Raleigh Union Station (RUS) has been in the works for years. In fact, it has been contemplated since the 1990’s and is a significant component in the City of Raleigh’s draft Downtown master plan.

Last Friday, a groundbreaking ceremony took place which officially kicked off the construction phase of the project. Improvements to some of the rail infrastructure are already underway, but I am told that  the work in downtown Raleigh will not begin in earnest until later this summer.

The ceremony was conducted at the location of the former Dillon Supply Co. warehouse and was very well attended. The crowd enjoyed short speeches from Gov. Pat McCrory; Mayor Nancy McFarlane; Congressman David Price; NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata; Carlos Monje, assistant secretary for transportation policy for the U.S. Department of Transportation; and Jay McArthur, senior manager of State Corridors for Amtrak.

RUS is among many improvements to the railroad corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte that will increase capacity, efficiency, and safety. The new station will replace the existing Amtrak Station on Cabarrus Street, which routinely experiences overcrowding and lacks the adequate platform size to serve longer trains. RUS will replace what is currently an underutilized collection of warehouses and vacant land, will serve as a multi-modal transportation hub, and will feature a civic space with potential for special events, dining, and entertainment options.

Raleigh Union Station is anticipated to be a catalytic project in the City’s warehouse district and is scheduled to open in 2017.

As the project shifts into heavy construction, Glen Ervin, PE of Construction Management will take the lead role in managing the project.  The Urban Design Center staff will continue to seek additional funding, and coordinate the implementation of public art and  future phases of the facility. 

I will post periodic construction updates and pictures to this blog, so be on the lookout. And for all the latest project info, including design renderings, check out the project webpage.