Staunton, VA (STA)
European-Americans began settling this part of the Shenandoah Valley in the 1730s. Passengers use the former Chesapeake & Ohio Railway signal house built around 1886.
1 Middlebrook Avenue
Staunton, VA 24401
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 6,250
- Facility Ownership: MH Staunton, LLC
- Parking Lot Ownership: MH Staunton, LLC
- Platform Ownership: CSXT
- Track Ownership: CSXT
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
The current Staunton stop is an enclosed, unstaffed waiting room, located in the former signal house built for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O, succeeded by CSXT) circa 1886. Passengers have used three other stations in the current location, on a bend at the foot of the steep hill of adjacent Wilson Park and beside the now-underground Lewis Creek.
The first station was burned to the ground by Union Troops during the Civil War when Union Major-General David Hunter arrived in June of 1864 to cut the supply, communications, and railway lines—but spared the rest of the town. The second station, built post-Civil War, was destroyed in 1890 by a runaway C&O train. The third station in that location was built in 1902 by noted architect Thomas Jasper Collins in the Bungalow style. This building, with its wide hipped eaves and decorative brackets, was used into the 1960s as a station for the C&O. In 1989, the station property was renovated with assistance from the Historic Staunton Foundation. From approximately 2004 to 2009, the former station building was home to the Pullman Restaurant.
The area in the Shenandoah Valley that would become Staunton was first settled in 1732 by John Lewis and his family, followed shortly, in 1736, by wealthy planter William Beverly with a grant of land from the English crown. The town, founded in 1747, was named for Rebecca Staunton, wife to colonial Lieutenant Governor Sir William Gooch; it served as regional capital for the then-Northwest Territory between 1738 and 1771, and as capital of Virginia for a time in 1781, sheltering the state legislators fleeing British troops. Staunton was incorporated in 1871 and became an independent city in 1902.
The city, located on the Valley Pike, began developing significantly after the Virginia Central Railroad arrived in 1854. The commercial district surrounding the railroad depot came to be called the Wharf District because of the trains pulled onto sidings which loaded their cargo directly into the warehouse there via gangplanks. The warehouse still stands across Middlebrook Avenue.
The city’s commerce truly prospered between 1890 and 1920; it is said that more passengers embarked and disembarked at the Staunton Station in 1890 than any other point on the C&O line other than Richmond.
When he moved to Staunton from Washington, D.C., Thomas Jasper Collins, architect, established a firm that would embrace many Victorian building styles in its works. He designed or renovated more than 200 buildings in Staunton between 1891 and 1911, and many others in surrounding Virginia. Collins’ son and grandson continued the tradition at T.J. Collins and Son until 1997, when the firm closed and their papers were turned over to the Historic Staunton Foundation. In fact, with five historical districts and strict city codes, the historical nature of the city has been preserved to such an extent that it has been used as a film location for several period films, including the Civil War film, Gods and Generals.
A few blocks from the station is the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace Memorial and the Woodrow Wilson Presidential library, as well as the Woodrow Wilson Museum, with professionally researched and designed interpretive galleries dedicated to the life and times of the 28th U.S. President. The library provides educational programs, research facilities, and publications relating to critical topics of the World War I era and early 20th century.
Staunton is also home to Mary Baldwin College, a private, independent four-year liberal arts women’s college, one of the south’s top-tier Master’s level educational institutions. In addition to liberal arts and women’s pre-professional military, medical and ministry programs, the college hosts a gifted girls program and co-educational graduate and adult studies programs. The college also offers a Master of Letters (one of three universities in the United States to do so) in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance, in conjunction with the nearby American Shakespeare Center.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this station, which is served by the tri-weekly Cardinal (Westbound: Sunday, Wednesday, Friday; Eastbound: Wednesday, Friday, Sunday).
- 25 Short Term Parking Spaces
- 100 Long Term Parking Spaces
- Accessible Platform
- Enclosed Waiting Area
- Pay Phones
- Wheelchair Lift