DENVER—Amtrak returned to historic Denver Union Station in time for the evening arrival of the eastbound California Zephyr on Friday, February 28, 2014. Three years earlier, Amtrak had moved to a nearby temporary facility to accommodate the renovation of Union Station, excavation of an underground bus concourse and construction of a new Train Hall containing tracks and platforms to be used by Amtrak and the future commuter rail system. The Train Hall, just west of the historic building, features a soaring white fabric roof with curving forms; lighted from within at night, it becomes a glowing Lower Downtown landmark.
“We are looking forward to bringing the California Zephyr back to its historic home and for the entire project to be complete,” said Jim Brzezinski, Amtrak Route Director for the train. “Amtrak passengers will see just a hint of what’s in store at this magnificent building and we hope they return when we celebrate the grand re-opening later this year.”
Although Amtrak has moved back into the station, construction continues on other parts of the building, which will also house a hotel and retail shops. Passengers can access the waiting room, ticketing and baggage office by following signs to the trackside of the building at the south end. From there, passengers will follow signs to the newly constructed passenger platform. The stop for Amtrak Thruway buses will be temporarily located on Wynkoop Street, across from Union Station and marked with signage.
During the construction period, the public is reminded to be careful walking near the construction area, stay at a safe distance from machinery and watch out for any tripping hazards, such as construction debris or uneven surfaces.
Work on transit elements at Union Station is funded under the region’s FasTracks program, a voter-approved, $4.7 billion transit expansion initiative passed in 2004. Scheduled for completion in 2017, FasTracks will create 122 miles of new light rail and commuter rail; 18 miles of bus rapid transit; 57 new stations; 21,000 parking spaces at rail and bus stations; and enhanced intermodal connections. Union Station will serve as the central hub for these various transit modes.
Union Station, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, includes sections built between 1881 and 1914. The center block, designed in the grand Beaux-Arts style, is richly embellished with carved decoration and topped by orange neon signs proclaiming “Union Station—Travel by Train.”
Read more about the history of Denver Union Station.