedule for the Texas Eagle. I guess Amtrak has discontinued printing a system brochure. I suppose the thinking is you should be able to get what you need from your smart phone or your laptop.

There were people waiting to go Northbound in the lobby. I was very disappointed with what I found in the lobby. The stale air. They should be able to adequately ventilate. It's a two story high lobby. But that was just stale air. If they're not breaking any minimum Federal Clean air standards, then why should they bother, right.

 

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I was there about a month ago. There was a security guard outside the rest room who wouldn't let me take a bag in ... I had to leave it with her. Haven't seen that in any other station.

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There is a distinct possibility that with the construction of the HSR station, a new Amtrak and TRE station closer to the HSR station might become the new transportation hub for Dallas, leaving the traditional Union Station building for other uses. If this comes to pass it is likely that DART will continue to have a stop as might TRA. But Amtrak most likely won;t stop there anymore.

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There is a distinct possibility that with the construction of the HSR station, a new Amtrak and TRE station closer to the HSR station might become the new transportation hub for Dallas, leaving the traditional Union Station building for other uses. If this comes to pass it is likely that DART will continue to have a stop as might TRA. But Amtrak most likely won;t stop there anymore.

What’s the proposed location of the HSR station?

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This is actually a long overdue good move as there has been a CRITICAL problem with homeless people coming into the station.  If you have ever used the men's toilet on the first floor, you know what I'm talking about.  To get to the tracks, one only needs to walk around either side of the building; no big deal at all.

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1 hour ago, OlympianHiawatha said:

This is actually a long overdue good move as there has been a CRITICAL problem with homeless people coming into the station.  If you have ever used the men's toilet on the first floor, you know what I'm talking about.  To get to the tracks, one only needs to walk around either side of the building; no big deal at all.

Sorry, what about this will fix the problem with homeless people coming into the station?

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Why open the building at all? It can be preserved in the most pristine state for zero staff cost if no one used it.

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The first floor interior of the station building is not really needed for public use for the commuter operation except for the bathrooms. They probably get a flow of homeless in to the station to use the bathrooms early am, and after dark, or in bad weather. Closing it down does nothing to solve the problem, it just moves it, and lets people make believe things are better because they don't see the problem. 

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