North Charleston, SC (CHS)

An intermodal center opened in late 2018 is served by Amtrak and local and intercity buses and features a spacious waiting area, community room and a history display focused on the surrounding Liberty Hill neighborhood.

Entrance to the N. Charleston Intermodal Center

North Charleston Intermodal Center
4565 Gaynor Avenue
North Charleston, SC 29405

Station Hours

Annual Station Revenue (FY 2018): $5,492,562
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2018): 61,261
  • Facility Ownership: Forthcoming
  • Parking Lot Ownership: Forthcoming
  • Platform Ownership: Forthcoming
  • Track Ownership: CSX Transportation

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

Amtrak moved into the North Charleston Intermodal Center in December 2018 following a year and a half of construction. The facility had been under discussion since the late 1990s to bring together various transportation modes – including Amtrak, Charleston Area Rapid Transit Authority (CARTA) buses and intercity buses – in one convenient location. Amtrak relocated to the intermodal center from the 1956 Atlantic Coast Line (ACL) depot, which stood directly to the south.

The one-story, nearly 15,000-square foot intermodal center is constructed of brown brick and textured concrete masonry units and features a tower on one end. Stylized pilasters create regular bays that visually break up the long, horizontal facades. A projecting bay with triangular parapet and clock face adds a strong vertical element and marks the main entrance; a canopy protects passengers from inclement weather as they arrive by car. The steeply pitched, hipped seamed-metal roof has prominent shed dormer windows that, along with numerous other windows at ground level, allow natural light to brighten the interior. Along the tracks was built a new concrete platform with canopy.

Inside, customers enjoy a spacious waiting area enlivened by a diamond pattern on the floor and accented with organic stone and wood elements. The building also has an Amtrak ticket counter, CARTA and Amtrak offices, a community room and a history display focused on the surrounding Liberty Hill neighborhood. Created as a freedmen’s settlement after the Civil War, Liberty Hill is the oldest community in North Charleston.

The overall project cost approximately $15 million, with funding obtained from the Federal Transit Administration, Charleston County, the city of North Charleston and the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority.

The old ACL depot was torn down in early 2019 to make way for bus facilities, customer parking and landscaping. It reflected mid-century modern design popular at the time of its construction, characterized by clean lines and minimal ornamentation. Typical features found in the building included a flat roof, large groupings of windows with horizontal lights, and shallow cantilevered canopies at the first and second floors.

Red brick and dyed-green concrete panels arranged in alternating horizontal bands emphasized the depot’s rectilinear lines while also creating a striking color combination that attracted the eye. In the center of the street facade, the concrete panels were used to create a full height portico to welcome travelers. Public spaces featured exposed brick on the lower walls and floors of durable green terrazzo. At one time, the second floor served as the ACL’s freight office for the Charleston Division; that office closed when it became part of CSX Transportation’s Florence division.

The 1956 station replaced old Charleston Union Station in downtown, as well as the former ACL North Charleston depot that was located south of the current intermodal center. Erected in 1907 at a cost of $250,000, Union Station was a beautiful double-towered edifice serving the ACL, Seaboard Air Line and Southern Railway systems. It caught fire on January 11, 1947, and was destroyed, but the train shed stood until 1954. The smaller North Charleston depot, used by trains to avoid the congested trip into the heart of the historic city, was replaced with a Railway Express Agency building after passenger services were moved to the new facility.

Charleston, originally named Charles Town in honor of King Charles II of England, was founded in 1670 on the west bank of the Ashley River by Anthony Ashley-Cooper, one of the eight lords proprietor of the Carolina Colony. A few years later, the settlement moved to its current site on the peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper rivers. Charleston served as capital of the colony until 1712 when it was split into North and South Carolina; Charleston then became capital of the southern portion.

In its first decades, the seaport was attacked by American Indian groups, the French and Spanish, and even pirates such as the infamous Blackbeard. To address this security problem, a series of seaside forts and walls was constructed. By the mid-18th century, Charleston had become a major port and center of commerce. It was an important outlet for the agricultural products of local plantations, some of which were cultivated through the labor of enslaved people. The opening shots of the Civil War occurred on April 12, 1861, when Confederate artillery fired on Federal forces stationed at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.

In railroad history, the first locomotive to be placed into regular service on any American railroad was the “Best Friend of Charleston,” which was built at the West Point Foundry, N.Y., and came into service on the South Carolina Railroad in Charleston on December 25, 1830.

North Charleston, where the intermodal center is located, straddles Charleston and Dorchester counties; it was incorporated as a city in 1972. In the early 1900s, the area was set out as a planned industrial community with its growth geared directly to the industrial, military and business communities. At the time, the Park Circle neighborhood was designed as one of only two garden city models in the U.S., and most of the original planning concepts remain intact. Today the city is home to Charleston International Airport and Charleston Air Force Base.

Amtrak provides ticketing and baggage services at this station, which is served by four daily trains.

Station Building (with waiting room)

Features

  • ATM available
  • Payphones
  • Quik-Trak kiosks not available
  • Ticket sales office
  • 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 with Fee
  • Shipping Boxes for sale
  • Baggage assistance provided by Station Staff

Parking

  • Same-day parking is not available
  • Overnight parking is not available

Accessibility

  • Payphones
  • Accessible platform
  • No restrooms
  • Accessible ticket office
  • Accessible waiting room
  • Accessible water fountain
  • Accessible same-day parking is not available
  • Accessible overnight parking is not available
  • No high platform
  • Wheelchair available
  • Wheelchair lift available

Hours

Station Hours
Mon04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Tue04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Wed04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Thu04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Fri04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Sat04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Sun04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Ticket Office Hours
Mon04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Tue04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Wed04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Thu04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Fri04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Sat04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Sun04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Passenger Assistance Hours
Mon04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Tue04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Wed04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Thu04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Fri04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Sat04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Sun04:00 am - 11:45 am
04:00 pm - 11:45 pm