Amtrak Commits $12 Million To Union Station Rehab Project

Union Station - Chicago, Illinois - September, 2007 - 004a

If you’ve spent much time at Chicago Union Station lately, you probably noticed a chilly reception. I don’t mean the Amtrak staff. It’s been downright cold inside the station itself. There’s good news, though: the station’s drafty waiting rooms could be much toastier this time next year.

The 90-year-old Chicago Union Station will be getting a facelift later this year. Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced Amtrak would pay $12 million toward renovations.

The improvements are intended create a more comfortable and passenger-friendly station. That includes a larger passenger concourse, safety improvements, repairs to the limestone exterior and yes, enhancing temperature controls.

Amtrak’s funding for 2015 improvements are part of a long-term $500 million plan to rehab the David Burnham-designed structure. Those improvements are part of a comprehensive plan to improve overall conditions at the station.

Union Station is the third busiest rail terminal in the United States with roughly 120,000 passengers served each day.

Author: Bill Motchan

Bill Motchan is a writer and photographer, and a former resident of the West Loop. He can be reached at

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