Amtrak is advancing a near-term comprehensive renovation of Washington Union Station’s intercity and commuter rail concourse, which will add approximately 20,000 square feet of new passenger space — nearly doubling the concourse’s current capacity.
Design is underway to upgrade passenger amenities including new restrooms, boarding gates, seating and a ClubAcela lounge. The design will also include new architectural features and natural light elements to enliven the space for travelers. The result will be a vastly reconfigured, modernized and unified concourse that will improve the passenger experience by providing better accessibility, circulation, wayfinding and multimodal connectivity.
While Union Station has served the region well for over a century, it is now operating beyond its capacity, particularly during rush hours and peak travel times, according to Amtrak officials. As such, implementing near-term solutions to gain capacity and alleviate congestion is imperative to maintaining safe and efficient station operations.
The Concourse Modernization project will be the first set of improvements to come to life as part of Washington Union Station’s 2nd Century plan, a comprehensive improvement initiative comprised of multiple projects — in coordination with the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation (USRC), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and private real estate developer Akridge — which seeks to triple passenger capacity and double train capacity over the next 20 years.
In addition to the modernization of the concourse, planned improvements by Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for a new Metrorail staircase and new First Street entrance will bring a consolidated set of passenger improvements to the western portion of the concourse.
Early action construction for Amtrak’s Concourse Modernization project will start spring 2016, including the relocation of heating and ventilation units. Phased construction is anticipated to start in 2017 and will seek to minimize impacts to all station users.