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Project Fast Facts
  • County: Wake
  • Type of Project:
    Passenger Train Station
  • STIP Number: P-5500
  • Estimated Construction Cost:
    $87.95 million
  • Start of Construction:
    January 2016
  • Completion of Construction:
    Late 2017
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Raleigh Train Station

Project Overview and Purpose

The N.C. Department of Transportation and the City of Raleigh have aligned plans, visions and funding to build a passenger train station at 510 W. Martin St. in downtown Raleigh to replace the existing Amtrak station on Cabarrus Street.

With four daily round-trip passenger trains that serve more than 160,000 passengers (in 2014), the Cabarrus Street station is one of the busiest in the southeastern United States. It is routinely overcrowded and lacks a platform large enough to serve the longer trains that come into the station.

Two more round-trip trains between Raleigh and Charlotte are planned to meet increasing demand, and the existing station's size and location cannot accommodate demand or expected ridership growth, nor can it serve as a multimodal transportation center.

The new train station – Raleigh Union Station – will be able to better accommodate current and future demand for intercity passenger rail, commuter rail, buses, taxis, bicycles and other forms of transportation.

Raleigh Union Station is one of several improvements to the railroad corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte that will help increase railroad capacity, efficiency and safety.

Project Highlights

  • The project reuses an industrial building that has been vacant since 2005. The 26,000-square-foot building will provide 9,200 square feet of passenger areas.
  • The concourse between the station and boarding platforms will be at grade with natural light except for a short distance where it passes under one track and then up onto the center island platform.
  • The 920-foot-long passenger platform will include a canopy to offer passengers protection from the elements. The center island platform will allow them to board trains on either side. The platform will also be level with the train doors, so passengers will not need steps or wheelchair lifts.
  • The current station layout causes passenger trains to block the mainline railroad track when passengers are boarding. This forces freight and other passenger trains to stop and wait until a passenger train in front of them moves on before they can travel through the station area. The new facility will have two dedicated tracks specifically for trains that are stopping at Raleigh Union Station. This removes passenger trains from the mainline tracks, which allows freight and other passenger trains to bypass the station.

Project History

  • Station and track design began in 2013 and was completed in late 2014.
  • The Environmental Assessment was approved on March 12, 2014. A public comment period ended on April 30, 2014, but the public hearing map remains available for download.
  • Several public meetings took place during the design process: March 6, 2013, May 1, 2013, June 26, 2013 and Sept. 9, 2014.
  • The Raleigh City Council approved full funding for construction on March 3, 2015, and construction began in January 2016.
  • Construction is expected to be completed in late 2017.

Project Cost

Raleigh Union Station is estimated to cost approximately $87.95 million. Current funding totals are listed in the below table.

Funding Source Amount
2012 U.S. Department of Transportation Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant $26.5 million
2012 N.C. Department of Transportation TIGER Grant $9 million
U.S. DOT TIGER Grant $11.5 million
City of Raleigh TIGER Grant $10.25 million
U.S. DOT American Recovery and Reinvestment Grant $15 million
City of Raleigh $15.7 million
Total Cost $87.95 million

Contact Information

Craig Newton, P.E.
NCDOT Rail Division Facilities Engineer
(919) 707-4731
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Resources for Local Property Owners

In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.