America's coolest train stations?

Discussion in 'Guest Forum for Amtrak Questions' started by Keith Langston, Jun 23, 2019.

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

  1. Jul 4, 2019 #51

    zephyr17

    z

    zephyr17

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,841
    Location:
    Washington State
    Yes, if the train has a scheduled stop at a location to board and deboard passengers, that would be commonly called a station in North America. Whether there was a large building with ticket and baggage services, or a 10 foot long strip of asphalt beside the track by a dirt road in a forest (thinking Williams Jct here), that's the station. No further qualification or other term required.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
    v v likes this.
  2. Jul 4, 2019 #52

    Barb Stout

    B

    Barb Stout

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2019
    Messages:
    77
    It would definitely be uncool in the summer.
     
    Pere Flyer and zephyr17 like this.
  3. Jul 4, 2019 #53

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    17,961
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    Since they tore down the Old SP Station, Sanderson,TX is my nominee for Worst Station List.

    Its basically a decaying strip of Gravel with Zero Facilities.

    Taylor, TX is a (Dis) Honorable Mention with its Picnic Table " Station" next to a fairly Nice UP Headquarters Building that used to be the Mopac Station back in Pre-Amtrak days.
     
    Pere Flyer likes this.
  4. Jul 4, 2019 #54

    Rasputin

    R

    Rasputin

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2019
    Messages:
    280
    I can't say that I have seen it first hand but isn't Elko pretty bad? Is there any shelter there at all? Aren't there actually two "stations" one for eastbound and one for westbound.
     
    dogbert617 likes this.
  5. Jul 4, 2019 #55

    Maglev

    Maglev

    Maglev

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    680
    Location:
    Orcas Island, Washington
    I was going to nominate Connellsville, PA, as a minimal station, since this is how I remember it

    [​IMG]

    But apparently there is a new waiting area, and it looks quite nice:

    [​IMG]

    As far as nice stations go, I haven't heard much mention of San Jose. Although somewhat small, it still has the original waiting area benches (many of the original benches are missing from King Street Station).
     
  6. Jul 4, 2019 #56

    trainman74

    trainman74

    trainman74

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    A little research shows that there was a small waiting room/ticket office in the freight building next to the old station. (Thus, the new station was seen as an improvement because it was bigger.)
     
    Pere Flyer and SarahZ like this.
  7. Jul 7, 2019 #57

    dogbert617

    d

    dogbert617

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Messages:
    462
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I agree, on Elko, NV being a little eh. Since both platforms are fenced up and only opened once train 5 or 6 arrives, and you have to do a little bit of a walk to a nearby road to switch between platforms so that you aren't waiting on the wrong side of the tracks for your train. Still though from pics I'd seen of other Amtrak stations online, I'd say a few are worse(i.e. Benson, AZ, Sanderson, TX).

    Not the worst station I've seen pics of or seen in person from a passing Amtrak station, but Elyria, OH(Lake Shore/Capitol) and Crawfordsville, IN(Cardinal/RIP Hoosier State, and btw I've seen Elyria and Crawfordsville from being inside a passing Amtrak train) have outdated shelters with older seats, which IMO could be updated. Still with how bad Sanderson and Benson look per online pics I've seen of those 2, at least those 2 shelters do have seats inside, and a door that closes up. Along with lights, inside those 2 shelters. And I imagine Elyria and Crawfordsville are the same shelter design, and age.

    Ah yes, that's the name of the former Buffalo station, before Amtrak constructed a new one at Depew. Thanks for refreshing my memory, on its original name.
     
  8. Jul 7, 2019 #58

    AmtrakBlue

    AmtrakBlue

    AmtrakBlue

    Conductor Gathering Team Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    10,981
    Location:
    Delaware
  9. Jul 7, 2019 #59

    dogbert617

    d

    dogbert617

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Messages:
    462
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I also like this site, a lot for photos on various Amtrak stations throughout the US: http://www.trainweb.org/usarail/stationlist3.htm

    I remember once looking at that page on subwaynut, and thought that site wasn't bad. However, I remember the page on trainweb that I linked to, had more Amtrak stations photographed there.
     
    AmtrakBlue likes this.
  10. Jul 8, 2019 #60

    NorthShore

    NorthShore

    NorthShore

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Messages:
    971
    Location:
    Chicago
    If we're looking at stations of an earlier era which no longer serve traina, I'd nominate the original grand Indianapolis, which is now a hotel or convention space or something, and Minneapolis, which has offered a very nice tribute to its railroad history.

    St. Paul accomplised a very nice renovation, returning the station to railroad use while adding transit, light rail, and bus improvements.

    As for smaller stations, I've long been a fan of Lawrence, Kansas. I love the neon and unique style, which I understsnd dates from the Santa Fe era.

    Niles, Michigan has some interesting history relating to the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago.

    Toledo is cool for its classic art deco design and crazy amount of tracks, an echo to the bygone era of classic rail travel.

    Underutilized gems include Kansas City and Cincinnati. Walk outside the gorgeous station in the latter city, see the landscape all around you. It just shouts out, "Welcome to Cincinnati!" Now, that's the sort of statement which tells you that this is the right way to make an entrance.
     
    dogbert617, Bob Dylan and Pere Flyer like this.
  11. Jul 9, 2019 #61

    dogbert617

    d

    dogbert617

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Messages:
    462
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Hadn't yet ridden the SW Chief, but I remember noticing in online pics that Lawrence's station had a neon sign that spells out Lawrence. In I think blue letters? I'm sure that station would be cool to see either in person, or from the windows of that train in passing. I think earlier I mentioned Toledo, and yep I always loved its art deco design, and ditto with the fact that I find interesting how many side tracks you see there that sadly are no longer in use for passenger train service. And to a MUCH lesser extent, noticed this for the stations in Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh.

    Besides Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and St. Paul, I'd also have to say St. Louis' former station is in the same breath and conversation as these other 3. It's interesting to walk on the former platforms and tracks there, and imagine how once very busy Saint Louis' former Union Station had to have once been like! And of course, seeing the lobby of the St. Louis Union Station(has transitioned from a bunch of various hotel brands, and most recently now it's Curio Collection by Hilton) is a must, as well. I am sure btw that they don't care if you aren't a guest(as I visited the inside no problem a few years ago, despite not staying there and took a bunch of pics of the inside), and just want to admire the beauty of that hotel's lobby briefly.

    Not an Amtrak station, but in case I didn't mention it earlier, Beverly Shores on the South Shore Line I definitely need to mention in this thread. That station was beautifully restored and has a nice inside waiting room, a town museum on the side part of that building open for limited hours, and a working neon sign that lights up in red at night and says Beverly Shores(in cursive letters) at night.
     
    NorthShore likes this.
  12. Jul 9, 2019 #62

    Lana J C

    L

    Lana J C

    Joined:
    May 16, 2019
    Messages:
    3
     
  13. Jul 10, 2019 at 1:29 PM #63

    Twin Star Rocket

    Twin Star Rocket

    Twin Star Rocket

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    177
    Location:
    Texas
    Some of the coolest train stations are no longer served by trains unfortunately.
    Here are a few west of the Mississippi:
    Douglas AZ (EP&SW)
    Tucson AZ (EP&SW)
    Tucumcari NM (SP & RI)
    Boise ID (UP)
    Cheyenne WY (UP)
    Oklahoma City (RI & Frisco)
    Tulsa OK (Union Depot)
    SP depots in the Rio Grande Valley TX : Brownsville, McAllen, Edinburg
    San Antonio TX (I&GN/MP)
    Galveston TX (Union Depot)
    Omaha NE (Union Depot)
    Pueblo CO (Union Depot)
    Montana has more than a few depots of note (ex-GN, NP, and Milw) in the major towns.
    I'll add the art deco T&P depot in Ft. Worth though it is served by Trinity Rail Express
    commuter trains.
     
    dogbert617 and Pere Flyer like this.
  14. Jul 10, 2019 at 6:59 PM #64

    Notelvis

    Notelvis

    Notelvis

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,105
    Location:
    Western North Carolina
    I would like to add three to the list of 'really cool' stations and they could all be checked out within a couple of days since they are fairly close together. All are historic. All were lovingly restored by the North Carolina DOT within the last 10-15 years, and all are still active as Amtrak stations. There original charm was retained.

    For your consideration, I suggest -

    Hamlet, NC
    High Point, NC
    Rocky Mount, NC
     
    dogbert617 and Bob Dylan like this.
  15. Jul 11, 2019 at 4:38 AM #65

    dogbert617

    d

    dogbert617

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Messages:
    462
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Richmond, IN has a former depot that was once used for Amtrak service. But when the train that today is now called the Cardinal was routed onto its current route (Lafayette-Crawfordsville-Indy-Connersville-Cincy, and it still runs through Hamilton but no longer stops there), the Richmond stop ceased to be a functional station. BTW if you ever are doing a road trip through Richmond, IN by that old station and want to take a closer look, Little Sheba's is a great place for lunch. There's also a neat furniture and antiques store (Richmond Furniture Gallery), that's fun to go inside of for a look. I just really wish that Richmond station could be restored to any new purpose(even say an office for some local company), since as I remember it was so depressing to be boarded up.

    And on the note of former Amtrak stations when I was looking on Google Street view, it was funny to me how similar the station in Willmar, MN was in design, to the one in Havre, MT. I like how in Fort Benton, MT (between Havre and Great Falls), how that town converted that former station into a town history museum. Miles City, MT has an interesting former station( https://goo.gl/maps/9WGp3KCN1WXzyY6fA , edited 7/11/19) when looking on street view that lasted through 1979 for the now discontinued Amtrak North Coast Hiawatha, and now sadly is boarded up and decaying. I wish some local group could restore that building in Miles City, myself!

    Speaking of old train stations, if you ever watch the 1950s movie Appointment With Danger, in one scene in the middle of the movie, you can see how nice the downtown Gary, IN station used to look like. That Gary station still stands today, but of course decades ago sadly stopped being a functional train station. And today is popular with urbexers exploring abandoned buildings there, plus murals have been painted on one side of that building. Also I do have to give credit to a local Gary group, that 2 years ago a nice garden was added in front of that station.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019 at 9:59 PM
    NorthShore likes this.
  16. Jul 11, 2019 at 3:40 PM #66

    NorthShore

    NorthShore

    NorthShore

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Messages:
    971
    Location:
    Chicago
    Louisville
     
    Bob Dylan and dogbert617 like this.
  17. Jul 11, 2019 at 9:54 PM #67

    dogbert617

    d

    dogbert617

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Messages:
    462
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    NorthShore likes this.

Share This Page

arrow_white