Birmingham, AL (BHM)
Adjacent to popular Railroad Park, the Birmingham station is also within close proximity to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
1 19th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 42,930
- Facility Ownership: CSXT
- Parking Lot Ownership: City of Birmingham
- Platform Ownership: CSXT
- Track Ownership: CSXT
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
The Birmingham station is located at the southern end of downtown fronting the railroad. It features a small waiting room with an elevated platform constructed above both the station and 18th Street. The station occupies part of what originally was the last Birmingham passenger station operated by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, and is sometimes still referred to locally as the “L&N Station.”
In October 2013, the Birmingham City Council approved a contract to begin infrastructure work for a new intermodal center to be built in the vicinity of the current Amtrak station. It will accommodate Amtrak, intercity and local buses, taxis, rental cars and bicycles. The approximately $30 million project is funded through $23.6 million in grants from the Federal Transit Administration’s Bus and Bus Facilities program and $6 million in city funds obtained through a voter-approved bond initiative.
The complex will span the land between the railroad viaduct and Morris Avenue from 16th to 19th Streets. There will be two structures located on the eastern end of the property: one will house a large waiting area for Amtrak and Greyhound bus passengers while the other will provide space for local MAX buses. Drawings submitted by project architects Giattina Aycock Architecture Studio and Hoskins Architecture show modern, glass fronted structures that will allow abundant sunlight to flood the interiors. Features include a clock tower—which recalls historic 19th and early 20th century depots—as well as a replica of a famous sign that stood near the old railroad station and read “Birmingham, The Magic City.” Space for retail and restaurants will help generate activity throughout the day and evening, and a surface parking lot will occupy the west end of the property. In early March, 2014, municipal and transportation officials gathered for a ground breaking ceremony.
Once completed, the intermodal center will be a fitting complement to Railroad Park, a new downtown greenspace that opened in 2010. Located on the south side of the busy railroad viaduct, the project transformed former industrial land into a 19 acre park. The parcel was reshaped to create small hills and a lake, and more than 600 hardwoods, evergreens, and flowering trees frame an amphitheater, playgrounds, and grassy fields. A walking path edged with native wildflowers follows the ridge of the hills and rises to the level of the viaduct, thereby affording railroad enthusiasts with sweeping views of the passing freight and passenger trains. Hand cast bricks and cobblestones unearthed on site were used to construct benches and other features, providing continuity between the past and present uses of the land. Wood paneled structures, including a park office and café, were designed to evoke the look of boxcars.
Birmingham began as the village of Elyton, which was a small pioneer farm settlement, little remarked upon and ignored in the battles of the American Civil War. It was after the war that the railroads and land barons built a town they named after England’s industrial giant, Birmingham, when real estate promoters sold lots near the planned crossing of the Alabama & Chattanooga and South & North railroads. The original city plan included over 1,160 acres, including an industrial zone and underpasses for the railroad beds.
On April 6, 1909, the magnificent Birmingham Passenger Terminal Station, having been built for the then-remarkable sum of $3 million, opened as a replacement for an older Union Station. Covering 10 square blocks, its free-standing dome was flanked by twin towers; this newer station was a magnificent example of Byzantine-Turkish style architecture. The Birmingham Terminal served six railroads—all of those passing through the city except for the Louisville and Nashville and the Atlantic Coast Line—as well as the U.S. Post Office’s mail facility and Railway Express Agency. Even after the peak years during World War II, the terminal handled 42 daily train departures, through much of the 1950s. After the terminal finally closed in 1969, this “Great Temple of Travel” was razed to the ground.
Through the mid-twentieth century, Birmingham was the industrial giant of the American south. Formally organized in 1871, the town quickly became a commercial hub because of the natural abundance of coal, iron ore and limestone within the area—all necessary ingredients for making steel—and it continues to be a manufacturing hub from its origins to the present day . Its rapid growth in the early 20th century earned it the nickname, “the Magic City.” In the later 20th century, its economy diversified: large-scale banking, insurance, medicine, publishing and biotechnology all have come to the city. Today, Birmingham is recognized as one of the top cities for income growth in the American South.
Birmingham also became a center of the struggle for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s. A watershed in the civil rights movement occurred in 1963, when Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference were invited to Birmingham for a series of protests that eventually led to the desegregation of public accommodations in Birmingham, as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 1978, then Mayor David Vann proposed creating a civil rights museum in Birmingham; by 1990, the City Council incorporated a 15-member Board of Directors for the Civil Rights institute, which opened to the public on November 16, 1992.
Birmingham has been home to a long list of celebrities, including Willie Mays, Nat King Cole, Alice Faye, Phil Harris, Hank Williams Jr. and Fannie Flagg.
Amtrak provides ticketing and baggage services at this station, which is served by two daily trains.
Station Building (with waiting room)
- 0 Short Term Parking Spaces
Number of spaces available for Amtrak passengers to park for the day only, not overnight. Parking fees may apply.
- Accessible Payphones
- Accessible Platform
Accessible platform is a barrier-free path from the drop-off area outside the station to the station platform.
- Accessible Restrooms
- Accessible Ticket Office
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Accessible Water Fountain
- Baggage Storage
Baggage storage is an area where passengers may store their bags, equivalent to "left luggage" in Europe. A storage fee may apply.
- Bike Boxes
- Checked Baggage
- Dedicated Parking
- Enclosed Waiting Area
- Help With Luggage
- High Platform
A high platform is a platform at the level of the vestibule of the train, with the exception of Superliners.
Self-service lockers are available in select stations for passenger baggage storage.
- Long-term Parking Spaces
Number of spaces available for Amtrak passengers to park overnight. Parking fees may apply.
- Parking Attendant
- Pay Phones
- Shipping Boxes
- Ski Bags
- Wheelchair Lift
Wheelchair lift is a platform-mounted lift for loading passengers from low platforms onto trains that do not have onboard ramps.
For passengers who cannot walk far or at all, we offer a wheelchair to move the passengers around within the station. At some stations this may be a battery-powered people mover. The wheelchair or other types of movers must not leave the station or be moved onto the train.