Yukon Station was host to a fleet of trains the likes of which Amtrak couldn't duplicate on their best days.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I was reading somewhere that JTA was thinking about moving the current Amtrak station to right around where the Convention Center is. But due to funding it wasn't going to happen anytime soon and the plans were still on paper. But in doing so they would have to tear out the old Former Union Station underground passage-ways to the platforms in order to level the land for the tracks to fit under the Park St. bridge. An I guess there was an outcry about it.
OCK, also talked about this a little too I believe.
You are correct except that it isn't just JTA. The Multimodal Station study was done nation wide and published in 1982. Each city's station facilities for rail or bus were cataloged and the most logical location selected as a 'Transportation Center'. The concept is excellent and promises to boost both rail and bus travel nationwide. The report came back that Jacksonville should have a station with 12 tracks.
Thank God that JTA has not gotten the funding for this project, they completely abandoned the federal recommendations and instead of building a single grand station within our original Jacksonville Terminal, they want to build 4 stations and an officer building each on it's own city block. They have proved that they actually don't understand the concept.
They didn't know that the tunnels were still intact between the station and the track platforms, so they designed an overhead sky-concourse. When I told FDOT in a public hearing about the tunnels one of their planners called me everything but smart as he asserted that THE TUNNELS ARE GONE! It was actually quite a funny public argument, they were livid when I said they don't have to tear out the old tunnels, in fact they could reuse them.
The craziness began when they explained to get under the 'new' Park Street Viaduct (they tore down the older signature viaduct with it's graceful lines and beauty so their would be a view straight down Water Street from the Landing to the front of Jacksonville Terminal (aka: Prime Osbourne). Typical Jacksonville, they destroyed a beautiful artistic bridge to enhance the view with an ugly utilitarian freeway like span. Next they killed the view with the Skyway beamway.
BTW I support the Transportation Center Concept and as such, I am in total opposition to the monstrosity of a 'plan' JTA and FDOT have come up with. Instead of a one stop shop that a transportation center should be, a passenger transferring from one mode to the other in the JTA/FDOT plan would have to cover more ground then the Vatican City.
I don't think the station would ever be used for Amtrack again, but could be for some other uses. It used to be in front of the main gate right? I think moving it up to Yukon would be a better location now.
Jacksonville Terminal is the name that God Intended for the grand old terminal station downtown will be used by trains again, the sooner the better. The stupidity is over at FDOT/JTA they keep wanting to build a series of stations. There is no question that downtown is the best location for the main Jacksonville railroad station.
The Yukon Station sat in the NE corner of the railroad crossing across from the Yorktown Gate at NAS Jax. It can't be used by Amtrak (note the spelling = AMTRAK) 'AGAIN' because it was NEVER used by Amtrak in the first place. You youngsters don't recall but until 1971 all intercity passenger trains in the USA were operated by the private railroads. In this case the Yukon, depot was painted white with green window trim, served the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad as a flag stop. Trains would stop if you had a paid ticket/reservation to or from Savannah, Macon, Albany or beyond. When the ACL merged with the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, emerging as the new 'Seaboard Coast Line Railroad the depots days were numbered. Prior to the railroad becoming CSX, the depot was boarded up and moved off the property.
Bottom line? There is absolutely NO reason to believe that the station couldn't be reused and put back into service.
Amtrak has expressed an interest in expanding its services in the Jacksonville area and that little piece of news should send the city's Historic Preservation Czar. Anything can be used as a station, but historic depots can do many things. Waiting room? CHECK! Bathrooms? CHECK! Historically accurate? CHECK! Could house museum or restaurant in addition to rail services? CHECK! Room for local bus station? CHECK!
Amtrak doesn't give away money for such projects (in fact Amtrak doesn't get enough money from the Federal Government to thrive) and you couldn't interest CSX in contributing to ANYTHING that makes passengers more comfortable. Railroad math works like this: Freight Rail - Passenger Rail = Unlimited profit / Freight Rail + Passenger Rail = less capacity = restricted profit.
It would take a group, club, fraternity or benevolent citizen to make this happen. It would also require CSX to sign off on passengers hanging out around the depot. Laying in a 2,000 foot platform and getting Amtrak on board would all be part of the solution. The depot could also be used as a 'major station' on the Jacksonville Commuter Rail network.
Hundreds of historic stations are in use throughout the nation and indeed, the world, wouldn't it be nice to see one of our local examples saved and put on center stage?