Chicago Legacy Club Possible Closure - June 2019 or sooner

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by rtabern, Aug 17, 2018.

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  1. Aug 19, 2018 #51

    crescent-zephyr

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    I'm not sure I follow... Who is ignoring that fact? Who is suggesting that the stations be set up poorly?
     
  2. Aug 19, 2018 #52

    the_traveler

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    What you say is very true.

    A case in point is to compare the original NY Penn Station with the current NYP. Both were/are train stations designed to carry people, but the current one has many more shops. I am very sure many people will say that Penn Station was much better in the 1940’s and 1950’s than it is today.
     
  3. Aug 19, 2018 #53

    PVD

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    I guess what I'm trying to say (and probably not very clearly) is that very often people talk about one of the great old stations and how they used to be, and that's what we should still have. \What I'm trying to say is that as nice as they were, they were designed for something that to a great extent does not exist. Major stations handle very large numbers of commuters and corridor passengers, traffic patterns, and types of shops have evolved to fill that need. Even in Amtrak owned major stations, the LD numbers are dwarfed by corridor and commuter numbers and when it comes to traffic patterns and services the tail doesn't get to wag the dog. That's not an excuse to have a poor facility, but while we are all train passengers, a great mumber don't linger, they are in and out, and that is going to reflected in facility renovation.

    People have commented negatively about Denver (too commuter oriented), they always pine for the old Penn Station, a beautiful building, but one whose interior would need to be radically different than it was in order to handle the type of use it gets today
     
  4. Aug 19, 2018 #54

    cpotisch

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    Agreed. The frustrating thing is that when they cut checked baggage at all these stations, even if ridership drops, management can just say that the low ridership is from lack of demand, and can use that to justify further cuts to services and the LD network (including routes themselves). It's very easy to say how much they're "saving" by cutting a service, but very difficult to prove that any subsequent drop in ridership and revenue is because of that change.
     
  5. Aug 19, 2018 #55

    Devil's Advocate

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    Over the years I've passed through some of the most popular and highest rated airports in the world. Some of them I found impressively efficient, surprisingly versatile, and genuinely interesting. But I would struggle to call any of them attractive. Let alone beautiful.
     
  6. Aug 19, 2018 #56

    cpotisch

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    He's saying that nowadays, major train stations are really for getting tons of people through and onto/off of their trains as quickly and efficiently as possible. While special lounges and facilities make the experience of getting ready for your train more pleasant, it just doesn't really fit in with the purpose of a modern transit hub
     
  7. Aug 19, 2018 #57

    Seaboard92

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    But aren't the legacy terminals the ones that the modern designs are based off of? And aren't a lot of the techniques that we call modern today devised from said terminals. Grand Central in New York for instance was designed really as two stations as one. The upper level was the intercity level and hosted the long distance hot shots of the New York Central.

    While the lower level was designed as a commuter terminal. The other thing to remember they designed the station with no stairs just Ramps because Ramps are faster at dispersing people and helping them move.

    Chicago Union Station used to be a much larger terminal in terms of traffic and had its own lofty concourse building that met its end in the 60s.

    Buffalo Central Terminal was also the epitome of modern functional design in its day. A very functional terminal. The point is the modern design people love today was based off of the legacy stations. And they are still influencing them.

    The more modern stuff is the use of hard surfaces to communicate this is a walking zone and carpets to invite people to slow down and sit. I prefer the vintage buildings that the textbooks are based off of.
     
  8. Aug 19, 2018 #58

    CAMISSY55

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    Well, I will be sad to see the Legacy Lounge close. Since my first visit shortly after it opened (before the new Metropolitan Lounge opened), it has been my refuge for the layovers between the CONO (my train/route of origin or termination) and the CZ, SWC, TE, and EB.

    The Legacy is much more relaxing and user friendly for me. It is obviously a much smaller space than the ML, but the beautiful, refurbished high ceilings along with open layout and decor, make it feel more spacious.

    The Amtrak staff who run the lounge (not just the check in desk) have always been exceptionally helpful and courteous. During my first visit to the LL, I got word of an emergency that required me to change my destination and travel back across the country. The lounge attendant, Annette, saw my distress and calming assisted me in changing my reservation to get me where I needed to go, as quickly as possible. No need to go to the ticket counter, which had not yet moved to its new and much closer location. She was able to ticket it right there in the Legacy Lounge.

    I could go on and on about what I find appealing about the LL. And yes, I have relayed these positive sentiments on several occasions to Amtrak Customer Relations. But, apparently I'm part of a small minority. Oh well...It was wonderful while it lasted!

    Hopefully, it will still be open for my upcoming LD travel in October and December.
     
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  9. Aug 19, 2018 #59

    jis

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    While at some level of approximation the statement about new stations being based on elements used in legacy stations is bound to be true, I think there are some new stations that go far beyond anything found in a legacy station.

    One station that stands out in my mind is Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Yes every individual element in its design can possibly be found in some legacy station. But the way the package is currently put together is uniquely functional and even possibly attractive to the eyes of those that like that particular architectural style (me being one of them).

    London St. Pancras of today is significantly more spectacular IMHO than the form in which it was originally built. Similarly, the transformation that has taken place at Antwerp Central makes it a significantly superior station today than the form in which it was originally built.

    It is another matter than not too many significant station rehabilitation or new stations have been built in the US. There are a few exceptions like Denver Union Station, but even in such cases it is a much downsized facility serving a somewhat different overall purpose. Boston South Station also has done a pretty good job of rearranging things within the framework of a small part of the original structure to achieve a very functional downsized station, as has Washington Union Station.
     
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  10. Aug 19, 2018 #60

    PVD

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    Absolutely. It is unreasonable to think that stations done today are going to have what in essence would be large amounts of wasted space catering to a type of passenger whose numbers are much smaller than the other groups that the stations serve. Like it or not, LD train passengers are a much smaller contingent than corridor or commuter users of most larger stations.
     
  11. Aug 19, 2018 #61

    crescent-zephyr

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    Are you saying the club Acelas and M Lounge is wasted space?
     
  12. Aug 19, 2018 #62

    PVD

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    Certainly not. Not building a station that is designed around long distance travel is very different than not providing properly for those passengers.
     
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  13. Aug 20, 2018 #63

    tommylicious

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    The Metropolitan Lounges WILL close. They were created under vastly different management. Current management sees lounges as nothing but a cost center and waste of real estate which could otherwise be fetching handsome rent. Remember, this is the same management that is already dismantling systemwide diner service. You'll never eat a decent meal on Amtrak again under their watch.
     
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  14. Aug 20, 2018 #64

    cpotisch

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    There has been no move to eliminate the First Class lounges. The LEGACY Lounge MIGHT be closing. And it's one of two station lounges in Chicago, anyway. There is some somewhat unnecessary redundancy there. So how does this possibly equate to "current management sees lounges as nothing but a cost center and waste of real estate"? You should probably speak with a little less confidence (something I probably should do as well).
     
  15. Aug 20, 2018 #65

    Manny T

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    Not long ago, the Great Hall was an un-airconditioned space full of derelicts, and the waiting area for Amtrak passengers was split between an underground bunker for sleeper PAX (Metropolitan Lounge) and cramped cattle pens for coach passengers.

    Now Amtrak has air-conditioned the Great Hall, is restoring its architectural features, placed its kiosk in the center, provided ample seating, created a new 3-story Metropolitan Lounge for sleeper PAX, and is combining the old Metropolitan Lounge + cattle pens into a new waiting area for the all-coach Hiawatha services.

    Under the circumstances, closing the Legacy Lounge and converting it into a paying commercial tenant -- a restaurant -- to contribute to Amtrak's bottom line seems perfectly fine.

    Btw station restaurants are also "waiting areas." Always have been. If you doubt that, watch "Brief Encounter (1936), directed by David Lean, written by Noel Coward, and starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard.
     
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  16. Aug 20, 2018 #66

    PVD

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    Work on restoring the skylight is a big part of that also. Giving the waiting passengers much better space, and moving them out of the way of the throngs is very worthwhile. Part of the proposals for the long term involve creating additional access for commuter passengers which hopefully wll further clean up traffic flow.
     
  17. Aug 20, 2018 #67

    rtabern

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    The "sooner" part is looking more and more likely. Apparently there is a big secret meeting above CUS today in the Amtrak offices to determine an official closure date and when the announcement will be made public. If it's any indication they stopped selling monthly passes now too. Can you say on other around September 30 even? Just sad. Will be going down there soon to get photos.
     
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  18. Aug 20, 2018 #68

    crescent-zephyr

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    It seems that Amtrak and others are working on restoring the feel of the olden days, but in a modern way. Denver is a great example, Chicago, eventually NYC if the Post Office project ever happens.

    I feel like the Legacy Club had a very unique and small audience to begin with. I wonder if it was at one point part of a bigger plan? Like a "Legacy Service" on trains like the Builder / Zephyr? Try out the whole Prestige Class experiment.
     
  19. Aug 20, 2018 #69

    Rail Freak

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    How long was it open?
     
  20. Aug 20, 2018 #70

    Devil's Advocate

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  21. Aug 20, 2018 #71

    tommylicious

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    Easily deduced from current management's priorities in action. I have a business background and have seen it before.
     
  22. Aug 20, 2018 #72

    PVD

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    I like Denver a lot, but the was a Denver project, not Amtrak. And people have complained that it is too commuter oriented. Newsflash, no one was going to spend that kind of money for one train a day in each direction. It was a sad place before all the RTD and destination traffic.
     
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  23. Aug 20, 2018 #73

    crescent-zephyr

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    I'm still not sure what makes a station "commuter oriented" vs. "long distance" oriented. Both want the same basics like clean, modern restrooms, a comfortable place to wait for the train, wifi, place to charge their phones / laptops, a place to get coffee, a place to get a drink, a place to buy food. The Denver Station checks all these boxes and retains the historic vibe of the place.

    While not amtrak, nor even a train station, The Ferry Building in San Francisco is another example. They even managed to keep their solari board! RIP Amtrak Solari's [​IMG]
     
  24. Aug 20, 2018 #74

    crescent-zephyr

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    In contrast.. The Amtrak Seattle station kept the historic vibe.. but that's about it. The waiting area is too small for the traffic, and the way they have people line up airline style to get on the train means that people snake around the benches in a long line making the whole room quite congested. There are no food services in the station other than vending machines, and no easy to access outlets that I can remember.
     
  25. Aug 20, 2018 #75

    PVD

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    In a station handling a higher percentage of commuter/corridor rather than passengers traveling long distance, you would have less seated waiting areas, and your retail and food services would be geared towards people coming in and out, not lingering. Ticketing tends to be more automated, and flow to from entrances from platforms can be more direct. I think the other items belong regardless.
     

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