Durham, NC (DNC)
Through the cooperation of the North Carolina DOT and the city, Amtrak relocated to a new facility in the rehabilitated Walker Warehouse, built by the American Tobacco Company in 1897.
601 West Main Street
Durham, NC 27701
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 73,607
- Facility Ownership: Fuller Street Redevelopment, LLC
- Parking Lot Ownership: Fuller Street Redevelopment, LLC
- Platform Ownership: North Carolina Railroad Company
- Track Ownership: North Carolina Railroad Company
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
On July 8, 2009, Amtrak began serving a new station in Durham located in the restored Walker Warehouse, a historic brick structure erected in 1897 by the American Tobacco Company trust. Included in the Bright Leaf National Register Historic District, the former warehouse is marked by impressive decorative brickwork such as corbeled pendants and mousetoothing at the cornice and parapet. The Walker Warehouse is part of the West Village redevelopment project, which encompasses seven former tobacco warehouses, constructed between 1884 and 1949, that are being converted into loft apartments and office, laboratory, retail and entertainment space.
The new station was a joint venture of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the city of Durham. The former entered into an agreement with developer Blue Devil Partners to lease and up-fit one third of the Walker Warehouse, while the city was responsible for 25 percent of the lease costs. The NCDOT also constructed a 600-foot long boarding platform with a 300-foot canopy and a covered walkway extending from the station building; this work was funded with $1.25 million in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) funds. Across the tracks from the Amtrak depot is “Durham Station,” a transit terminal served by city, regional and intercity bus providers.
Prior to the renovation of the Walker Warehouse, the NCDOT and Durham jointly opened an interim modular station in 1996 to provide accessible ticketing, a waiting room, baggage handling and restrooms. Staffed by a full-time Amtrak station agent, it in turn had replaced a small shelter used by passengers since 1990.
Durham began as a depot for the North Carolina Railroad in 1853. A country physician, Bartlett S. Durham, donated land to the railroad, and that depot was subsequently named Durham station. Prior to the arrival of the railroad, the area was primarily agricultural, with a few businesses catering to travelers along the Hillsborough Road.
The community of Durham grew slowly before the American Civil War, but expanded rapidly afterwards; the city was chartered in 1869. Much growth was due to the expanding tobacco industry. During the war, soldiers had become fond of the area’s mild Brightleaf tobacco, and its popularity spread. Numerous orders came to Green’s tobacco company; W.T. Blackwell partnered with Green and renamed the company the Bull Durham Tobacco Company. The name “Bull Durham” is supposedly taken from the bull on the British Coleman’s Mustard, which Mr. Blackwell, who was fond of it, mistakenly thought was manufactured in Durham, England. The other dominant tobacco company in the city was Washington Duke, Sons & Company. Much of the city’s architecture dates from this period of 1890 to 1930 when tobacco was central to the local and regional economies.
In 1910 Dr. James E. Shepherd founded North Carolina Central University, the nation’s first publicly-supported liberal arts college for African Americans. In 1924 James Buchanan Duke established a philanthropic foundation in honor of his father, Washington Duke, to support Trinity College in Durham. This college changed its name to Duke University and built a large campus and hospital a mile west of Trinity College (now Duke’s East Campus).
Durham’s growth rekindled in the 1970s and 1980s with the growth of the Research Triangle Park to its south, as well as the beginnings of downtown revitalization. Durham has come to style itself as the “City of Medicine,” due, among other things, to the renown of the Duke University Hospital and the biotechnology and scientific research companies located in Research Triangle Park.
Duke University hosts many unique research establishments, including the Duke Lemur Center, which is a research and study center housing over 260 prosimian primates, the largest collection of lemurs outside of Madagascar. The Duke University Phytotron conducts research on global climatic changes. Durham is also home to the Rhine Center, the foremost institute studying experimental parapsychology and ESP. The 1983 science fiction movie about memory transferal, Brainstorm, was set at the Research Triangle Park, and was actress Natalie Wood’s last film.
The state-owned Piedmont and the state-subsidized Carolinian are primarily financed through funds from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Amtrak provides ticketing and baggage services at this station, which is served by six daily trains.
- 37 Short Term Parking Spaces
- 37 Long Term Parking Spaces
- 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
- Shipping Boxes
- Ticket Office
- Wheelchair Lift