Author Topic: Syracuse: When Rail Fails  (Read 3547 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Syracuse: When Rail Fails
« on: January 09, 2008, 04:00:00 AM »
Syracuse: When Rail Fails



In 1994, Syracuse, NY became the smallest city in the United States to have regional rail service.  After 13 years of rocky service, the plug was pulled on  On-Track  this past Summer.  Metro Jacksonville examines why rail went wrong and what does it mean for Jacksonville.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/643

archiphreak

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Re: Syracuse: When Rail Fails
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2008, 09:04:29 AM »
This is a great example of how not to do something.  I applaud you for going to such lengths even to show how rail can fail.  I just hope the city doesn't use this as their latest banner flag for why BRT is so much better than rail.

Dapperdan

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Re: Syracuse: When Rail Fails
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2008, 09:58:48 AM »
Maybe the city can buy up some of their rail cars for cheap.

Ocklawaha

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Re: Syracuse: When Rail Fails
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2008, 10:13:00 AM »
If they have been sitting, those cars are probably trashed. The regular inspections on moving equipment and certificates are probably void, and they'd have to be repaired in place or trucked out to be repaired.

The up side is, they did pick some of the best equipment they could have found for the operation. Dallas Trinity Rail Express uses the same vehicles. These are Rail Diesel Cars, known as RDC-1's (all coach version). For Jacksonville, I really like the RDC-2's (coach with small baggage doors on the side, at one end) This old baggage compartment converts nicely to ADA wheelchair access, and ADA restrooms.


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Matt

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Re: Syracuse: When Rail Fails
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2008, 03:53:58 PM »
I just hope the city doesn't use this as their latest banner flag for why BRT is so much better than rail.

if anything, the city would see this as another thing that could fail and blight jacksonville, and they would jump right on it ;)
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gatorback

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Re: Syracuse: When Rail Fails
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2008, 06:49:20 PM »
I wonder if with the increased cost of gas, if they could have held out a little longer to see the turn around.
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K

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Re: Syracuse: When Rail Fails
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2008, 08:17:20 PM »
That's funny, I worked in Syracuse, on the SU campus, until 2005 and never saw a running train.  Until I read this article, I had thought the stations were abandoned relics from a happier time decades ago, like much of Syracuse's industrial landscape.  The Carousel Center stop looked like a bus station, and it was at the outer edge of the enormous parking lot surrounding the 3-story mall.  The limited service of these cars seems a shame, and they're so good-looking!

Looking at the map, it seems their best use would have been ferrying students to the miniature downtown (Armory Square), the mall, and then the Amtrak station, making them essentially a campus shuttle.  As the tracks doesn't stretch out to the newer growth on Erie Blvd., (Syracuse's version of Southside) it doesn't seem to have been practical for non-students living downtown or in the places where population density off-campus has migrated -east and west, toward the towns of Manlius and Camillus. 

Syracuse is a spread-out city, where you are best served by a car or bus (try riding your bike in a foot of cold wet slush!) if you don't live on campus.  Even if I had known there was a train to take me to the mall after work, how would I get home without taking the bus, or taking the train back to my car?  Why not just take the bus to begin with if the train is only a short-track novelty?  And I thought the Skyway Express was limited.

I'm sure there wasn't much economic incentive to keep or expand the trains.  Outside of the University, the younger generation and retirees are moving away, despite public quality-of-life campaigns.  Which is a shame.  At least Jacksonville and its surrounding areas are growing, we've got that going for us.  I bet there are tons of Syracusians down here.

thelakelander

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Re: Syracuse: When Rail Fails
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2008, 08:23:38 PM »
I don't know how they expected this thing to be successful by only running it on the weekends and never connecting it with the amtrak station.  It seems like they planned it to fail on purpose.
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Lunican

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Re: Syracuse: When Rail Fails
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2010, 03:42:30 PM »
Quote
Rebirth of a City
By ROBERTA BRANDES GRATZ

Rick Destito knew exactly what he was getting into when he bought a rundown, three-story Victorian house in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Syracuse. Built in the 1890s but left abandoned for years, the place was in serious disrepair: graffiti and mold stained the exterior, the windows were gone and the roof needed to be replaced. But under an innovative local housing program, he paid only a dollar for the place — plus another $60,000, and his own skilled labor, to make it suitable for his family, including a one-year old girl and a baby on the way.

For decades, people like Mr. Destito — young, skilled, motivated — were exactly the sort who left Rust Belt cities like Syracuse. But recently, in numbers not yet statistically measurable but clearly evident at the ground level, they’ve been coming back to the city, first as a trickle, and now by the hundreds. In some ways it’s a part of the natural ebb and flow of urban demographics. But it is also the result of a new attitude among the city’s leadership, one that admits the failure of the re-industrialization efforts of the last decades and instead invents ways to attract new types of residents and keep current ones from leaving. Call it urban renewal 2.0, gentrification on a citywide scale.

Full Article:
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/10/rebirth-of-a-city/