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Tampa, FL (TPA)


Station Facts

Tampa, FL Station Photo

Tampa, Florida

601 North Nebraska Avenue Tampa, FL 33602

Station Hours

Annual Station Revenue (2013)
$7,763,291
Annual Station Ridership (2013)
139,412

Ownerships

Facility Ownership City of Tampa
Parking Lot Ownership Tampa Hillsborough Crosstown Expressway Authority
Platform Ownership CSXT
Track Ownership CSXT

Features

38 Short Term Parking Spaces 60 Long Term Parking Spaces ATM
Accessible Payphones Accessible Platform Accessible Restrooms
Accessible Ticket Office Accessible Waiting Room Accessible Water Fountain
Baggage Storage Bike Boxes Checked Baggage
Dedicated Parking Enclosed Waiting Area Help With Luggage
Pay Phones Quik Trak Kiosk Restrooms
Shipping Boxes Ticket Office Wheelchair
Wheelchair Lift

Routes Served

  • Silver Star

Contact

Todd Stennis
Regional Contact
governmentaffairsnol@amtrak.com
(202) 906-3918 (ph)

Local Community Links:

Station History

Tampa Union Station opened on May 15, 1912 to serve the Atlantic Coast Line, the Seaboard Air Line, and the Tampa Northern railroads. Designed by architect J.F. Leitner in the Italian Renaissance style, the station was managed by the Tampa Union Station Company. Although it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 5, 1974, it continued to deteriorate and was closed in 1984. Amtrak passengers subsequently used a prefabricated structure adjacent to the building.

The Tampa Union Station Preservation and Redevelopment Corporation (TUSP&R) took over the station in 1991 from CSX, the successor to the Atlantic Coast and Seaboard railroads. TUSP&R raised more than $4 million for the terminal and baggage building restoration through grants and loans from sources such as the Florida Department of Transportation (ISTEA funds), the city of Tampa, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Following the completion of the work in 1999, CSX donated the station to the city.

During the course of restoration, numerous documents related to the Pullman Company, the Tampa Union Station Company, and the Seaboard Air Line were discovered in the station. Volunteers sorted and archived them at the University of South Florida Library Special Collections and in the Newberry Library in Chicago.

In September 2008, a group of private donors made a permanent endowment for the care and upkeep of the station, which was established at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. Income from the endowment assists with the maintenance of the structure.

Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon arrived at Tampa Bay in 1513, but Spanish explorations then focused on the east coast of Florida. It was not until 1824, three years after the U.S. purchased Florida from Spain and two months after the first American settler arrived, that four companies of U.S. Army troops established Fort Brooke to protect this strategically important harbor. Nonetheless, development of the community did not really begin in the area until 1845, after the close of the Second Seminole War the village of Tampa was incorporated on January 18, 1849 and again as a town on December 15, 1855.

Fort Brooke fell to the Union in 1863 and after the American Civil War, the Reconstruction period was one of hardship in the area. A small fishing village, often plagued by yellow fever due to the mosquitoes, and with few land links, Tampa did not begin to prosper until phosphate was discovered in the Bone Valley in 1883. The mineral, vital in the production of fertilizers and many other products, was soon shipped northwest to the Port of Tampa in great quantity. The coming of Henry Plant’s Atlantic Coast Line railroad to Tampa finally provided a reliable overland connection, allowing fish and phosphate to be shipped north.

Plant also ran a steamship line out of the port in Tampa that connected south to Cuba. This link to Cuba, along with the Tampa Board of Trade helping Vincente Martinez Ybor move his cigar manufacturing operations from Cuba to Tampa, brought a large new industry to Tampa. Ybor built hundreds of homes for his employees, and this influx together with new supporting trade, helped to build up the town. Ybor City, as the neighborhood became known, still occupies two square miles near downtown Tampa. Many Italian—mainly from Sicily—and eastern European Jewish immigrants also came to the area in the late 1880s. Today’s Amtrak trains pass through this historic neighborhood.

Henry Plant opened a lavish Moorish Revival-style hotel of over 500 rooms in Tampa in 1891, the Tampa Bay Hotel, which still sits along the banks of the Hillsboro River. The eclectic structure, with its manicured gardens and exotic art collections, cost $2.5 million to build. This resort, like its sister resorts that Plant built, such as the Seminole in Winter Park, did well until Plant’s death in 1899. It eventually closed as a hotel in 1930, and reopened in 1933 as the University of Tampa. It may still be visited today and its beautiful grounds and art collections enjoyed by the public.

During both the Spanish-American and World War II, Tampa hosted American military capability. In the summer of 1898, Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders deployed from Tampa to Cuba, headquartering at the Tampa Bay Hotel. Prior to the beginning of U.S. involvement in World War II, construction began on MacDill Airfield for the Army Air Corps; it became MacDill Air Force Base, and has remained active since that time. Two of the auxiliary airfields became international civilian airports. MacDill has been an important air base, and it is estimated that 14,000 people work on the base. In the 1950s and 1960s it hosted parts of the Strategic Air Command. MacDill came to host NOAA’s hurricane-hunter operations in 1993, which relocated from Miami International Airport. MacDill AFB continues to have great support from Tampa and its surrounding communities.

Amtrak provides both ticketing and baggage services at this facility, which is served by two daily trains.