Posts Tagged ‘Washington Union Station’

Bus Lines Protest Lack of Space in WUS Expansion Plan

March 13, 2021

The bus industry has criticized plans to redevelop Washington Union Station, saying bus capacity will be reduced by up to 72 percent.

A preliminary design approved earlier by the Federal Railroad Administration reduced the number of bus spaces at the station from 61 to 40.

Some options in the preliminary plan would cut the number of bus spaces to 17.

Supporters of the plan say the current bus facility at WUS is not being used efficiently and the new plan would make better use of scarce space.

Greyhound has argued that the current size of the bus facility should be maintained and maybe expanded.

The $10 billion WUS project will expand rail facilities and retail space but is at least a decade from start of construction.

WUS Plan Needs More Work

February 23, 2021

A redevelopment plan for Washington Union Station will go back to the drawing board because some believe it is too focused on automobile traffic.

At issue is a six-story parking garage that District of Columbia officials are opposing.

The revisions will come in the wake of the Federal Railroad Administration halting its review of the $10 billion project.

The project includes adding concourses and tracks, increased retail businesses, a bus facility, and creating pickup and drop-off areas in front of a new train hall and at other entrances.

The project is expected to be completed by 2040.

Amtrak Suspending Some Washington Service

January 18, 2021

In advance of the inauguration of president-elect Joseph Biden, Amtrak is suspending some services to Washington.

In a service advisory, the passenger carrier said it will not operate Northeast Regional service south of Washington on Jan 19 and 20.

The New York-Charlotte Carolinian will only operate in North Carolina between Raleigh and Charlotte on those dates.

Long distance trains operating to or through Washington will be unaffected, including the Chicago-Washington Capitol Limited.

Amtrak said passengers whose trips begin or end in Washington should be aware that there will be pedestrian and vehicle restrictions at and around Washington Union Station.

This includes the closure of DC Metro’s Union Station stop. Passengers are being directed to use Metro’s NOMA/Gallaudet station, which Amtrak described as being a short walk from Union Station. Metro will operate on a modified schedule.

MARC commuter trains to Maryland and West Virginia have been suspended and Virginia Railway Express said its trains will not run Monday through Wednesday.

The service advisory said there will be no access to taxi or ride share services at WUS.

Biden Won’t Ride Amtrak to Inauguration

January 15, 2021

Multiple news media reports indicate that President-elect Joe Biden will not travel via Amtrak to Washington for his inauguration on Jan. 20.

The plans to ride a train had never been officially announced.

Biden often rode Amtrak between his home in Delaware and Washington during his time as a member of the U.S. Senate.

One report indicated that security officers were concerned about being able to protect Biden as he arrived at Washington Union Station.

Dispute Arises Over Parking Garage in Station Plan

November 7, 2020

A dispute between the District of Columbia and Federal Railroad Administration has broken out over a proposed $10 billion redevelopment plan for Washington Union Station.

The District has objected to inclusion of a parking garage as part of the development, saying that most passengers don’t drive to the facility.

City officials also said adding a parking garage will encourage traffic and air pollution.

The FRA owns the station and agency officials have said they will consider local opinion.

However, FRA officials also said the information they have available does not warrant reducing the level of parking in the development proposal.

The plan being discussed would triple passenger capacity of the station as well as turn it into a regional transit hub.

Contract Awarded for WUS Project

July 23, 2020

Work will begin on a construction project at Washington Union Station that Amtrak said will not affect scheduled train operations.

The project will increase the rail capacity at WUS and is known as the Track 22 Reconstruction Project.

Amtrak awarded a contract to Skanska USA Civil Northeast to oversee the rebuilding of the  platform, restoring historic columns, and constructing a new covered walkway to provide customer access to the platform via a new elevator, escalator, and stairs to the station.

In a news release, Amtrak said the track was previously used for equipment storage.

Funding is being provided in part by a $19 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration.

The project is expected to be completed in 2022.


Warrensburg Waiting Room Closed, Boarding Procedures Changed at Washington Union Station

May 6, 2020

The waiting room of the Amtrak station in Warrensburg, Missouri, has been closed.

Missouri River Runner trains will continue to stop at the station and the boarding platform remains accessible.

Passengers and those waiting on them are asked to wait in a personal vehicle for their train rather than waiting outside.

In a related development, Amtrak has changed boarding procedures at Washington Union Station in an effort to promote social distancing.

Priority boarding has been discontinued and boarding times have been adjusted to avoid lines and waiting in the station.

Passengers without checked baggage are advised to be at the station no more than 30 minutes prior to departure.

Those with checked baggage should arrive no more than 60 minutes before their train’s scheduled departure.

Passenger boarding will begin 20 minutes prior to departure.

Amtrak also said that effective May 10, Wilmington’s Joseph R. Biden, Jr., station will reduce the number of entrances and have modified station hours.

The only open station entrance will be at the corner of French and Front Streets.

Facial coverings will be required when inside the station as mandated by Delaware State Ordinance.

The Wilmington station will be closed between midnight and 5:45 a.m. to all non-Amtrak personnel, in order to clean and disinfect for our riders and employees.

Amtrak also said that the Faber store will be closed and restrooms will be closed to the public.

The SEPTA/DART ticket office will be closed closed and passengers must purchase tickets purchased on the train.

Only ticketed passengers, or those wishing to purchase tickets, are permitted inside the station. SEPTA passengers needing to purchase a ticket can come into the station approximately 15 minutes prior to train departure.

Ready for a Capitol Experience

March 31, 2020

It’s July 2000 at Washington Union Station and Amtrak’s westbound Capitol Limited is boarding.

I have sleeping car accommodations and am one of the first to board.

I have enough time to walk the platform and make a few images of the train.

Today’s No. 29 will be pulled by the standard two P42DC units, but note the inter-generational liveries.

Lead unit No. 52 is wearing the Phase IV livery while the trailing locomotive sports Phase III colors.

Amtrak Won’t Handle Private Car Moves at WUS

April 21, 2019

Amtrak is citing construction work at Washington Union Station in refusing requests to allow private passenger cars to use the facility for layover and switching.

The passenger carrier has denied requests for some trips that were to originate in Washington.

In particular, Amtrak said work on rebuilding the station concourse will restrict its ability to accommodate private cars there.

The work involves rebuilding the concourse to increase passenger capacity and provide new amenities.

Over the next 20 years Amtrak will seek to double the station’s train capacity.

Amtrak has told private car owners that their cars may no longer be switched onto or off of almost all trains in Washington. The carrier has also banned parking of private cars in the terminal. This situation is expected to last for up to two years.

Although Amtrak said it couldn’t say how many private rail car trips were affected, the Washington Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society has said it has been forced to cancel three trips involving its car Dover Harbor.

Amtrak Seeks Contractor for WUS Overhaul

January 15, 2019

Amtrak is seeking a general contractor to revitalize the Claytor Concourse at Washington Union Station.

It issued earlier this month a request for qualifications as part of a two-phase process to select a contractor to modernize the Claytor Concourse.

In a news release, Amtrak said construction is expected to begin this fall and be completed in 2022.

The passenger carrier is conducting the project in cooperation with U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Union Station Redevelopment Corporation and commuter and transit partners.

The Claytor Concourse was built in the 1980s and has waiting areas for Amtrak passengers as well as retail and food establishments, and customer amenities.

Also using the concourse are Virginia Railway Express and Maryland Area Regional Commuter passengers.

The work will double the capacity of the concourse in order to alleviate congestion and enhance comfort and accessibility.

Amtrak the project will also brighten the space with new architectural finishes and more natural light.

Other project work includes the addition of more restrooms and the construction of a new Metropolitan Lounge .

Office space will be added for support services and customer service representatives.