Last updated: 07:00 PM ET, Tue July 12 2016

Amtrak Announces Renovations to Chicago Union Station Are Moving Forward

Car Rental & Rail | Amtrak | Donald Wood | July 12, 2016

Amtrak Announces Renovations to Chicago Union Station Are Moving Forward

Rendering courtesy of Amtrak

Amtrak has announced that the restoration of Chicago Union Station is moving forward with the next phase, including planning, historic review and preliminary engineering for the transportation hub.

Amtrak has partnered with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and leaders from Metra, the Regional Transportation Authority and the Chicago Department of Transportation to select the design-and-engineering firm Arup to renovate the transportation infrastructure.

The groups are jointly funding the Chicago Union Station improvements in the hopes of addressing issues with passenger capacity, service, safety, accessibility and mobility issues in and around the historic station.

Arup will be designing and expanding concourses and entrances, widening platforms, plus working on ADA compliance, pedestrian passageways and issues related to ventilation. Using a team of experts in the field of design and operation of multimodal transportation hubs, the work on Phase 1A is expected to last approximately 18 months.

“Chicago Union Station is an enormous asset to Amtrak as well as the City of Chicago,” Amtrak Executive Vice President Stephen Gardner said in a statement. “We are excited to begin this first phase of the efforts to improve this vibrant transportation hub, in collaboration with our partners. These efforts, combined with related efforts to advance new customer amenities and spur development of Amtrak’s historic Station Headhouse and other assets, could catapult Union Station back into its role as a central anchor of the West Loop neighborhood.”

“We are making Union Station a true transit hub and economic engine by doubling down on transportation investments that create jobs and transform neighborhoods,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “Union Station provides an essential link to economic, cultural and recreational opportunities for Chicago’s residents, visitors and businesses. Modernizing Union Station is one of the ways we are working together to build a 21st century infrastructure to power Chicago’s 21st century economy.”

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