All aboard! First train leaves new Raleigh Union Station
The very first train to leave Raleigh Union Station departed at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the station’s first day in service.
Located at the site of the former Dillon Supply Co. warehouse, 510 W. Martin St., the modern building is made of glass and steel. The building also keeps charms from the old Dillon Supply Warehouse that the station was built around.
The second floor of the station has restaurant and office spaces up for lease, and there’s also a new train platform, tracks, ticketing counter and underground walkway.
Raleigh Union Station is the first station in North Carolina to have a level boarding platform, allowing for easy roll-on and roll-off wheelchair access.
The doors of Raleigh’s Union Station opened at 5:30 a.m. to allow Charlotte-bound passengers to board the first train, which will depart at 6:30 a.m.
The last train arrived at the old Raleigh Amtrak Station on Cabarrus Street at 10 p.m. on Monday, and crews worked all night to transition operations to the new Raleigh Union Station. Some of the biggest tasks included moving ticketing machines and computers, officials said.
“The start of passenger service at Union Station is important not only for those living in Raleigh, but for people living throughout our region,” said Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane. “Having passenger service in the heart of downtown will make it easier for people to commute from the other communities in our region – on a daily basis for work, to enjoy a concert or festival, or to spend a weekend. It gives Raleigh residents another option when they visit other regions as well. It really is a win for everyone.”
The N.C. Department of Transportation played a central role in developing the station, contributing over $11 million in state funds in addition to technical assistance and project management support.
“It took strong partnership on all levels – local, state, federal and the private sector to get us here. I want to thank everyone who was involved with this very important project,” said Julie White, Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary for Multi-modal Transportation. “As the demographics of our state change and our population continues growing, demand for rail travel and freight movement is also increasing. This new station plays a key role in responding to that demand.”
Four daily round trips from Raleigh to Charlotte are available at Union Station, with stops in Cary, Durham, Burlington, Greensboro, High Point, Salisbury and Kannapolis. Amtrak’s New York to Florida Silver Star service also serves Raleigh, Cary, Southern Pines and Hamlet.