Constructed in 1907 by the Southern Railway, the depot was renovated in the early 2000s due to strong citizen support. Workers rebuilt the foundation and reinforced the roof and walls.
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2023): 37,966
- Facility Ownership: City of High Point
- Parking Lot Ownership: City of High Point
- Platform Ownership: City of High Point
- Track Ownership: North Carolina Railroad
The High Point passenger depot is a brick and stone structure built in 1907 by the Southern Railway Company in the heart of downtown High Point. It was designed in the Richardson Romanesque architectural style, with a rusticated ashlar base and tiled hip roof.
As in many cities, trains and street crossings began to impede growing automobile traffic. In the late 1930s, a city-state-federal project built a one-mile trench up to 35 feet deep through which the trains could travel. The retaining walls at the station included Moderne-detailed concrete. A walkway across the tracks and a passenger staircase to the platform at track level were constructed.
In the mid-1970s, Southern Railway leased the station to a restaurant and built a small green metal building at the rear of the station for passengers. Southern Railway (now Norfolk Southern) reached an agreement for Amtrak to take over passenger service in 1978, and Amtrak took over Southern’s passenger operations in 1979.
By 1990, the station and platform were in disrepair, dirty and the restaurant failing. The city government considered demolishing the station entirely. However, some High Point citizens made station restoration their cause. Three years later, the city government saw merit in the project and joined the North Carolina Department of Transportation in preparing a $3 million request for funds to restore and enhance the station. The High Point citizens involved in the project eventually raised $300,000 for the required 10 percent local share of the ISTEA funds.
Meanwhile, the North Carolina Railroad (NCRR), owners of the tracks from Goldsboro to Charlotte through High Point, was negotiating a new lease with Norfolk Southern Railway. In 1998 NCRR, Norfolk Southern, the city of High Point and the Amtrak signed a “license to renovate,” which allowed the restoration to begin.
In this $6.8 million project, part of the building’s foundation had to be rebuilt, the roof and walls shored up and the floor replaced. Trains continued to use the tracks daily while the pedestrian bridge, staircase and center island platform were replaced. To comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, an elevator was also added. The station was closed to passengers for nine months before reopening on December 9, 2003 as a multi-modal center.
Also on site is the Plank Road Foreman Monument, built to honor those who assisted in building the Plank Road, which preceded the railway. Across the street is the Memorial Park, dedicated to High Point soldiers who fought in the wars.
On May 16, 2007, the city of High Point organized an event honoring the 100th anniversary of the station. Organizer Jim Morgan concluded the event by stating: “Today we celebrate the past which gives us great hope for the future, knowing that rail service will continue to be important for all of us.”
High Point was located at the highest point of the 1856 NCRR between Charlotte and Goldsboro where it intersected the 1852 Great Western Plank Road. Its central location and transportation allowed for the delivery of raw materials like cotton and lumber and processed goods in and out of the city and contributed to its early growth.
High Point was incorporated in 1859. Before it became a major manufacturing center, the most important industries were tobacco, woodworking and textiles. The first of many High Point furniture factories was opened in 1889.
In the mid eighteenth-century, this part of Guilford County was also a refuge for Pennsylvania Quakers seeking arable land as well as the opportunity to establish communities according to their own principles. Their ideals led to the early development of High Point’s educational system.
Known as the furniture and hosiery capital of the world, 60 percent of all furniture produced in the United States is produced within a 200-mile radius of High Point. Today, this city draws visitors from 50 states and more than 100 countries for the biannual International Home Furnishings Market, the largest event of its kind in the world.
High Point is also home to the “World’s Largest Chest of Drawers,” a building built in 1926 to call attention to the city as “Home Furnishings Capital of the World.” This building has been restored as a four-story beautiful 18th century chest of drawers, which has been the home to the High Point Jaycees.
John Coltrane, celebrated saxophonist, was born in Hamlet, NC and moved to High Point shortly after birth, where he remained through high school, graduating at age 16. He is widely considered in the jazz community to be among the greatest musicians ever to live, pioneering his own “sheets of sound” style of improvisation throughout the late 20th century.
The Piedmont and Carolinian services are financed primarily through funds made available by the State of North Carolina. North Carolina station attendants meet all trains at High Point to assist passengers and answer travel questions.
- ATM not available
- No elevator
- No payphones
- No Quik-Trak kiosks
- No Restrooms
- Unaccompanied child travel not allowed
- No vending machines
- No WiFi
- Arrive at least minutes prior to departure
- Amtrak Express shipping not available
- No checked baggage service
- No checked baggage storage
- Bike boxes not available
- No baggage carts
- Ski bags not available
- No bag storage
- Shipping boxes not available
- No baggage assistance
- No payphones
- No accessible restrooms
- No accessible ticket office
- No accessible waiting room
- No accessible water fountain
- No high platform
- No wheelchair
- No wheelchair lift