Mitch Silver, Raleigh’s Planning Director, says it best : “It’s Raleigh’s turn…It’s Raleigh’s time…our own Grand Central Station, and we’re excited to see this happen.” (See this recent video.)

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You’ve been hearing the talk about this station, but with the federal grant that was awarded to Raleigh last September (read our previous post), this project is clearly moving into the action phase.

The City of Raleigh and NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) are set to construct this new passenger train station in downtown Raleigh at 510 West Martin Street.  This is the site of the former Dillon Supply viaduct building that has been vacant since 2005. The 26,000 square foot building will provide 7,950 square feet of passenger waiting area, quadrupling the waiting area of the existing Amtrak Station on Cabarrus Street.

This will be much more than a replacement for the existing Amtrak Station.

Raleigh Union Station will accommodate inter-city passenger rail service, commuter rail and local/regional buses. (See the Wake County Transit Plan.) The station will also eventually be linked through pedestrian walkways to the future high speed rail and light rail stations to be located a few blocks north.

The project is expected to transform the Warehouse District by creating new places to live, work and play, as well as providing a great connection between downtown, Glenwood South and neighborhoods located just west of the city.

The DLA was invited to attend a stakeholders meeting a few weeks ago to talk about some of the plans for the design of the station.

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Grand Waiting Hall to be centerpiece of the station 

What did we find particularly exciting? Plans call for a new “front door” building that will provide access to the station from the east side of the tracks facing West Street.  Ideas include the development of a large covered outdoor plaza adjacent to the building to support new retail opportunities and public interactivity through participatory art and a large projection screen.

Now you can share your ideas.  Raleigh Union Station Public Workshop – March 6

The general public will have a chance to learn more and weigh in on some of the design ideas being considered at the upcoming Public Workshop on March 6th.

When: Wed., March 6th, 6-8pm

Where: Meymandi Concert Hall Lobby, 2 East South Street

For more on the workshop, jump over to The Raleigh Connoisseur and read Leo’s latest post.

You’ll agree with Mitch Silver. “It’s Raleigh’s time” in so many ways.  Having Union Station promises to turn the key for increased support for public transit, an improvement that will create possibilities for all of Raleigh from downtown to the suburbs – and back.