The cramped Union Station Claytor concourse

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by National Limited, Nov 8, 2019.

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  1. Nov 8, 2019 #1

    National Limited

    National Limited

    National Limited

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    I was recently in Washington DC for a weekend getaway. My flight flew out of BWI. I got to union station in the pouring rain and quickly booked a train on the Amtrak app. When I got to the Claytor concourse I was surprised to see a New York Penn station size mob waiting to find the gate posting for my regional train. It was almost a third world experience attempting to get to the gate, through the gate, and then on the train. The roof of the Claytor concourse leaks. There were puddles all around Gate K. Passengers were lined up like cattle. It was almost as fun as going through security at a national airport the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I have to say as an eager Amtrak enthusiast that it was rewarding to see so many people attempting to use Amtrak. But also disappointing to see that the Claytor concourse doesn’t appear to be adequately sized for the amount of traffic Amtrak sees at Washington Union Station. So my question is this: Was the Claytor concourse ever big enough to handle Amtrak traffic at Union station? And are there any plans to make high-level platforms available on the through tracks?
     
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  2. Nov 8, 2019 #2
  3. Nov 8, 2019 #3

    Thirdrail7

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    Yes, the Claytor concourse was big enough to handle Amtrak traffic at Union station. The concourse was added in the 1980s and held its own until the early to mid-2000s. However, ridership has climbed on Amtrak and expanded south, trains have been added to the Marc system and VRE ridership has continued to grow. Now, the mall is in the way of the passengers and stymies growth. An article summarizing the redevelopment has already been linked, but yes, the Claytore concourse was big enough to handle the traffic of yesteryear.




    Yes.
     
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  4. Nov 8, 2019 #4

    John Bobinyec

    John Bobinyec

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    I'd be interested to see where they're going to get the room in order to expand the "Clayton" Concourse. I bet they shorten the terminal tracks in order to expand northward.

    jb
     
  5. Nov 8, 2019 #5

    MARC Rider

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    One thing they can do right now is make better use of the "boarding lounge" areas between the concourse and the platforms, which is now mostly empty space. They do use the space at gate B as a waiting area for MARC passengers, but my experience as a MARC passenger was that we never actually hung around the station, but walked straight in and boarded a train standing by.
     
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  6. Nov 8, 2019 #6

    Thirdrail7

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    They weren't planning to shorten the tracks, some of which are already too short to accommodate the existing trains. They were planning on moving the concourse up and over and adding another one under the tracks. They are also in the process of adding more tracks, restoring the area for tracks 1-6.
     
  7. Nov 8, 2019 #7

    jis

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  8. Nov 8, 2019 #8

    National Limited

    National Limited

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    Fascinating read (but lengthy) at this site:
    https://www.usrcdc.com/projects/historic-preservation-plan/
     
  9. Nov 9, 2019 #9

    west point

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    PRR already shortened the tracks and any further shortening ?????????. The lower level new thru tracks will allow for much longer trains.
     
  10. Nov 9, 2019 #10

    jis

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    In case it is not clear, there are no plans to shorten any tracks. So let us please not beat that dead horse a bit more
     
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  11. Nov 9, 2019 #11

    Thirdrail7

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    Isn't that what we're here for? :)
     
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  12. Nov 9, 2019 #12

    Woodcut60

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    Such a pity because Washington Union Station is one of the most beautiful train stations in the US, in my opinion. But a leaking roof and puddles, etc. doesn't sound very nice.
     
  13. Nov 9, 2019 #13

    National Limited

    National Limited

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    Are there any floor plans available online that show what Amtrak is intending to do with the expansion of the concourse?
     

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