Gastonia, NC (GAS)
Located in the south-central Piedmont region, Gastonia started as a junction settlement between the Charlotte & Atlanta Air Line Railroad and the Chester & Lenoir Narrow Gauge Line.
350 Hancock Street
Gastonia, NC 28054
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 1,330
- 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 call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
Passengers at Gastonia use a small brick structure located northeast of downtown and just south of Interstate 85. The city’s passenger rail service originated in 1873; however, the original train station on Air Line Avenue was bulldozed in the early 1960s. The stop was moved to its present location on Hancock Avenue in 1987, due to the city’s railroad relocation program, which Gastonia natives call “the ditch.”
Planned since the 1960s to streamline traffic and eliminate deaths and accidents around railroad crossings, the program moved Southern Railway’s tracks about 200 feet north and eliminated Air Line Avenue. It created a 30-foot-deep trench, which removed ground-level train traffic from downtown. As part of downtown revitalization, “the ditch” will be transformed into a multi-level park, with a pedestrian overpass.
Gastonia is located in the south-central Piedmont region of North Carolina, close to the South Carolina border. In the eighteenth century, early settlers in the Gaston County area were Scottish-Irish, Pennsylvania Dutch and English, who made their livings on small, self-sufficient farms in the area. Corn grew particularly well, and by 1870, Gaston County was known as the “Banner Corn Whiskey County of North Carolina.”
In addition to distilleries, mines in various parts of the county yielded gold, lime, sulfur and tin. But it was between 1848 and 1855 that Gaston County began to grow with the establishment of three cotton mills, and that is what eventually brought prosperity to Gastonia proper.
The city started out as a junction settlement between the Charlotte and Atlanta Air Line Railroad, now the Southern Railway, and the Chester and Lenoir Narrow Gauge Line, shifting the focus in that location from agriculture to what would become one of the largest centers for textile production in the world. During the reconstruction era after the Civil War, Gastonia incorporated as a city on January 26, 1877.
By 1910, Gastonia was home to 11 cotton mills and a thriving population, with a public school system, electric lights, and paved roads; and in 1911 became the county seat. Gastonia, today the largest city in Gaston County, is part of the Charlotte metropolitan area and still retains its large manufacturing base and textile mills.
Also in 1911, the P&N ran the city’s first and only streetcar in Gastonia. The streetcar was finally retired in 1948, overwhelmed by competition from automobiles and their traffic. P&N also ran a 23-mile interurban freight and passenger railroad to Charlotte, constructed by James B. Duke of Duke Power in 1911. Passenger service on the P&N ceased in 1951, due to the popularity of automobile travel.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this facility, which is served by two daily trains.
- 5 Short Term Parking Spaces
- 5 Long Term Parking Spaces
- Accessible Platform
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Enclosed Waiting Area