Raleigh, NC (RGH)

Named for Sir Walter Raleigh, the city is one of the few in the country planned specifically as a state capital. The new Union Station, housed in a repurposed warehouse, anchors the west end of downtown.

Raleigh Union Station from the south. Photo by NCDOT.

Raleigh Union Station
510 W. Martin St.
Raleigh, NC 27601

Station Hours

Annual Station Revenue (FY 2017): $7,337,510
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2017): 150,919
  • Facility Ownership: Forthcoming
  • Parking Lot Ownership: Forthcoming
  • Platform Ownership: Forthcoming
  • Track Ownership: North Carolina Railroad Company

Todd Stennis
Regional Contact
governmentaffairsnol@amtrak.com
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

Passenger trains began serving Raleigh Union Station on July 10, 2018. Located in the city’s Warehouse District on the western edge of downtown and just two blocks from Nash Square, Union Station sits inside the Boylan Wye, a crucial piece of North Carolina’s railroad infrastructure where lines owned by CSX, Norfolk Southern and the North Carolina Railroad meet.

In January 2012, the mayor and the city council endorsed a recommendation by the city’s appointed Passenger Rail Task Force to adapt the vacant Dillon Supply warehouse to serve as the centerpiece of a new multimodal transportation center. The vision called for the new Union Station to house Amtrak and local, regional and intercity buses, while also providing opportunities for future expansion to accommodate proposed commuter and high-speed rail services.

City, state and federal leaders gathered to break ground on Union Station in May 2015, and construction lasted into early 2018. The nearly $89 million project included rehabilitation of the 1940s-era warehouse, track and platform construction, and signal and switch improvements. Passenger areas are five times as large as those in the previous station to better handle growing ridership.

The Raleigh Union Station project was made possible through close coordination among the City of Raleigh, Federal Railroad Administration, NCDOT Rail Division, GoTriangle, and other stakeholders. The city oversaw station and site construction while the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) managed the track and rail infrastructure work.

Designed by Clearscapes, the station marries the skeleton of the old warehouse with contemporary design. As passengers approach from West Street or the platform, they are greeted by soaring facades of glass that allow natural light to brighten interior spaces. A roundabout on the south end makes for easy pickup and drop offs, while to the east of the station a civic plaza sheltered by a canopy encourages a variety of community gatherings.

In the Main Hall, customers may relax in comfortable seating or plug in at a work station. The space showcases the building’s warehouse origins by reusing the steel framing – columns and beams – to create dramatic, high ceilings. Two gantry cranes, once used to move steel and other materials around the warehouse, also remain in place high above the floor. The station also includes Amtrak ticket counters and leasable space for retail, office and restaurant use that ensure the station remains busy throughout the day.

A curving, enclosed concourse links the building with the new center island passenger platform; one wall incorporates metal sheeting from the warehouse as a decorative element while the other uses floor to ceiling glass that lets in sunlight. Because the station is served by new track reserved for passenger trains, the city was able to build a high-level platform – one of the few in the South. It is level with the train doors, making it easier for passengers to get on and off the train; a canopy provides shelter from inclement weather. With an eye to the future, space has been preserved for construction of a second platform as rail services expand.

The overall facility design incorporates numerous green features such as energy-efficient radiant heating in the Main Hall and an insert in the facades’ glass panels that allows sunlight to enter the interior but protects against heat gain. There is also on-site bioretention of storm water, permeable pavements that allow water to seep into the ground, green roofs covered with vegetation and a pollinator garden on the station’s north side that is meant to attract and sustain bees.

In June 2012 the city, NCDOT and Triangle Transit won a $21 million Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant for station construction awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation; this was later supplemented with an additional $5.5 million in September 2013. That same month, the city won a second TIGER grant worth $10 million. NCDOT contributed $9 million to the project and facilitated the redirection of $15 million in federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds. The city contributed nearly $16 million, and Triangle Transit provided an in-kind match of the Dillon Supply warehouse and the land.

Union Station has the potential to function as the hub of a new mixed-use district around the wye that will include residential, retail and office units as well as space for cultural institutions. It will also link downtown across the train tracks with the historic Boylan Heights neighborhood and other residential areas to the west. At a future date, the city plans to extend West Street under the new platform to reconnect this part of the street grid.

Raleigh Union Station is the third facility Amtrak has served in the “City of Oaks” since 1971. Until moving to Union Station, Amtrak used a small Colonial Revival brick depot on Cabarrus Street a few blocks to the southeast. It was opened by the Southern Railway in 1950 after moving from the city’s old Union Station on the west side of Nash Square. Amtrak relocated to the Cabarrus Street facility in 1986 from the former Seaboard Air Line depot north of downtown. The move was necessitated by freight railroad CSX’s abandonment of track between Petersburg, Va., and Raleigh, which forced Amtrak to reroute the Silver Star (New York-Miami) via Rocky Mount, N.C.

Raleigh, which is both the state capital and the seat of Wake County, sits in the forested piedmont region of North Carolina. In 1770 the North Carolina General Assembly was petitioned to form a new county, and it created Wake County from portions of Cumberland, Orange and Johnston counties. The new entity took its name from Margaret Wake Tryon, the wife of Governor William Tryon. The first county seat was in Bloomsbury.

The Raleigh area was chosen for the state capital in 1788, in part because it was close to Isaac Hunter’s Tavern, a popular place frequented by state legislators. No known city or town existed there previously; Raleigh is one of the few cities in the U.S. planned specifically as a state capital. The city was named in 1792 for Sir Walter Raleigh, sponsor of the Colony of Roanoke, the “Lost Colony” on the Carolina coast. The city was chartered by the General Assembly in 1794.

In 1831 a fire destroyed the state capitol. Reconstruction began two years later with granite delivered by the state’s first railroad. Raleigh celebrated the completion of the new Greek Revival state capitol and the new Raleigh & Gaston Railroad Company in 1840.

During General Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign in the American Civil War, Raleigh was captured by Union cavalry under General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick on April 13, 1865. After the Confederate cavalry retreated west toward Morrisville, the Union soldiers followed, sparing the city significant destruction. Though the city survived the war, economic problems of the post-war period prevented significant growth over the next several decades. However, in addition to Peace College, several institutions of higher learning were founded during that period, such as Shaw University, the south’s first African-American college; St. Augustine’s College for the education of freedmen in 1867; and Meredith (Women’s Baptist) College in 1891.

Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill make up the three primary cities of the Research Triangle metropolitan region. The name comes from the 1959 opening of Research Triangle Park, located between Raleigh and Durham; following that opening, the area began to see significant growth in business and population. Research Triangle is the largest research park in the United States, sponsored by state and local governments, nearby universities and business interests. As of 2018, there were 250 companies located in the park with more than 50,000 employees focused on research and development in the fields of micro-electronics, telecommunications, biotechnology, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and environmental sciences.

The North Carolina Art Museum, occupying a large suburban campus near the North Carolina State Fairgrounds west of downtown, maintains one of the premier public art collections between Atlanta and Washington, D.C. In addition to its extensive collections of American, European and ancient art, the museum hosts major exhibitions.

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 ten daily trains.

Image courtesy of the NCDOT.

Station Building (with waiting room)

Features

  • ATM available
  • First Class Lounge
  • Payphones
  • Quik-Trak kiosks not available
  • Ticket sales office
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Unaccompanied child travel allowed
  • Vending Machines

Baggage

  • Amtrak Express shipping available
  • Checked baggage service available
  • Checked baggage storage available
  • Bike boxes for sale
  • Baggage carts available
  • Ski bags not available
  • Bag storage available
  • Shipping Boxes for sale
  • Baggage assistance provided by Station Staff

Parking

  • Dedicated accessible parking available
  • Parking available with Fee
  • 20 short-term parking spaces
  • 100 long-term parking spaces

Accessibility

  • Payphones
  • Accessible platform
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible ticket office
  • Accessible waiting room
  • Accessible water fountain
  • Dedicated accessible parking available
  • No high platform
  • Wheelchair available
  • Wheelchair lift available
  • Hours

    Station Hours
    Mon05:45 am - 11:00 pm
    Tue05:45 am - 11:00 pm
    Wed05:45 am - 11:00 pm
    Thu05:45 am - 11:00 pm
    Fri05:45 am - 11:00 pm
    Sat05:45 am - 11:00 pm
    Sun05:45 am - 11:00 pm
    Ticket Office Hours
    Mon05:45 am - 10:30 pm
    Tue05:45 am - 10:30 pm
    Wed05:45 am - 10:30 pm
    Thu05:45 am - 10:30 pm
    Fri05:45 am - 10:30 pm
    Sat05:45 am - 10:30 pm
    Sun05:45 am - 10:30 pm
    Passenger Assistance Hours
    Mon05:45 am - 10:30 pm
    Tue05:45 am - 10:30 pm
    Wed05:45 am - 10:30 pm
    Thu05:45 am - 10:30 pm
    Fri05:45 am - 10:30 pm
    Sat05:45 am - 10:30 pm
    Sun05:45 am - 10:30 pm