Union Station Revitalization | ?m | ?s | City of Toronto | NORR

sche

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Seeing the talk about the dental office, I'm just gonna leave this here:
Alon Levy's recent blog post (here) about the planned renovation of Washington Union Station.

I would suggest reading the whole thing (actually, Alon Levy's blog in general) but here are the most important bits:
What are the features of good train stations?
A train station is interface between passengers and trains. Everything about their construction must serve this purpose. This includes the following features:
  • Platforms that can effectively connect to the trains (Union Station has a mix of high and low platforms; all platforms used by Northeast Corridor trains must be raised).
  • Minimum distance from platform to street or to urban transit.
  • Some concessions and seats for travelers, all in an open area.
  • Ticketing machines.
  • An information booth with maps of the area and station facilities.
  • Nothing more.
...

What are the features of Washington Union Station expansion?

The presentation highlights the following features:
  • A new concourse beneath the platforms.
  • A new concourse on H Street with a prominent headhouse, with bus and streetcar connections.
  • An enclosed bus facility.
  • Underground parking.
  • Future air rights development.
All of the above are wasteful. Connections to H Street can be handled through direct egress points from the platforms to the street, and passengers can get between H Street and the main historic station via those egress points and the platforms themselves. The platforms are key circulation spaces at a train station and using them for passenger movements is normal; I can see an argument against that if the platforms are unusually narrow or crowded, as is the case in New York, but in Washington there is no such excuse.
...

The plan should be rejected in its entirety and no further funding should be committed to it. Good transit activists should demand that spending on public transportation and intercity rail go to those purposes and not toward building unnecessary train halls. Moreover, it is unlikely the managers at Amtrak who pushed for it and who still are the client for the project understand modern rail operations, nor is it likely that they will ever learn. With neither need nor use for the project, it should be canceled and the people involved in its management and supervision laid off.
 

DSC

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Okay well Union isn’t the only place that can be accessed without cars, literally anywhere else in downtown Toronto can, and especially throughout the PATH network.
Yes, but Union station is VERY easy to get to from many directions with not much effort and is close to LOTS of transit (being a transit hub and all that). Many people really cannot (or will not) walk far so convenience is essential! As the rent at Union is, I assume, not low and the businesses opening there hope to make a profit I guess they have decided that having lots of passing customers (or potential customers) is worth it.
 

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generalcanada

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Northern Light

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detailed notes about progress of USEP

Pictures/captions from the above:

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Timeline for work completed/underway/forecast:

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Bordercollie

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A single pic from me, taken July 8th, 2022; looking at the USEP work site from CIBC Square Park:

View attachment 412809
Considering that those platforms were built about ten years ago? I'm not so confident that this is money well spent. Is it actually going to improve the boarding experience?

Until construction is finished will freight trains travel through the station? Isn't there a CN transfer from Oakville to Oshawa that passes through here?
 

ViveleCanada

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Considering that those platforms were built about ten years ago? I'm not so confident that this is money well spent. Is it actually going to improve the boarding experience?

Until construction is finished will freight trains travel through the station? Isn't there a CN transfer from Oakville to Oshawa that passes through here?
Metrolinx in their GO Expansion report noted that the narrow platforms are a constraining factor towards high frequency service as the current platforms cannot efficiently alight passengers. I will agree that the government should have had more foresight before constructing the platforms in the first place, however, the current platform works are absolutely necessary for RER.
 

innsertnamehere

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Considering that those platforms were built about ten years ago? I'm not so confident that this is money well spent. Is it actually going to improve the boarding experience?

Until construction is finished will freight trains travel through the station? Isn't there a CN transfer from Oakville to Oshawa that passes through here?
How many freights even go by Union any more? I can't recall ever seeing a freight train on the USRC. They can't be common. Wouldn't it pretty much just be whatever services the Portlands, which is now a dead rail line and has been for years anyway?
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Metrolinx in their GO Expansion report noted that the narrow platforms are a constraining factor towards high frequency service as the current platforms cannot efficiently alight passengers. I will agree that the government should have had more foresight before constructing the platforms in the first place, however, the current platform works are absolutely necessary for RER.

They honestly don't need a report to tell them what they could clearly observe themselves (and the issue had been commented upon multiple times on here prior). Everyone just pretended publicly not to see the problem because no one is ready to make the commitment to deal with it - and here we are.

AoD
 

Northern Light

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Willybru21

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Considering that those platforms were built about ten years ago? I'm not so confident that this is money well spent. Is it actually going to improve the boarding experience?

Until construction is finished will freight trains travel through the station? Isn't there a CN transfer from Oakville to Oshawa that passes through here?
Yes it 100% is going to be good, the platforms will be widened significantly, and every other platform in the station will be widened and extended too. Which allows for way better boarding experience. Not to mention the new concourse.
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generalcanada

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Yes it 100% is going to be good, the platforms will be widened significantly, and every other platform in the station will be widened and extended too. Which allows for way better boarding experience. Not to mention the new concourse.View attachment 413754View attachment 413755View attachment 413757View attachment 413758View attachment 413759
View attachment 413761
to note only the south platforms are part of USEP, the GO Expansion will do the rest later on in like 2025
 

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