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Raleigh Union Station


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5 hours ago, Scotchman said:

Seems the

Seems just one screw-up after another.  Super expensive "saving of Historic" building that really amounted to just the steel frame.  I strongly suspect would have been cheaper and resulted in much more logical less convoluted layout if have just started with clean slate.  JMO

I've seen a couple of commercial towers stripped to their steel and rebuilt from there, so I suspect this was 99% about cost savings, 1% character, 0% historic preservation, because, well, there was no preservation...by any preservationist's standards. 

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Rode in on the 74 today to check out the station. It is genuinely spectacular. Keeping the cranes and hoists was a stroke of genius (but they dont detract from an otherwise sleek vibe). The observation deck is a nice touch and the station feels better connected to the city than I feared it would with the underpasses. The metal awnings at west street do a decent job of serving as an attractive station entrance. I do have some worries about the retail space, the station doesn’t get -that- much foot traffic and it is just far enough from the main flow of people downtown that it may be a tough sell.

The only design difficulty I noticed was that it is a long walk from the platform to the station (and it is a relatively steeply sloped walkway). I know this design is unavoidable for the Star and the Carolinian (at the moment) but it is a pitty that they didn’t go ahead and build the platform on the Boylan side as well. That would have made for much shorter walks for people on the Piedmont service and an easier / faster equipment move up to Capital Yard.

I was also slightly disapointed with the train crew, despite high platform they only opened one door. Its not a big deal (it was not a busy train) but I was hoping they would have taken better advantage of the platform.

On another note: why haven't I heard anything about commuter rail design work yet? Its still part of the (now fully locally funded) transit plan, isn’t it? 

Edited by kermit
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It's a hike, even farther if you count the distance from the Dillon garage or the nearest GoRaleigh stop. On the other hand, it's no worse than going from one end of the main RDU garage to the end of Terminal 2 Concourse C (or D). Nor are the Terminal 2 concourses completely level. But they do have moving sidewalks.

The city and state were hard-pressed to find all the construction money as costs kept rising. Putting in the S-line platforms, the tunnel to reach them, and the necessary track work would probably have added $8-12 million (just a SWAG). They didn't have it. 

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14 hours ago, ctl said:

It's a hike, even farther if you count the distance from the Dillon garage or the nearest GoRaleigh stop. On the other hand, it's no worse than going from one end of the main RDU garage to the end of Terminal 2 Concourse C (or D). Nor are the Terminal 2 concourses completely level. But they do have moving sidewalks.

The city and state were hard-pressed to find all the construction money as costs kept rising. Putting in the S-line platforms, the tunnel to reach them, and the necessary track work would probably have added $8-12 million (just a SWAG). They didn't have it. 

Yea, its certainly shorter than an airport walk and mostly fine for inter-city trips. The difference however is train riders tend to be carrying more luggage than flyers. I  was there this morning when the Northbound Star arrived and there was LOTS of beotching about the walk from the aged.  They may need to be a bit more proactive about cart service for the older crowd when deboarding but the station staff did a pretty good job getting people who needed assistance onto the train.

The walk length concerns me more for commuter rail, its gonna feel like a very long walk (in the wrong direction) 10 times a week for riders from Selma and Graham.

Minor beotching aside, it is a spectacular station that is a delightful place to wait for a train. I am VERY impressed.

 

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54 minutes ago, kermit said:

Yea, its certainly shorter than an airport walk and mostly fine for inter-city trips. The difference however is train riders tend to be carrying more luggage than flyers. I  was there this morning when the Northbound Star arrived and there was LOTS of beotching about the walk from the aged.  They may need to be a bit more proactive about cart service for the older crowd when deboarding but the station staff did a pretty good job getting people who needed assistance onto the train.

The walk length concerns me more for commuter rail, its gonna feel like a very long walk (in the wrong direction) 10 times a week for riders from Selma and Graham.

Minor beotching aside, it is a spectacular station that is a delightful place to wait for a train. I am VERY impressed.

 

I rode by the other day and it looks very urban, innovative, and well designed.

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21 hours ago, kermit said:

I do have some worries about the retail space, the station doesn’t get -that- much foot traffic and it is just far enough from the main flow of people downtown that it may be a tough sell.

Yes, that's a good point.  My thought was the retail needed to be a fast option, something that showcases the region, and something already established.  Bojangles or Cookout.  

Shows visitors whatsup.  Draws office workers and residents from nearby into the station.  Quick grab and eat on train or in West St plaza or roof terrace.

Train station hall should also have a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks kiosk.

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36 minutes ago, Green_man said:

Yes, that's a good point.  My thought was the retail needed to be a fast option, something that showcases the region, and something already established.  Bojangles or Cookout.  

Shows visitors whatsup.  Draws office workers and residents from nearby into the station.  Quick grab and eat on train or in West St plaza or roof terrace.

Train station hall should also have a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks kiosk.

Krispy Kreme!

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57 minutes ago, Green_man said:

Yes, that's a good point.  My thought was the retail needed to be a fast option, something that showcases the region, and something already established.  Bojangles or Cookout.  

Shows visitors whatsup.  Draws office workers and residents from nearby into the station.  Quick grab and eat on train or in West St plaza or roof terrace.

Train station hall should also have a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks kiosk.

It has a Larry's Beans Kiosk I think

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My understanding of commuter rail is that the grassy area between the track and the station will become the commuter rail platform, and will be accessible without going through the station. Not sure if another track is planned just serving commuter rail.  But that’s a design that was presented to the passenger rail task force in 2015 and it’s a bit fuzzy in my memory. 

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The TTA platform would use the same concourse to/from the station as the Amtrak platform. This concourse is very close to the "bus parking" area on the return driveway to West St. Whether a back door for the concourse could be built, with ingress/egress at the bus platform, I don't know. It depends on elevations, and I can't find construction drawings on the city or NCDOT website that are precise enough. But more importantly there is a potential security concern because Amtrak does not allow anyone except ticketed passengers on their platform. One reason is liability, another reason is discouraging panhandlers (a problem at other Amtrak stations in NC), a third reason is to prevent congestion on the platform. A backdoor onto the concourse might conflict with this.   

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The Cabarrus St crossing remains closed while Norfolk Southern and NCDOT complete construction of new trackage associated with RUS. I assume they'll be finished in a few more working days. The other project is a new track from Harrington St to the NCDOT passenger train facility on the east side of Capital Blvd; it should be completed shortly if it hasn't been already. 

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