Union Station: Raleigh's Multi-Modal Transit Center

Last updated Oct. 10, 2016 - 5:06 pm
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The Raleigh Union Station project is a multimodal facility planned for Downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District. The facility will be implemented in a number of phases.

Phase I of Raleigh Union Station is currently under construction. This phase moves passenger rail services from the current Amtrak station on Cabarrus Street to an existing warehouse on Martin Street within the railroad wye. Subsequent phases of Raleigh Union Station are planned to accommodate additional inter-city and intra-state rail services, regional commuter rail, local and regional buses, taxis, bicycles and other forms of transportation. When completed, the multimodal center will accommodate current and future demand for rail and transit services in our city.

The Phase I project is made possible through a partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Rail Division, GoTriangle, and numerous stakeholders.

Phase I of Raleigh Union Station will include:

  • a larger waiting room and better amenities for Amtrak passengers;
  • a grand Civic Hall for large public events;
  • commercial rental space that can be use for retail, office or restaurants and will provide additional amenities for travellers and the community;
  • a center island passenger platform with level-boarding to provide better access for wheelchairs and strollers;
  • a daylit, enclosed concourse between the station and platform;
  • a large public plaza near intersection of West Street and Martin Street which provides a wonderful urban gathering space on a daily basis, and event space during special events; sustainable features including on-site bioretention, permeable pavement systems, green roof areas, and other stormwater management features; a pollinator garden; and tactile wayfinding for the sight impaired.


The station is anticipated to be operational by the first quarter of 2018. A few construction activities, including demolition of the existing station and related track modifications, will continue after the opening of the station. The schedule is subject to change based on nature of construction and challenges that may be encountered.

Current Activity

Construction of Phase I Raleigh Union Station is currently underway:

Station and site construction is led by the City and is contracted through a Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR), Clancy & Theys, Skanska, A Joint Venture. Ongoing work includes building construction, overall site work, roadwork on West and Martin Streets along with new bridges to provide grade-separated access to the station.

Track and rail infrastructure construction is led by NCDOT and includes railroad track and signal work within Downtown Raleigh and in neighboring communities.


Funding for Phase I is made possible through the United States Department of Transportation’s program—Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grants (TIGER 2012 and TIGER 2013); and state and local contributions.

The City’s CMAR contract value will be $57,865,000 of the total funding.

25 Year Vision

Raleigh Union Station fits within Gov. McCrory’s 25 Year Vision for North Carolina by supporting the expansion of mass transit options in the central region. Understanding that demographic changes are already occurring, the 25 Year Vision outlines solutions which support expansion of mass transit in high growth areas such as Raleigh to address congestion and land development concerns. Ideally, future phases in partnership with Triangle Transit and others will accommodate additional transportation modes.


On March 3, the Raleigh City Council authorized proceeding with a modified scope and funding package for the Union Station Project. The recommended plan meets the City’s goals and maintains many of the elements included in the “full-build option” presented to the Council on January 20. The plan increases the funds available for contingencies, and retains the project’s signature design elements, retail and civic spaces, and higher efficiency equipment. The plan reduces the scope of some elements, including overhead utility work, revised platform material choice and construction method, and a modified stormwater garden.

It is estimated that the project will create 143 short-term jobs, generating $4.08 million in short-term salaries. The project should also create a “multiplier effect” of an additional $5.53 million in indirect impacts resulting from household expenditures within the region. Based on conclusions from other studies regarding the economic impacts due to construction of private transit-oriented development (TOD), the project has the potential to create a total of 44,500 short-term and indirect jobs over a 10-year period.

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