Miami station (Amtrak)
Miami station in February 2008
|Location||8303 NW 37th Avenue
|Platforms||2 island platforms|
|Opened||June 20, 1978|
|Closed||Late 2017 (planned)|
|Passengers (FY2015)||70,560 (Amtrak)|
Miami station is a train station in Miami-Dade County, Florida, on the border of Miami and Hialeah. It is the southern terminus for Amtrak's Silver Meteor and Silver Star trains. The station opened in 1978 to replace a 48-year-old Seaboard Air Line Railroad station. It is several blocks away from the Tri-Rail and Metrorail Transfer Station, but there is no direct connection between the stations. The station was scheduled to be replaced by Miami Central Station in Fall 2016, but was delayed to late 2017.
When Amtrak took over intercity passenger service in May 1971, it continued to use the former Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL) station at 2210 NW 7th Avenue in Allapattah, two miles north of downtown. The SAL station, built in 1930, soon began to show its age. On May 13, 1977, Amtrak began construction of a new station near the SAL's Hialeah Yards.
Completed in 1978, the building is one of many built under Amtrak's Standard Stations Program, an attempt to create a unified brand and identity for the company's passenger facilities in its early years. It is considered a Type 300A station, meaning it was designed to accommodate at least 300 passengers at the busiest hour of the day. It is nearly identical to the now closed Midway station in St. Paul, Minnesota, which was also built in 1978.
The station building measured 85 feet (26 m) by 175 feet (53 m) with 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) of floor space, with a large waiting room and other passenger facilities on the ground floor. A mezzanine housed a lounge and Amtrak regional offices. The $5.7 million station project included the fully handicapped accessible station, a 269-car parking lot, and two 2,000 foot (610 m)-long platforms to handle Amtrak's lengthy Florida trains. A loop track runs around the station complex, allowing trains to be turned around for their northbound trips. The last trains arrived at the ex-SAL station on June 19, 1978; the northbound Silver Meteor departed from the new station on June 20 shortly before the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
In the early 1990s, the Florida Department of Transportation began planning an intermodal station to link Tri-Rail, Amtrak, and Metrorail to the Miami International Airport. These plans were completed as the Miami Airport Station, located 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the current station and an equal distance west of downtown. Metrorail opened to the station in 2012 and Tri-Rail commuter trains began serving the new Tri-Rail/Amtrak platforms in April 2015, but an error during design resulted in platforms too short to accommodate Amtrak trains, which causes their last cars to block a grade crossing. After changes to traffic patterns around the station, Amtrak is expected to move to Miami Airport Station in late 2017.
- Alfonso Chardy (January 29, 2017). "The trains are too long, the platform is too short. Bad news for the new station". Miami Herald. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
- "New Miami Station Dedicated, Open House Celebrates Event". Amtrak NEWS. Amtrak. 5 (7): 1–2. July 1978.
- "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2015, State of Florida" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2015.
- "The Amtrak Standard Stations Program". History Blog. Amtrak. March 4, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
- Krauth, Dan (February 13, 2015). "Miami Central Station Project Mistake Costing Taxpayers Millions". NBC 6 South Florida. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
- "Background". Miami Intermodal Center. Florida Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
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