Thursday, July 30, 2009

Update on majestic (or not) train station

In last night's post I noted a friend's complaint about upkeep at Charlotte's Amtrak station on North Tryon Street, but I wasn't sure who was responsible for maintenance. Got this response at 5:19 a.m. from Patrick Simmons, head of the N.C. Department of Transportation's Rail division:

Norfolk Southern owns the station and Amtrak is the responsible tenant. ... Thank you for sharing the rider/reader report. By copy of this e-mail I will pass it along to our Amtrak contacts and ask that they address the issues promptly. ... Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

And here's a note of clarification: The photo I used was of the historic old Seaboard Coast Line station. It's on North Tryon Street but closer to uptown than the not-so-majestic Amtrak building we now must use. I couldn't find an Observer file photo showing the current Amtrak station, which is not what you'd call photogenic. The historic old station is now used by the Urban Ministry Center.

I intended for the photo of the historic station to refer to the link I posted to an article about majestic train stations all over the country, many of them demolished years ago, like Charlotte's Southern Railway station on West Trade Street. I have a drawing over my desk from the late Jack Boyte depicting the old Southern terminal. I couldn't find a usable photo of it, either.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand why there is not a picture of the correct railway station with this article. Are there no reporters for the Observer who could *drive* by the rail station and take even one picture of it? What about the writer: at least give them a digital camera and let them drive by and click a shot, for goodness sakes!

WashuOtaku said...

The Observer is probably afriad that the ugliness of the station will break there expensive cameras. I don't blame them.

Also, here is a picture I took of Raleigh's Amtrk Station (refer to yesterday's comment about it):

consultant said...


That Raleigh Amtrack Station shows you how far our national ambition has declined (ugly!).

You pay for passenger rail the way we use to; or, a modified version of what we do now with highways.

The federal/state govt. clears the right of ways, improves the track, and private companies run the railroads.

We use to do stuff like that until the neocons started trashing the idea that govt. could or should do anything.

Stephen the Historian said...

The current station is a craphole to put it nicely. I still like travel by rail, but we could use a new one, preferably closer to town as planned. I don't think it would matter if the current station was kept up or even renovated, it would still be a dump.

Oh and Mary, the Robinson-Spangler collection has several postcards of the old Southern Railroad station which you can view online. I don't think the library would have any problem with you posting one. The station in Salisbury was designed by the same architect and looks very similar to Charlotte's.

Queens College has a photograph labeled "Southern Railroad Station, c. 1898", which dates it before the construction of the Spanish Mission-styled station we know. It is a beautiful Victorian structure:

Stephen said...

Oops, I meant to say Queens University :-)