GRDadof3

Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

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3 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

FYI the CSX line crosses right where the old Amtrak station used to be. The station is still there I believe, could it be retrofitted as a commuter train/bus stop?

 

CSX Line.JPG

Old station on Wealthy is in very bad shape, and would probably need to be leveled an rebuilt. 

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3 hours ago, Onekama said:

Depot in Zeeland is no more.  Was at State st. and Washington ave. approximately.

8494CB7D-0684-44F0-8DE4-722029F7F11E.jpeg

3A7555C6-9488-4886-B8E5-C0986BDF8F6E.jpeg

F937168D-D118-431E-9D9B-57EB3D44F239.jpeg

me: "Oh cool!" scroll, "Oh cool!" scroll, "Ahhh!"

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4 hours ago, Prankster said:

Old station on Wealthy is in very bad shape, and would probably need to be leveled an rebuilt. 

Depots themselves don't seem like they'd be that expensive to build. Essentially an enclosed pavilion with bathrooms (no need for a ticket counter with everything automated). 

It's the land that would be expensive and the Wealthy land is still owned by the city I believe. Or the railroad. 

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53 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

Depots themselves don't seem like they'd be that expensive to build. Essentially an enclosed pavilion with bathrooms (no need for a ticket counter with everything automated). 

It's the land that would be expensive and the Wealthy land is still owned by the city I believe. Or the railroad. 

I would guess either MDot or Amtrak owns the Wealthy Street Station.  (MDOT subsidizes most if not all of the Amtrak trains through Michigan).

 

I would be opposed to using Wealthy Street for the GR Terminal.  If you could tie in with the new (existing) Amtrak station off of Grandville Ave., you have a short walk across the parking lot to the bus depot.  As others have noted, access to other forms of transportation would be key to making this idea work.

2 hours ago, elcelc said:

me: "Oh cool!" scroll, "Oh cool!" scroll, "Ahhh!"

Very unfortunate.  Thanks for sharing the pictures!  Do you have any pictures/locations of other possible depots along this corridor? Or pictures of former depots along this corridor?

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51 minutes ago, cutlervillegr said:

I would guess either MDot or Amtrak owns the Wealthy Street Station.  (MDOT subsidizes most if not all of the Amtrak trains through Michigan).

 

I would be opposed to using Wealthy Street for the GR Terminal.  If you could tie in with the new (existing) Amtrak station off of Grandville Ave., you have a short walk across the parking lot to the bus depot.  As others have noted, access to other forms of transportation would be key to making this idea work.

Very unfortunate.  Thanks for sharing the pictures!  Do you have any pictures/locations of other possible depots along this corridor? Or pictures of former depots along this corridor?

My only issue with the Amtrak station is that it's not in a very good spot for easy in-and-out for commuter trains coming in from the SW like the CSX. I don't even know how the Amtrak train maneuvers around to get in and out of there. Anyone ridden the Amtrak? You can get away with monkeying around when people are expecting a 4 - 5 hour train trip, not for a 20 minute ride from Hudsonville. 

 

Amtrak station.JPG

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35 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

My only issue with the Amtrak station is that it's not in a very good spot for easy in-and-out for commuter trains coming in from the SW like the CSX. I don't even know how the Amtrak train maneuvers around to get in and out of there. Anyone ridden the Amtrak? You can get away with monkeying around when people are expecting a 4 - 5 hour train trip, not for a 20 minute ride from Hudsonville. 

 

 

One option could be completing the wye to the Amtrak station.  It looks like the city already owns the parcel at 280 Logan SW.  Acquiring the top edge of 503 Century (Faber & Co) could possibly allow a wye to be connected that would eliminate the need for the train to stop, have the switch pulled and back into the station.  

 

Of course, Amtrak would likely be interested in this, too, so that makes me wonder if it isn't feasible, since Amtrak didn't already try this when they put in their station.

 

 

image.png

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One option could be completing the wye to the Amtrak station.  It looks like the city already owns the parcel at 280 Logan SW.  Acquiring the top edge of 503 Century (Faber & Co) could possibly allow a wye to be connected that would eliminate the need for the train to stop, have the switch pulled and back into the station.  

Of course, Amtrak would likely be interested in this, too, so that makes me wonder if it isn't feasible, since Amtrak didn't already try this when they put in their station.

It is very possible and was suggested to both the architect in charge and some members of the RAPID board . Completely ignored.  It should have been constructed with the east option later  IF there is ever service to Detroit or Kalamazoo. The same architect said they couldn't get the train to the tent because the cars wouldn't fit under Wealthy St overpass. That's really a dumb comment since there were freight yard tracks in the same location.

Service to Holland will be fought tooth and nail by CSX.  And there is no gov't agency that can make them accept commuter service on anything but CSX terms. They just make it so expensive, it won't happen. 

GRD3 and a few of us tried to get a Sparta to downtown (Bridge St / GVSU campus) rush hour commuter service just looked at but guess who owned the tracks from Ann St to downtown? And that was with a RR north of Ann that was willing to consider it.  Same corporate  owner owns GR to  Lowell.

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9 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

It is very possible and was suggested to both the architect in charge and some members of the RAPID board . Completely ignored.  It should have been constructed with the east option later  IF there is ever service to Detroit or Kalamazoo. The same architect said they couldn't get the train to the tent because the cars wouldn't fit under Wealthy St overpass. That's really a dumb comment since there were freight yard tracks in the same location.

Service to Holland will be fought tooth and nail by CSX.  And there is no gov't agency that can make them accept commuter service on anything but CSX terms. They just make it so expensive, it won't happen. 

GRD3 and a few of us tried to get a Sparta to downtown (Bridge St / GVSU campus) rush hour commuter service just looked at but guess who owned the tracks from Ann St to downtown? And that was with a RR north of Ann that was willing to consider it.  Same corporate  owner owns GR to  Lowell.

I'm new to this board (and relatively new to the area), but it is already depressing how often civic leaders screw up some rather obvious transit/cityscape choices (like not trying to complete the wye into the station).  I'm sure it's even worse for those who have been following these decisions for a long time.

You are correct about CSX.  They are not a good host railroad for passenger/commuter rail, and this is evidenced throughout the country.  A better option may be to buy R.O.W. from CSX.  A decent portion of the GR-Holland portion is double tracked.  I'm assuming the R.O.W. is there for the entire line to be double tracked from GR-Holland.  Buying or leasing the R.O.W. from the second track may be the better option than dealing with CSX.  Although, that defeats the entire point of the initial idea and probably destroys the budget for such an idea.

Genesee & Wyoming owns from Ann Street north and east on the West Side.  Coopersville & Marne (a tourist line) owns the line west of Ann Street.  I believe Grand Elk owns from Hughart Yard (along 131 @ Burton St) south to Kalamazoo.  They may also own the abandoned-in-place spur that juts out to 44th St  southeast from Burton Street.   I don't know how these companies are to work with for passenger/commuter rail, but some of these rail lines may be attractive commuter rail options, particularly a GR-Wyoming-Cutlerville-Byron Center-Wayland line that runs North-South.  And like you said, a line up to Sparta would probably do well, also.

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13 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

GRD3 and a few of us tried to get a Sparta to downtown (Bridge St / GVSU campus) rush hour commuter service just looked at but guess who owned the tracks from Ann St to downtown? And that was with a RR north of Ann that was willing to consider it.  Same corporate  owner owns GR to  Lowell.

I thought it was Ada to Downtown (along Michigan Corridor) or am I thinking of a different attempt?

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10 hours ago, tSlater said:

I thought it was Ada to Downtown (along Michigan Corridor) or am I thinking of a different attempt?

There were a lot of corridors talked about but the Sparta/Comstock Park to downtown one was a straight shot right down to the area around GVSU Pew Campus.  I think even a demo commuter train engine was available if we wanted to have it brought to GR.  That was a long time ago. :)

The Ada to downtown one is messy because the rail lines shoot way North (around Monroe and Leonard area) and then circle back into downtown in the Monroe North area, where much of the rail is abandoned. 

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