dubone

Charlotte Gateway Station and Railroad Improvements

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For starters they could probably put all The express service through Gateway.

 

That doesn't enhance anything.  Why take an express bus ( almost entirely suburban commuters) to a train station?  It does not serve any multimodal goals.  It just simply has them going to an arbitrary spot relatively far from the big offices.   There is little wrong with having them go to various key stops to distribute the commuters within downtown like they do now.   

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That doesn't enhance anything. Why take an express bus ( almost entirely suburban commuters) to a train station? It does not serve any multimodal goals. It just simply has them going to an arbitrary spot relatively far from the big offices. There is little wrong with having them go to various key stops to distribute the commuters within downtown like they do now.

I didn't put much thought into it while sitting at a stop light.

What bus routes do you recommend putting at gateway?

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I don't think 2 bus hubs makes any sense whatsoever.  It is an odd idea when the whole purpose of a hub is to transfer to another bus to go in any direction.  How insane of an idea is it that we are planning to make a second hub where a passenger will have to transfer from a bus to a streetcar to a bus instead of just having the buses just all go to the same place.   If you're going to require an extra transfer, then you're not really using the hub system, so just stop near either the streetcar or blue line without a second hub and they can use those to get to the single hub.   

 

 

 

As outlined on some epic posts, I think the Gateway Station plan should be scrapped due to far too many fundamental flaws.   The second bus hub would be a massive pain for bus riders.  

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I don't think 2 bus hubs makes any sense whatsoever.  It is an odd idea when the whole purpose of a hub is to transfer to another bus to go in any direction.  How insane of an idea is it that we are planning to make a second hub where a passenger will have to transfer from a bus to a streetcar to a bus instead of just having the buses just all go to the same place.   If you're going to require an extra transfer, then you're not really using the hub system, so just stop near either the streetcar or blue line without a second hub and they can use those to get to the single hub.   

 

 

 

As outlined on some epic posts, I think the Gateway Station plan should be scrapped due to far too many fundamental flaws.   The second bus hub would be a massive pain for bus riders.  

 

The dual hub system for the buses could actually work. If every bus coming from the south stops at the main CTC and then the new train station using Trade Street to traverse the course, that would provide a good 'last mile' solution for the Lynx, as well as an option for many light rail users to get to the train station.  Same for any bus coming from the north to stop at the new train station and then CTC at the end of the route. Now all passengers from any future passenger rail (commuter or long distance) can easily get to the light rail system.  Additionally, all of the bus traffic isn't concentrated heavily in one place in Uptown.

 

While the theory of having the train station further north near the light rail sounds nice, I can already hear anybody using the train or commuter rail complaining that it does not get you all the way into Uptown. Should any commuter rail be built, there would be a choke point from Uptown to the rail station for any additional capacity.

 

For example, in DC many red line passengers transfer at Fort Totten and take the yellow or green lines into the core of downtown rather than traverse the entire red line since Union Station is the busiest METRO stop on the system. Charlotte is no DC, has no commuter rail network, no network of long distance trains, etc. That's not to say that these systems can't be built in the next 20 years and planned for accordingly.

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http://inhabitat.com/winning-design-for-copenhagens-koge-north-train-station-is-a-spectacular-tubular-bridge/

 

This is exactly the type of design that would work for our needs for our multimodal rail station at the North Tryon rail yard.   Basically a pedestrian bridge from Parkwood to Tryon over the rail yards that acts both as an actual pedestrian connector across the area (already needed now) and as a highly scalable arrangement where virtually any of the tracks in the yard could get a platform built on it with access up to the bridge-like station.  It could even be initially built and justified purely as a pedestrian bridge between the current Amtrak station and the Parkwood Lynx station, but then if any new lines get built, they'd route them to any of the tracks, add a platform and staircase/elevator, and boom "Gastonia at Platform 3"  "Asheville at Platform 7"   "Mooresville at Platform 2".  

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http://inhabitat.com/winning-design-for-copenhagens-koge-north-train-station-is-a-spectacular-tubular-bridge/

This is exactly the type of design that would work for our needs for our multimodal rail station at the North Tryon rail yard. Basically a pedestrian bridge from Parkwood to Tryon over the rail yards that acts both as an actual pedestrian connector across the area (already needed now) and as a highly scalable arrangement where virtually any of the tracks in the yard could get a platform built on it with access up to the bridge-like station. It could even be initially built and justified purely as a pedestrian bridge between the current Amtrak station and the Parkwood Lynx station, but then if any new lines get built, they'd route them to any of the tracks, add a platform and staircase/elevator, and boom "Gastonia at Platform 3" "Asheville at Platform 7" "Mooresville at Platform 2".

WOW. The Danish man, they just know how to do transit and pedestrian access right. Imagine the views of uptown that bad boy would have!?

Honestly I'd imagine this design is fairly cost effective too. You'd only need a small footprint of land for the access points and bridge footing, along with air rights. Gah, what a fantastic idea. If we got something like this (we won't, just saying), I'd be totally cool with losing Gateway Station in uptown. 50 years down the road it's be a great stop right in the middle of Queens Park!

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Well, don't forget that we are in Charlotte.   We can't have nice things like park caps over rail yards :).    But this type of solution is both the poor man's shoestring budget AND highly scalable and could be designed in a likable way like this .  

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It is a no brainer that if it provides stimulus, then this area needs it, not 3rd Ward.  

 

And on on on with pros.   If it doesn't get shifted south and stays at the current location then you'd just end up with this style of covered bridge stations with any form of parking deck and bus transfer on Tryon.  It would very much support the growth in North Tryon by connecting that area to the Blue Line and any other way it could benefit from being near the station.   It also reduces the stigma as being near the industrial rail yard, as it is now by the hub of all the region's rail of all types.

 

 

Something like this:

 

It is really just a well designed pedestrian bridge from Brevard to North Tryon which, and to correct a major disconnect to a major stimulus to the area giving access to the Blue Line to the North Tryon corridor.  

 

It allows us to use the bridge itself as a linear train station hall, but also potentially retain some of the infrastructure of the current station.     The current parking could be upgraded to a deck with bus transfers on both the Tryon and Brevard sides which can Lynx park and ride and bus transfers as well as for Amtrak and any future regional rail.

 

As always, if the city ends up with unicorns and rainbows and we get regional and intercity rail in all directions, the vast number and space for tracks and platforms provide all the long term scalable infrastructure for that.  We just build a platform, staircase/elevator, and any other supporting ticket systems.   

post-670-0-00755200-1416344065_thumb.png

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It is a no brainer that if it provides stimulus, then this area needs it, not 3rd Ward.  

 

And on on on with pros.   If it doesn't get shifted south and stays at the current location then you'd just end up with this style of covered bridge stations with any form of parking deck and bus transfer on Tryon.  It would very much support the growth in North Tryon by connecting that area to the Blue Line and any other way it could benefit from being near the station.   It also reduces the stigma as being near the industrial rail yard, as it is now by the hub of all the region's rail of all types.

 

 

Something like this:

 

It is really just a well designed pedestrian bridge from Brevard to North Tryon which, and to correct a major disconnect to a major stimulus to the area  giving access to the Blue Line to the North Tryon corridor.  

 

It allows us to use the bridge itself as a linear train station hall, but also potentially retain some of the infrastructure of the current station.     The current parking could be upgraded to a deck with bus transfers on both the Tryon and Brevard sides which can Lynx park and ride and bus transfers as well as for Amtrak and any future regional rail.

 

As always, if the city ends up with unicorns and rainbows and we get regional and intercity rail in all directions, the vast number and space for tracks and platforms provide all the long term scalable infrastructure for that.  We just build a platform, staircase/elevator, and any other supporting ticket systems.   

 

 

Would Parkwood or 26th Steet be a more viable option.  Either way you've convinced me Dubone.  Where do I sign for our hypothetical train station?  Who do I yell at?  Or more importantly TWEET at.

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If a pedestrian and/or land bridge to Parkwood or 25th was too cost-prohibitive, I'd sooner see Amtrak move to 36th, instead of Gateway. Anywhere along BLE would provide an easy transfer to Uptown. At least 36th would have decent street life to welcome train travelers to Charlotte.

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But 36th has the same limitations as far as Gateway as far as being primarily through-tracks and no room for many trains in many directions in the long run to simply stop on the tracks for a boarding process.

 

 

I think putting this [Danish-style] Pedestrian Bridge Rail station toward Parkwood is better because you have the old Intermodal Terminal land for additional platforms but still retain the Light Rail vehicle facility they are building behind 25th Street Station.   Plus you also get any pedestrians directionally closer to uptown than farther.    

 

 

 

The bridge-style design as drawn above is 1500'   by the way and with a non-diagonal path would be <1000' closer to the 225m Køge Station.  

COBE-dissing+weitling-cowi-k%C3%B8ge-nor

 

It could be shifted northern end of the yards and get under 800' and then would be on the east end more to the heart of the North Tryon plan and on the east more to the heart of [southern NoDa] and connect to the 25th Street Lynx Station.   It would then get handy connections to the Little Sugar Creek Greenway too.  

 

I'm not sure of N-S's plan, though for that land at the northwest edge of the yards.   My original also kept some use of existing Amtrak tracks and some facilities as a transition.  So I think if we were going to make net-new then it would be better to shift it as far south as possible in the yard.  

post-670-0-50402200-1416350268_thumb.png

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Would Parkwood or 26th Steet be a more viable option.  Either way you've convinced me Dubone.  Where do I sign for our hypothetical train station?  Who do I yell at?  Or more importantly TWEET at.

Idk.    Maybe i'll put a few slides together and send it to some leaders

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Idk.    Maybe i'll put a few slides together and send it to some leaders

 

Gor for it dub1.  I do prefer the original map with the station as far south as possible because it puts the CSX line to Matthews into play, but anywhere across Tryon Yard is better than Gateway in 3rd Ward.  

 

Awesome job researching the Køge train station, it's a perfect blueprint for Charlotte!!!

 

Remember, the Atlanta Beltline was born when Ryan Gravel mailed copies of his grad school thesis to two dozen influential Atlantians, so think big my friend!

 

P.S. Also remember to connect the CSX and ACWR lines to your map so all rail corridors are represented.  :good:

Edited by ChessieCat

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Gor for it dub1.  I do prefer the original map with the station as far south as possible because it puts the CSX line to Matthews into play, but anywhere across Tryon Yard is better than Gateway in 3rd Ward.  

 

Awesome job researching the Køge train station, it's a perfect blueprint for Charlotte!!!

 

Remember, the Atlanta Beltline was born when Ryan Gravel mailed copies of his grad school thesis to two dozen influential Atlantians, so think big my friend!

 

P.S. Also remember to connect the CSX and ACWR lines to your map so all rail corridors are represented.  :good:

 

 

 

That's a really great point.  It'd be pretty darn cool if we could actually create some positive change to Charlotte's future transit plans!  I'd be the first one to crowd-fund a UP plaque at the new station!  Ha-ha.

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The skyline views from a bridge like that linking Amtrak and BLE would certainly beat any of the dated wall posters at the airport.

Add some moving sidewalks to that million-dollar view, and who would mind connecting from Red Line (and other commuter rail corridors) at expanded Amtrak to BLE as well. May even be a way to have FTA help fund the thing.

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I still would worry about a commuter line that doesn't reach center city, not that there are any more practical solutions. :/

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^With time, Center City should fall well outside of I-277. The distance between 25th and Trade is only 20 blocks, or far less between Grand Central Station and the Financial District. And in Charlotte, like New York, there'd even be a rapid rail line connecting the two.

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I still would worry about a commuter line that doesn't reach center city, not that there are any more practical solutions. :/

Having a stop at the North Charlotte station wouldn't preclude the red line from continuing on to a smaller station in Gateway.

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The station we are designing is in a roughly similar situation as Philadelphia's 30th street station (the main Amtrak station for the city). 30th St is only about 12 blocks from Market and Broad, but with its location on the other side of the river (combined with there being little streetlife around it) makes disembarking passengers feel like they are miles from downtown. Despite a heavy rail subway connecting 30th st to the remainder of the city there is still half-serious discussion of building a second station closer to the center of the city.

Concern about the red line is on point. Ridership looked bad when it was a one seat ride to downtown. If its a two seat ride then nobody is going to be able to justify the investment in any Charlotte commuter rail.

Having said all that, I would rather have the Charlotte yards station than wait a decade-plus for Gateway.

Edited by kermit
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The station we are designing is in a roughly similar situation as Philadelphia's 30th street station (the main Amtrak station for the city). 30th St is only about 12 blocks from Market and Broad, but with its location on the other side of the river (combined with their being little streetlife around it) makes disembarking passengers feel like they are miles from downtown. Despite a heavy rail subway connecting 30th st to the remainder of the city there is still half-serious discussion of building a second station closer to the center of the city.

 

Concern about the red line is on point. Ridership looked bad when it was a one seat ride to downtown. If its a two seat ride then nobody is going to be able to justify the investment in any Charlotte commuter rail.

 

Having said all that, I would rather have the Charlotte yards station than wait a decade-plus for Gateway.

 

 

That's the thing.  I feel like the option we've created in our minds is still more viable than any plan for Gateway at this point.  NCDOT appears to have placed the project well down their list of priorities and I don't foresee funding anytime soon.  I would guess we are looking at at least a decade, if not longer, before we saw any movement for Gateway.

 

heck, this thread was started nearly 7 years ago and we are nowhere closer today than we were when we started discussing it, in fact I'd argue it's less likely now than it was in 2008.

 

If it was "which do we building, Gateway or magic hypothetical N Tryon train station", my choice would be Gateway.  But if the caveat for Gateway is "just wait another 10-20 years", I'll take our fake train station, haha.

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What do you all think ridership numbers would look for a DMU route from the airport to the the magic hypothetical N Tryon station with a stop in Gateway?  High enough to get funding and get a much shorter version of the red line started?

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^ Airport lines don't typically generate high levels of ridership, but they do have outsized political appeal since most wealthy folks can imagine using the link a few times a year. I do think the line would have OK ridership if it runs all the way to Gastonia (via Belmont).

 

Ridership aside, Norfolk Southern (who owns the tracks between N Tryon and the Airport) is unlikely to consent to more passenger trains without substantial $ for upgrades (like a third track). They invested a lot in their new intermodal terminal and they don't want to see it constrained by rail congestion. Its not unlikely that new ROW LRT service to the airport would be cheaper to build than the necessary upgrades for the existing NS tracks.  NS's protectiveness about their tracks is one of the reasons why Gateway station has been put on the back burner (and one of the reasons why a N Tryon station is actually realistic since that would be on NCRR property and tracks)

Edited by kermit

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