Columbia, SC (CLB)
Constructed in 1991 and featuring a delicate cupola, the depot is about three miles from downtown and within walking distance of the University of South Carolina campus.
850 Pulaski Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 32,234
- Facility Ownership: City of Columbia
- Parking Lot Ownership: City of Columbia
- Platform Ownership: CSXT
- Track Ownership: CSXT
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
The Amtrak station in Columbia is a steel structure, built in 1991, about three miles from the downtown area and close to the University of South Carolina campus. Amtrak moved the station to the current Pulaski Street location when the city removed the rails and the Seaboard Air Line Railway trestle along Lincoln Street.
The former Seaboard Air Line and Amtrak station, built of red brick in 1903, still stands at Gervais Street. It was abandoned and then restored and made into a restaurant, the Blue Marlin, which specializes in Low Country cuisine.
Columbia, the seat of Richland County and the state capital, is sited where the confluence of the Broad and Saluda Rivers form the Congaree River, part of the greater Santee River system connecting the uplands with the lowlands of South Carolina. The Congarees, a frontier fort on the west bank of the Congaree River, was located in the eighteenth century at the head of the navigable river system, which was important in trade before the railroads came.
In 1786, the city’s site was chosen as for the state capital because of its central location, and the city was one of the first planned cities in the New World. Columbia was designed as a town of 400 blocks in a two-mile square along the river and divided by wide thoroughfares—because, as the story has it, it was believed that hungry mosquitoes could not fly further than 60 feet before dying of starvation.
Columbia received its town charter in 1805, and chartered as a city in 1854. It became the largest inland city in the Carolinas, and grew rapidly after the railroads reached it in the 1840s. Rail lines through the city primarily transported cotton, which was the focus of its economic activity at that time.
Columbia’s First Baptist Church hosted the South Carolina Secession Convention in late 1860, and the city continued to be a convenient central meeting place within the Confederacy throughout the ensuing American Civil War. On February 17, 1865, General William Tecumseh Sherman’s federal troops occupied the city and burned much of it. Legend has it that the First Baptist Church was saved by the cunning misdirection of the groundskeeper when asked where the secessionists met; he pointed them toward the Methodist church nearby.
The early twentieth century saw Columbia emerge as a regional textile manufacturing center, and by 1907, the city had six mills in operation, employing over 3,400 workers—a large number in those days. It continued through the 1930s and 1940s as a trading and textile center.
In 1917, the U.S. Army constructed Camp Jackson nearby as a field artillery replacement depot. It was reactivated in 1940 as Fort Jackson, and became a permanent installation.
The University of South Carolina, chartered in 1801, is renowned for its business programs as well as its research and technology initiatives. Columbia is also home to six other colleges.
Since 1967, historic refurbishment has played a significant part of shaping modern downtown Columbia. The 1990s and 2000s have seen revitalization of the downtown area and the Congaree Vista district along Gervais Street, the old warehouse district, where the 1903 rail station still stands. The restoration efforts have begun to attract more residents and businesses. The Vista now houses art galleries, restaurants, unique shops, and professional office space, as well as nearby student and residential housing.
Amtrak provides both ticketing and baggage services at the Columbia station, which is served by two daily trains.
Station Building (with waiting room)
- 10 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.