Amtrak Comes Home to Denver Union Station

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  • February 28, 2014

Marc Magliari

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Allow extra time to access the station and nearby parking

DENVER — Amtrak service has resumed at the historic Denver Union Station at 1701 Wynkoop St., starting with the scheduled 7:10 p.m. departure tonight of the eastbound California Zephyr to Chicago. The first westbound California Zephyr to use the landmark station is scheduled tomorrow morning at 8:05 a.m. to the San Francisco Bay.

Amtrak had been serving Denver passengers at a temporary location on 21st St. since 2011. This made way for the redevelopment of the historic building and construction of a new commuter rail station and underground bus concourse.

Renovation inside Union Station is not yet finished, so Amtrak passengers will access the waiting room, ticketing and baggage office by following signs to the track-side of the building. From there, passengers will follow signs to the newly constructed passenger platform, under the large white canopy, where they will load and unload from Amtrak trains.

Access to the new Amtrak facility will be from the front of the building when construction is completed in July.

“We are looking forward to bringing the California Zephyr back to its historic home and for the entire project to be complete,” said Jim Brzezinski, Amtrak Route Director for the train. “Amtrak passengers will see just a hint of what’s in store at this magnificent building and we hope they return when we celebrate the grand re-opening later this year.”

Denver passengers also use Amtrak Thruway Buses to connect with the Amtrak Southwest Chief at Raton, N.M. That service is marked with signs and will operate across from Union Station on Wynkoop St. until the underground bus concourse is finished.

“Construction will still be very active in and around the historic building so passengers are urged to leave themselves enough time to navigate the construction congestion,” said Union Station Project Manager Jerry Nery of Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD).

Amtrak operates two trains daily through Denver – the westbound California Zephyr (Train 5) and the eastbound California Zephyr (Train 6). The trains run between Chicago and the San Francisco Bay city of Emeryville, via Omaha, Denver, Salt Lake City and Reno., Crossing the Rocky and Sierra mountain ranges, Amtrak passengers Enjoy the journey® on bi-level Superliner railcars with wide, reclining coach seats, sleeping cars, a Sightseer Lounge Car with wrap-around windows, dining and café car services. As always, Amtrak has special provisions aboard the trains and at stations for passengers with disabilities.

There are no changes to Amtrak schedules associated with the resumption of service at Denver Union Station. Amtrak served more than 108,000 Denver passengers last year.

Although there will be no passenger parking at the new location, there are numerous long and short- term parking lots and garages around Union Station. For more information, visit the DowntownDenver.com website or see the attached fact sheet for directions.

The return of Amtrak service to the station and the establishment of commuter rail by RTD are key elements of the creation of a bustling mixed-use, transit-oriented hub in and around a building with a bright future and a glorious past. According to the Amtrak-sponsored GreatAmericanStations.com website, Union Station was built in 1881 at a cost of $525,000 and was partially rebuilt after a fire in 1894 destroyed the central section. A larger Beaux-Arts style central waiting room made of Colorado granite was built in 1914 as rail traffic continued to increase. The plaster arches that line the walls of the room have 2,300 carved Columbine flowers.

The Union Station Neighborhood Co. was selected as the master development team to lead this significant redevelopment and preservation effort. This station will ultimately become the connection point for Amtrak, light and commuter rail, local, regional and intercity buses and other public and private transportation modes.

About Amtrak®

Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at blog.amtrak.com.

About RTD FasTracks

FasTracks is RTD’s 2004 voter-approved transit expansion program to build 122 miles of commuter and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, add 21,000 new parking spaces, redevelop Denver Union Station and redirect bus service to connect the eight-county district better. For more information, visit www.rtd-fastracks.com

About the Denver Union Station Project Authority

The Denver Union Station Project Authority is responsible for the financing, acquiring, owning, designing, constructing, renovating, operating and maintaining the Denver Union Station redevelopment project. The Authority is a partnership of RTD, the City and County of Denver, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) and the Denver Union Station Metropolitan District. For more information on the Denver Union Station redevelopment project, call 303-592-5465, or visit www.denverunionstation.org.

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