Customers will experience more accessible path to travel
WASHINGTON – Amtrak customers now have a more accessible journey with the completion of a $3.2 million project at the Gastonia, N.C., station. The upgrades are part of the company’s overall commitment to improve the customer experience at stations and onboard trains across its national network.
The Amtrak Crescent travels daily between New York and New Orleans, with a stop at the station at 350 Hancock St.
“Making our stations accessible to all customers is a priority and we’re actively performing construction, renovation, repair, and upgrade projects at stations across our national network,” Dr. David Handera, Amtrak Vice President, Stations, Facilities, and Accessibility, said. “We want Gastonia and all of our stations to be a welcoming and comfortable environment to all of our customers.”
Amtrak, working with the city of Gastonia, North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and Norfolk Southern, advanced a series of accessibility improvements. This included the construction of a new concrete platform with all new lighting, guardrails, and signage. The platform provides a sturdy, uniform surface for customers to board on and off the train.
Additional improvements included an accessible restroom, renovated waiting room, and power-operated door entrance in the station, and a newly paved parking lot with an entrance driveway and two accessible parking spaces for customers who use wheeled mobility devices.
Ensuring accessible paths of travel for passengers with disabilities was critical and made available between the platform, station, and parking by way of three new ramps with railings. Renovations also included new site lighting and replacement of the station building heating and cooling system.
“Accessibility is very important to our city. We are grateful to Amtrak for the upgrades to our station as we continue to grow and passengers make Gastonia a destination on their routes of travel,” Gastonia Mayor Walker E. Reid said.
The improvements at Gastonia are part of a larger group of Amtrak’s accessibility-related station projects, the Americans with Disabilities Act Stations Program, with 20 stations brought into compliance last fiscal year for $96 million. Another 39 stations are targeted for completion this fiscal year at a forecasted investment of $165 million. The program is advancing 129 station designs and 40 station construction projects as part of Amtrak’s ongoing commitment to improving accessibility for our customers.
To date Amtrak has completed work at 177 stations;108 stations where Amtrak has responsibility are fully compliant and another 69 stations are compliant excluding the platform.
“NCDOT is proud to be a partner with our communities and Amtrak in providing a great train station that will deliver greater accessibility for everyone,” Jason Orthner, NCDOT’s Rail Director said.