Customers will experience more accessible path to travel
WASHINGTON – Amtrak customers now have a more accessible journey with the completion of a $6.4 million project at the Charleston, W.Va., station. The upgrades are part of the company’s overall commitment to advance accessibility improvements to ensure a safe, efficient, and comfortable travel experience for customers.
The Amtrak Cardinal travels three times a week from New York and Chicago, with a stop at the station at 350 MacCorkle Ave. SE.
“Ensuring an accessible travel experience is a priority and we’re actively advancing construction, renovation, repair, and upgrade projects at stations across our national network,” said Dennis Newman, Amtrak Executive Vice President of Strategy & Planning. “We want all of our stations to be a welcoming and comfortable environment for customers. We are pleased we delivered these improvements to enhance the Charleston station.”
At the Charleston station, customers can access a new 800 feet long concrete platform featuring new lighting, guardrails, signage, and stormwater system. The platform is located alongside the historic station building and extends underneath the Southside Bridge. The platform provides customers a more accessible and sturdier surface as well as a brighter area to board on and off the train.
Additional improvements include the creation of pathways extending from both parking lots to the station, and three accessible parking spaces for customers. Bird netting in the roadway bridge structures above the platform helps maintain a clean environment.
The station building has two new entrances, renovated waiting room and restrooms. A new fire system was installed, and heating, ventilation, and air condition system updated. Crack repairs were made to the building’s exterior walls and a new roof was provided.
This work was performed in close coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), CSX, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, West Virginia Department of Highways, and the city of Charleston.
“Thank you, Senator Manchin, for helping to secure funding to make our local Amtrak station more accessible for folks who are traveling to and from our capital city,” Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said. “Amtrak has long been a popular means of travel – whether for work or for fun. Now, when folks travel to Charleston, they will be greeted with upgraded facilities, improved access from the platform to the parking lots, and a more comfortable overall experience.”
Amtrak has invested nearly $800 million since 2011 in accessibility upgrades and improvement projects at 119 stations across the national network to ensure a safe, efficient, and comfortable travel experience for customers with disabilities. The improvements include repairs and upgrades to platforms, ramps and sidewalks, renovations to entranceways and restrooms, with 20 stations brought into ADA compliance last year. Another 35 stations are targeted for completion this fiscal year at a forecasted investment of $125 million.
Our program is advancing 143 station designs and 39 station construction projects as part of Amtrak’s ongoing commitment to providing accessibility by working toward 100% completion by 2029.
As part of ongoing efforts to improve and expand service, Amtrak applied to the FRA’s Corridor Identification and Development Program to fund improvements to increase Cardinal service to operate daily.
“For decades, Amtrak has provided safe and reliable travel options across the country, and these transportation services are especially critical in rural states like West Virginia,” U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said. “I’m proud to have supported these upgrades at the Charleston station, which will ensure a more accessible and efficient travel experience for both West Virginians and those visiting our great state. These improvements are evidence of Amtrak’s continued commitment to serving each and every West Virginian, and I applaud their efforts.”
“It’s great news that the Charleston Amtrak station has received these much-needed upgrades, making it now fully accessible to all West Virginians and visitors. I am glad to see this improvement and hope that more Amtrak passengers will take advantage of the Cardinal line service that connects our state to Washington, D.C., and Chicago among many other destinations,” U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said.
“So many people from across the world are eager to visit our wild and wonderful state and now the newly improved Charleston Station is more ready to receive them,” Congresswoman Carol D. Miller (R-W.Va.) said. “Thank you to Amtrak for investing into this project that will ensure the safety and comfortable travel experience for people traveling to the heart of West Virginia. Projects such as these support the success of our tourism industry and impact our communities tremendously.”