CHICAGO — As part of the ongoing work to improve Chicago Union Station, Amtrak, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago area transportation leaders from Metra and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) gathered on October 16, 2015, to announce a set of initiatives aimed at advancing the city-led master plan to redevelop the station.
Amtrak, the city of Chicago, Metra and the RTA have agreed to jointly fund design services for improvements to address the most immediate passenger capacity, service, safety, accessibility and mobility issues at and around the station. This will advance work for renovation of an expanded concourse, expanded and added entrances, widening of platforms, disabilities compliance, pedestrian passageways and consider ventilation needs in the track and platform areas. A Request for Proposals (RFP) for a consultant to provide these services has been issued. Design work is expected to be completed in 2017.
An Amtrak Request for Information (RFI) has also been issued and includes the opportunity to redevelop the Amtrak-owned station and surrounding land parcels, as well as improvements to both passenger and employee facilities – all integrated with surrounding neighborhoods. The RFI represents the first step in the evaluation of interested parties capable of all aspects of project delivery including an implementable Master Development Plan, design, construction, financing the potential operation and maintenance of non-rail assets, as well as identification of expansion opportunities and commercial development in surrounding areas in the West Loop.
In addition to announcing the RFP and RFI, $14 million in Amtrak-funded 2015-16 improvements were unveiled at the conference. These include relocation of a passenger lounge in order to double the space available for business class and sleeping-car passengers and to allow expansion of coach seating at the concourse level; replacement of door systems and heating upgrades; restoration of the barrel-vaulted skylight that soars over the Great Hall; and the creation of banquet and event space in the former women’s lounge. These projects will be finished by the end of 2016.
“Amtrak is committed to working in partnership with our stakeholders to launch strategies and make investments that deliver value for the company and help realize the full vision of a vibrant transportation hub interwoven within an integrated mixed-use urban district,” said Stephen Gardner, Amtrak Executive Vice President/Chief of Business Development.
Read more about these planning and development initiatives at Amtrak.com