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How would you like to see the Amtrak depot improved?

Asked at The Sante Fe depot, 413 Seventh St. on October 9, 2009

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Photo of Bonnie Blosser

“I would like to see the Amtrak depot incorporate the theme of arts and the environment.”

Photo of Shelli Ulmer

“I would like to see an observation area to watch the eagles that nest over here on the north side.”

Photo of Steve Bagwell

“I like the idea of an all-night diner.”

Photo of Mike Myers

“I would like to see a perfect restoration, back to the original condition … and a space for special events.”

Comments

grammaddy 4 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations Blue!! Grandparenting is so much more fun than parenting. gccs14r- I think you are onto something. I took the train to Buffalo earlier this year and was totally amazed at how few people actually ride the train. Our station is only open a total of 3 hours a day. I'd like to see more than just 3 or 4 passenger trains go through here. And as for improvements to the building, how about a pay phone that works.

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gccs14r 4 years, 6 months ago

My understanding is that about 12,000 people commute to KC each day. That should be enough people to support rail, if they can get to their final destination in a reasonable amount of time using KC public transportation. As for KC's problems, I think politics has more to do with it than the actual mechanics of setting it up.

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riverdrifter 4 years, 6 months ago

I worked there 30 years ago. It was great. Shake n Bake, Sonny Buehler, Jack Valcour (killed in the yard, Jackie and I found him, run over by a kicked boxcar, ATSF 525610, I never forgot it). Hogger G Hawkes. Brakeman Ellison. Sal Vega, killed by a train at Emporia. Another engineer, a great guy, I cannot remember his name, killed at Valley Falls in a collision with a fuel tanker truck. George, he's still kicking. Danny Kirk. Dennis Thompsen, a great guy, now gone. Ditto with John King. There's bullet holes in those large pictures in the large panels in the waiting room, shot at John King in the '60s. So many memories. I hope they save this building. One more thing: we'd always have all these football/basketball pots, pick lists, wager sheets, etc, going on there. It was amazing. Cliff McDonald came in one day to track a carload of Budweiser due in and he said "This isn't a railroad depot, it's a gambling hall."

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notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says…

"Someone would have to do a study to see if there are enough folks commuting to downtown KC to support running a commuter train."

There aren't enough people in Lawrence to support a commuter train to KC.

It's not just having enough people to fill a train. It's having enough people to fill multiple trains. One of the biggest advantages of cars over trains is convenience. The door-to-door aspect is a battle the trains already lost. But it's also the timing. Not everyone works 9-5, and if you can drive to work in less than an hour, why would you want to sit around and wait two or three hours for a train? Not to mention, what do you do when school calls and your child has to be picked up early, you get out of work early because of a power outage, weather, or cancelled appointments, or any number of other reasons? What happens when your child is moving a little slow in the morning getting ready for school, and being 5 minutes behind now means you get to work 3 or 4 hours late because you missed the only morning train?

For commuter rail to really work, you need trains running hourly at least. My understanding is that without a dedicated track, that's not possible with freight trains in the way. But even if it were, you need a much higher population density than this region has to make it work - each additional train means less people per train, which means less cost effectiveness.

They can't even come up with a workable plan to support a rail plan for commuters in the Kansas City north area - how do you think they could ever justify a route to Lawrence?

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 6 months ago

Hearty congrats Blue! so, does he resemble you yet?


to be left alone with a boozed up Nick Danger!!!

that sure ain't fun! however the trouble is usually time-limited, usually he seems to pass out from E85 overdose around 3a.m.

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gccs14r 4 years, 6 months ago

Someone would have to do a study to see if there are enough folks commuting to downtown KC to support running a commuter train. I know there are enough people commuting from Lawrence to KC in general, but because there's no good way to get from downtown to anywhere else in the metro, the folks who don't work downtown won't be able to use the system. The other issue would be track priority. No one will use the system if they can't be guaranteed a reasonable arrival time. Ideally, it would take no more than 20 minutes to get from Lawrence to KC. Having to wait for freight trains would screw that up.

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Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 6 months ago

more routes between Lawrence and Kansas city

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Bill Lee 4 years, 6 months ago

I agree with more trains to more places. How about a commuter that would run between Topeka and KC, with stops in Lawrence? I could run 24-7, Live music, beer and BBQ in the station would be good, too.

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 6 months ago

Congrats, blue. Nobody has suggested a roundabout yet?

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autie 4 years, 6 months ago

uh, yeah, KU. It is the only school my family let me and the cousins go to, cept Justin. He went to the ag college up the river. And being the father of a current student at the University..start saving now...and by the time the kid is ready you might have enough to pay for one or two semesters. And if your really lucky, you get to see the kid on TV in the student section like I did last game...twice.

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puddleglum 4 years, 6 months ago

congradulations blueharley73....

make sure you save up and send that kid to KU for college.

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 6 months ago

militant (Anonymous) says…

Blown up…with Obama's Nobel prize inside.

Then replaces with a simple plaque that reads, “Bombs for Peace.” It has a nice ring to it doesn't it?"

Marion writes:

OK; that's it!

You made me spill coffee on my keyboard!

;)

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

Congrats blue..lets me guess..you suggested they name it Harley?

Good to have you join the late night crowd. Just drink a lot..it's been too tame lately, we need more comments, and looks like booze makes the fingers friskier. When I drop back in from time to time, it will be nice to see something refreshing for a change. ;)

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gccs14r 4 years, 6 months ago

The biggest improvement would be more frequent train service to more destinations.

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militant 4 years, 6 months ago

Blown up...with Obama's Nobel prize inside.

Then replaces with a simple plaque that reads, "Bombs for Peace." It has a nice ring to it doesn't it?

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, svenway, these arky-teks seem to be the guys with all the birght ideas about how to spend money, so I assumed(apparently incorrectly!) that they would be willing to pony up the funds for this project!

oh wait

(Expressions of shock and awe!)

You don't mean that the arky-teks are suggesting that other people spend money for this boondoggle?

I mean, I just that that since they are all about spending so much money that they all must be doing well and would be willing to share the wealth!

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Corey Keizer 4 years, 6 months ago

EVERY BODY RUN!!! IT'S MIKE MYERS!!!!

RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!

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svenway_park 4 years, 6 months ago

Marion: If architects are doing so well, why can't you-know-who finance his own lawsuits or buy his own house?

Oh, those other architects have architecture degrees and actual competence, don't they?

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lawrenceguy40 4 years, 6 months ago

When will this city stop wasting my money????

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 6 months ago

'“I would like to see the Amtrak depot incorporate the theme of arts and the environment.”

— Bonnie Blosser, sales associate, Lawrence."

Marion wrties:

Get out your paints and brushes, Bonnie!

"“I would like to see an observation area to watch the eagles that nest over here on the north side.”

— Shelli Ulmer, architect, Olathe"

Marion writes:

Call you favourite construction company and have them bid the job which you are going to pay for, right?

"“I like the idea of an all-night diner.”

— Steve Bagwell, architect, Lawrence"

Marion writes:

We all know that biz is booming for architects right now, Steve, so you should be able to hit up a local bank for a small business loan, so that you can set up and operate the diner, right?

"“I would like to see a perfect restoration, back to the original condition … and a space for special events.”

— Mike Myers, architect, Lawrence"

Marion writes:

As with Steve, above, in this ecnomy, you should be doing very well in your chosen career, so why don't you donate you time to reverse-engineer the plans for the building(The old ones may no longer exist, you know!), do up the hew plans for free as your contribution to the community and then you can be the Special EVents coordinator for an honarium of $1 per year? While you're at it, you can also be in charge of soliciting and supervising those events for the same fee.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 4 years, 6 months ago

autie, Did you watch it this morning? Technically it is was not a bombing, let's call it a controlled collision.

Though, some of those suicide truck bombers could be defined as controlled collisions, but they are really attacks. I think for it to be a bombing you actually have to use explosives, not just booster stages and probes.
But it could be defined as a attack. Obama wins the Nobel prize, then attacks the innocent, undefended Moon. Figures.

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autie 4 years, 6 months ago

Hey Reticent, I just learned that today was "Bomb the living hell out of Something to See if it has Water in it Day" I think I'll celebrate tonight with a steak and scotch.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 4 years, 6 months ago

Blue, Grampa? Gosh you guy's are sooooo old....

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Ceallach 4 years, 6 months ago

Congrats to Blue and Merrill. Grandparenting is one of the best jobs of all time. My first grandson is currently making an appearance in the OTS answer line-up (and what a handsome Archi-Hawk he is). Is he blushing yet? I think he probably is :)

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 4 years, 6 months ago

Display Obama's Nobel Peace Prize Medal in the lobby.

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spacehog 4 years, 6 months ago

Good idea, edjayhawk. Except the odor would be overwhelming. A lot of BO and patchouli. Christ, I can't even walk in the Merc without being blown backward by that stench. Is that store made out of patchouli? Plus, I can't afford anything in there and I can never find the cigarettes.

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Matt Warman 4 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations Blue Harley! Biscuits and gravy and strippers..... Hmmm..... intersting combo. Put me down for the stripper part. Oh, and beer.

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Kat Christian 4 years, 6 months ago

I would like to see the cost of taking a train come down so I could take a train from here to Washington DC for less than it would take to fly. At this rate it would take me a day longer to get there and only $20.00 less than flying. If I fly it takes 2.5 hours and sometimes get a cheaper flight than taking the train. Trains are a really cool way to travel, but the only benefit I see in taking one these days is MAYBE the scenery. That isn't much compensation overy flying since it does take an extra day or two to get where you want to go. So why are we spending all this money on a depot when it probably won't be used that much?

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guy 4 years, 6 months ago

coffee shop, bagel bakery, jazz club, natural clothing store, small grocery 'peoples market', medical marijuana store, hugo boss outlet store, wine shop, and mag lev station to Kansas City - ' All Aboard! '.

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edjayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

I'd like to see the Merc put a satellite store at the depot...Maybe a espresso counter so all of the hippies and come and talk about the environmental beauty of the building.

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Godot 4 years, 6 months ago

Another joke. We're on a roll today.

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prospector 4 years, 6 months ago

A satellite brewery for the folks that complain about the brewery being crowded and loud. Tack a bunch of egg cartons on the walls and ceiling, and hang Bill's sign from the old Red Lion over the exit, 'Tell no one about this place because next time they will be in your seat'.

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notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

Bulldozed over for parking so it would be useful to someone?

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Donnuts 4 years, 6 months ago

I got eggs and biscuits and gravy plus hash browns but pig meat goes pretty well with some creamy frosted donnuts.

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autie 4 years, 6 months ago

If you gots biscuits and gravy plus hash browns, might as well throw in some eggs and pig meat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIHP9o6X6D8

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Norma Jeane Baker 4 years, 6 months ago

Congrats, blue! Have fun spoiling the kid and then giving him back to his parents.

Biscuits and gravy for everyone!

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trinity 4 years, 6 months ago

congratulations blue! :)

i'll go along with the biskit&gravy idea-as long as i can have hash browns too.

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The_Original_Bob 4 years, 6 months ago

Congrats, Blue!

Now to the question at hand... stripper poles and biscuits and gravy.

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autie 4 years, 6 months ago

Cool! Cool! Blue Harley. Welcome to the grandpa club!

Now Amtrak. That's a train deal, right? I kind of remember when people used to actually ride on those..back when I was a kid. Heck, my Dad used to ride the interurban trolley that went from Bartlesville, OK then up and around all over SEK. He used to ride it to Parsons on Saturdays to go to the movies.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

Go Blue Harley!

Hey our first will be in December. What a christmas it's going to be. It's a boy.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 4 years, 6 months ago

Trains, definitely trains, and hobos too.
Maybe a chapel and a science center. People, people and trains, that would be cool Oh, and bicycle rentals.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 6 months ago

That's okay Blue, I still can't sleep for crap these days, so I should be around. Congratulations!

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blue73harley 4 years, 6 months ago

Full service bar.

Message to the award winning LJW Big OTS! regulars - big news. My first grandkid is on his way! We will be flying out to meet him on Sat. More big news - when I return to Larryville, I will be on second shift at work. This means I will be late to the party everyday. So look for my posts later...I don't want to be left alone with a boozed up Nick Danger!!!

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

With a ticket agent,interior rehab and additional landscaping.

Volunteers have a remarkable clean up and maintenance program on track. Hats off to these wonderful citizens.

Hats off to Marty Kennedy who lives nearby. He has been one of the loyal long term caretakers and provided a watchful eye. Thanks Marty Kennedy.

Honeymooners and others. Think trains and bicycles for an exciting and romantic adventure.

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spacehog 4 years, 6 months ago

People on the platforms Waiting for the trains I can hear their hearts a-beatin' Like pendulums swinging on chains When you think that you lost everything You find out you can always lose a little more I'm just going down the road feeling bad Trying to get to heaven before they close the door -Bob Dylan

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jonas_opines 4 years, 6 months ago

I guess I'd like to. . . know where it is.

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