Amtrak steps up station renovations

$72.5-million program will fund improvements at 53 stations; short documentary on Chicago Union Station work now on line
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Passengers board a Missouri River Runner at Kirkwood, Mo., in 2014. Passengers at many stations must still board trains from platforms which are below the rail; Amtrak's "Customer Now" program will address this at many stations.
Bob Johnston

CHICAGO — After investing $19 million on station improvements in fiscal 2018, Amtrak announced Tuesday that it will be spending $72.5 million on stations through September 2019. The “Customer Now” program will fund projects at 53 locations in 35 states, not including general repairs performed and managed locally.

Expenditures in 2019 include $21.5 million invested in large-scale projects at 23 stations in 17 states. The remaining $51 million is being spent for Americans with Disabilities Act renovations at 30 locations. Many of these are long-overdue fixes where travelers have had inadequate bathroom facilities or were forced to board trains from platforms that are no higher than tielevel.

Amtrak also released a 7-minute documentary video on YouTube, narrated by former Hill Street Blues actor Daniel J. Travanti,  that documents restoration work done at Chicago Union Station’s Great Hall, part of an already-completed, multi-year $22 million project that also featured installation of a first-ever elevator directly up to Canal Street. More funding needs to be secured for train concourse improvements, which are expected to include some platform widening and track relocation.  

The video contains both historical footage of the transformation and interviews with the tradesmen, engineers, and architects who helped execute Chicago Union Station’s latest renovation.  

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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