Charlotte, NC (CLT)
Located northeast of downtown in a busy rail yard, the station was built by the Southern Railway in 1962 to house passenger service functions and railroad division offices.
1914 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28206
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2022): 196,233
- Facility Ownership: Norfolk Southern Railway
- Parking Lot Ownership: Norfolk Southern Railway
- Platform Ownership: Norfolk Southern Railway
- Track Ownership: Norfolk Southern Railway
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please visit Amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
Located approximately two miles northeast of downtown in the busy Norfolk Southern rail yard, the current Charlotte station was built for the Southern Railway in 1962 to house passenger service functions and railroad division offices. A new station was needed due to a grade-separation project that required the relocation of various railroad facilities.
Designed by local architectural firm Walter Hook Associates, Inc., the structure was meant to be quickly erected and therefore included the use of an exposed precast concrete framing system. A mail building (freight depot) and boiler house were constructed to the northeast as part of the station project.
In addition to the framing components, the exterior incorporates dark brown brick and large, angled precast concrete panels covered in pebble-dash. Interspersed with these heavy, solid elements are walls of glass, which coupled with clerestory windows beneath the roof, allow ample natural light to flood the waiting room. Due to the clerestory windows, from a distance, the roof almost seems to float above the building.
In keeping with the aesthetics of mid-century modern architecture, the station has minimal applied ornamentation. Rather, the materials themselves are the main decorative elements, with the textured pebble-dash panels featuring prominently in the design of the exterior and interior. Inside, terrazzo floors are durable yet elegant, appropriate for a high-traffic area.
By the late 1990s, a strong partnership between Amtrak and the state resulted in enhanced passenger rail services that led to increased ridership. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and Amtrak expanded the Charlotte waiting room in 2002 and added an additional ticket window; new benches later replaced the original wood furniture.
In July 2018, the city broke ground on Phase I of the long-awaited Charlotte Gateway Station (CGS). The new intermodal facility will be located in Uptown Charlotte near BB&T Ballpark at the intersection of West Trade St. and Graham St. Expected to be operational by the mid-2020s, it will bring together Amtrak and potential commuter rail, CATS and intercity buses and the LYNX light rail. The CGS will also link into the Mecklenberg County greenway system to promote access for pedestrians and cyclists.
NCDOT began acquiring the CGS property in 1998, with a 17-acre acquisition completed in 2004. Interestingly, the block intended for the new passenger station once held the old Southern Railway depot until it was demolished in 1962 and passenger services moved to the current site now used by Amtrak. In late 2012, the NCDOT selected Hines, an international real estate firm, to serve as the master developer for the CGS. Working with the NCDOT, city, county, Amtrak, regional transit system and other stakeholders, Hines was tasked with creating a master development plan for CGS and the adjacent area.
Phase I encompasses construction of station track, signals, five bridges and a passenger platform. Track reconfiguration will reduce conflict between passenger and freight trains and enable additional arrivals and departures at the planned station. In 2015, Charlotte and the NCDOT won a $25 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. DOT to support completion of the CGS. Additional funding includes $49 million from the NCDOT and $33 million from the city’s capital budget. As Phase I work progresses with an expected completion date of spring 2022, the city will search for a private development partner to build a passenger station as part of Phase II. Planners expect the CGS to spur private investment through mixed-use, transit oriented development in the surrounding area.
Charlotte, located in Mecklenburg County, is the largest city in North Carolina. The area was first settled in 1755 when Thomas Polk, uncle of future United States President James K. Polk, built a residence at the intersection of two American Indian trading paths between the Yadkin and Catawba Rivers, the north south route being part of the Great Wagon Road leading from Pennsylvania into the North Carolina foothills. Charlotte was named in honor of Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Streilitz, who had become Queen Consort of King George III of England the year before the city’s founding in 1768; today, the city is well-known by its nickname—the “Queen City.”
Until the 1848 California gold rush, Charlotte was a center of gold production, as rich veins of gold were found throughout the area in 1799, the 1800s and even into the 1900s. Coincidentally, Charlotte is now a major U.S. financial center and the nation’s second-largest banking hub. More than 270 Fortune 500 Companies are also represented within the Charlotte metropolitan region, with companies such as Duke Energy and the Bank of America Corporation headquartered in the city.
Charlotte is also a major center for the U.S. motorsports industry. Visitors can attend a race or visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Opened in 2010, it includes popular rotating and permanent exhibits, such as a display of famous race cars from various eras.
The Piedmont and Carolinian services are financed primarily through funds made available by the State of North Carolina.
Station Building (with waiting room)
- ATM available
- No elevator
- Quik-Trak kiosks
- Ticket sales office
- Unaccompanied child travel allowed
- Vending machines
- No WiFi
- Boarding gates close 5 Min before train departure time
- Arrive at least 60 minutes prior to departure if you're checking baggage or need ticketing/passenger assistance
- Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure if you're not checking baggage or don't need assistance
- Amtrak Express shipping not available
- Checked baggage service available
- Checked baggage storage available
- Bike boxes for sale
- Baggage carts available
- Ski bags not available
- Bag storage
- Shipping Boxes for sale
- Baggage assistance provided by Station Staff
- Same-day parking is available; fees may apply
- Overnight parking is available; fees may apply
- Accessible platform
- Accessible restrooms
- No accessible ticket office
- Accessible waiting room
- No accessible water fountain
- Same-day, accessible parking is available; fees may apply
- Overnight, accessible parking is available; fees may apply
- No high platform
- Wheelchair available
- Wheelchair lift available
Station Waiting Room Hours
Ticket Office Hours
Passenger Assistance Hours
Checked Baggage Service
Quik-Track Kiosk Hours
Amtrak Express Hours