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 old Greek Revival capitol occupies a prominent downtown square.
320 West Cabarrus Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 155,191
- Facility Ownership: North Carolina Railroad Company
- Parking Lot Ownership: North Carolina Railroad Company
- 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).
The current brick depot on Cabarrus Street was opened by the Southern Railway in 1950 upon moving from the city’s old Union Station on the west side of Nash Square. Southern Railway discontinued passenger train service to the Raleigh station in 1964, but Amtrak relocated here from the former Seaboard Air Line depot in 1986. Located at the end of West Martin Street, the depot is the only building to sit within the busy Boylan Wye, a crucial piece of North Carolina’s railroad infrastructure where lines owned by CSX, Norfolk Southern, and the North Carolina Railroad meet. The current Amtrak station is located on the southern side of the wye, where there is little opportunity for expansion.
In the mid-2000s, Amtrak spent more than $580,000 to expand the waiting room and add a first class passenger lounge. Today, the Raleigh station is the busiest in North Carolina and one of the most active in the Southeast. Since the 1990s, various studies have suggested that a new station would be needed to accommodate increased ridership resulting from additional train frequencies.
In January 2012, the mayor and the city council endorsed a recommendation by the city’s appointed Passenger Rail Task Force to adapt the former Dillon Supply warehouse west of downtown to serve as the centerpiece of a new multimodal transportation center. As envisioned, the complex—referred to as “Union Station”—will 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 is expected to last two years. The $79.8 million project includes rehabilitation of the Dillon Supply warehouse, track and platform construction, signal and switch improvements and extension of West Street under the tracks. Featuring dramatic, high ceilings, the renovated building will include a waiting hall, ticket counters and an area for retail storefronts and restaurants. The project will occur in two phases: station and site improvements followed by the West Street extension.
Working together, in June 2012 the city of Raleigh, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and Triangle Transit won a $21 million Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant 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. In addition to these federal funds, NCDOT has pledged $9 million and also facilitated the redirection of $15 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds.Triangle Transit is providing an in-kind match of the Dillon Supply warehouse and the land, and the city is contributing $18.75 million.
Raleigh officials believe that the intermodal center will 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 with the historic Boylan Heights neighborhood and other residential areas to the west. City planners estimate that Union Station will stimulate the creation of more than 2.56 million square feet of office space and 6,000 residential units within a half mile radius of the intermodal center.
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 they created Wake County from portions of Cumberland, Orange, and Johnston Counties, taking 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 there 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 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; and 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 historically 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 2007, there were more than 130 research and development facilities existing in the park with more than 39,000 employees working for a total of 157 organizations. Raleigh’s other industrial base includes electrical, medical, electronic, and telecommunications equipment; clothing and apparel; food processing; paper products and pharmaceuticals.
The North Carolina Art Museum, occupying a large suburban campus near the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, just outside Raleigh, 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 eight daily trains.
- 20 Short Term Parking Spaces
- 60 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