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Midwest Regional Rail Initiative
News From MIPRC States
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Midwest passenger rail improvements include new stations ... plenty of new stations
When discussing Amtrak service improvement projects in the Midwest, the upgrades of Chicago-Detroit and Chicago-St. Louis services to 110 miles per hour probably comes to mind first. Perhaps lost in that din, however, is the millions of dollars spent on renovating or building new stations.
Across the Midwest, 19 stations have either been built or rehabbed between 2011 and 2016. In addition, two stations are due to be completed this year, with another due for completion in 2018, while plans are also afoot for renovation of Chicago Union Station and a new station in Oxford, Ohio.
Investing in stations is smart not only from a customer service perspective, but as a way for communities to put their best face forward to travelers. Train stations say something to passengers about their towns because they’re both gateways and focal points for economic development. The Amtrak-sponsored website
Great American Stations
, lays out these arguments, along with a “how to get started” toolkit for communities looking to improve their stations, and a list of stations.
Courtesy of Amtrak, here is a list of Midwestern stations built or renovated since 2011. If we’ve missed a station, please contact us (contact info is at the bottom of this web page) and let us know. We’ll gladly make additions as needed.
Carlinville, Illinois – new station; completion expected in 2018
Pontiac, Illinois – new station; completion expected in 2017
Joliet, Illinois – New intermodal station being built adjacent to historic Union Station; scheduled completion in late 2017
Dwight, Illinois – new station; opened October 27, 2016
Osceola, Iowa – rehabilitation; dedicated August 1, 2016
Arcadia Valley, Missouri – new platform/stop at a historic station building; opened November 20, 2016
Milwaukee, Wisconsin – new train shed (current intermodal station opened in 2007); completed/opened June 2016
Galesburg, Illinois – renovation/expansion of 1984 station; dedicated November 19, 2015
Dyer, Indiana – Amtrak prototype small station shelter; opened in Spring 2014
Grand Rapids, Michigan – new intermodal center (built by local transit authority); opened October 27, 2014
Troy, Michigan – city-built new multimodal station replacing the Birmingham station (which was across the tracks); dedicated October 14, 2014
St. Paul, Minnesota – renovation of Union Depot, rededication as a station (last passenger service to Union Depot prior to the renovation/re-opening was in 1971); re-opened May 7, 2014
Hermann, Missouri – new building; dedicated September 12, 2014
Rensselaer, Indiana – Amtrak prototype small station shelter; dedicated August 21, 2016
Minot, North Dakota – rehabilitation and dedication on December 9, 2010; then again on May 11, 2013, after flood damage repairs
Kewanee, Illinois – new building; opened April 13, 2012
Normal-Bloomington, Illinois – new building opened June 14, 2012; additional work now underway on an underpass and on the east platform.
Battle Creek, Michigan – substantial rehabilitation of existing station; dedicated June 12, 2012
Dearborn, Michigan – new city-built station; opened December 10, 2012
Lawrence, Kansas – new platform; dedicated December, 2011
Sedalia, Missouri – renovation; opened May 2011
Alliance, Ohio – prototype small station shelter; opened Summer, 2011
Additionally, ADA-related upgrades are occurring at stations system-wide as part of a multi-year plan to bring stations into compliance with the 1990 law. Most work in the Midwest is on path of travel from parking and the public way to stations and platforms, and ticket window and bathroom upgrades.
Further down the line
Just after the new year, the city of Oxford, Ohio, and Miami University announced that they have
pledged $700,000 toward a new Amtrak station
that would serve the Chicago-Washington, D.C.-New York City Cardinal service. Construction estimates range between $700,000 and $1.2 million, depending on final designs. The station’s proposed location is on West Chestnut Street, approximately 800 to 1,000 feet east of the southwest corner of Miami’s campus.
Other station projects/proposals of note include modernizing Chicago’s Union Station – hub of the Midwest Regional Rail Network and Amtrak’s busiest station outside the Northeast Corridor. On January 12, the city of Chicago
announced a “Emerging Projects Agreement”
with the U.S. Department of Transportation; that agreement means the city and its partners (Amtrak, Metra and the Regional Transportation Authority) can access USDOT’s technical assistance as they seek up to $1 billion in federal funding for the work, which aims to
• Expand and renovate the station to be an architecturally significant transportation terminal that both preserves and builds upon its existing architectural heritage;
• Allow a growing number of passengers and other visitors to use the station facilities in the most efficient, safe, and pleasant manner possible; and
• Create a vibrant commercial center and civic asset that welcomes and serves travelers, neighborhood residents, and downtown workers alike, while further enhancing the economic vitality of the City of Chicago and the region.
Crain’s Chicago Business
, a short list of architectural firms vying to oversee the redevelopment project includes the Chicago-based development firms John Buck, Riverside Investment & Development, and Golub and Sterling Bay; the acclaimed architecture firms Studio Gang, Pelli Clarke Pelli, Skidmore Owings & Merrill and Gensler; and the world's second-largest commercial real estate brokerage, Jones Lang LaSalle. Responses to Amtrak's Request for Proposals were due in early 2017. Amtrak expects to pick a winning firm before April 1.
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