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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.”


jonas_opines 8 years, 7 months ago

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

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 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.

jonas_opines 8 years, 7 months ago

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

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

Go Blue Harley!

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

trinity 8 years, 7 months ago

congratulations blue! :)

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

notajayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

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

Godot 8 years, 7 months ago

Another joke. We're on a roll today.

Kat Christian 8 years, 7 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?

Matt Warman 8 years, 7 months ago

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

Ceallach 8 years, 7 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 :)

svenway_park 8 years, 7 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?

Corey Keizer 8 years, 7 months ago



gccs14r 8 years, 7 months ago

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

puddleglum 8 years, 7 months ago

congradulations blueharley73....

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

Flap Doodle 8 years, 7 months ago

Congrats, blue. Nobody has suggested a roundabout yet?

Bill Lee 8 years, 7 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.

Alexander Neighbors 8 years, 7 months ago

more routes between Lawrence and Kansas city

gccs14r 8 years, 7 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.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 7 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.

notajayhawk 8 years, 7 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?

riverdrifter 8 years, 7 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."

gccs14r 8 years, 7 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.

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 7 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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