Happening Now

Amtrak's New Great American Stations Could Help Transform Your Train Station

October 9, 2013

Written By Sean Jeans Gail

Amtrak launched a revamped website for its Great American Stations project, providing communities with new tools, resources, and information to help develop the economic power of America's train stations.

The redesign highlights resources to help cities and advocacy groups identify projects and complete them successfully. The website has been reorganized around to investment principals:

  • Restoration Tools — For communities unsure of how to start a station project, Amtrak has identified funding sources, provided answers to frequently asked questions, and detailed what to expect when undertaking a project. With roughly a third of the 500+ stations served by Amtrak listed on the National Register of Historic Places, historic preservation can be a powerful tool to revive train stations as communal hubs.
  • Station Planning — Amtrak has include station planning guides, development checklists, best practices for station signage, and information on accessibility requirements outline in the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Train stations, when properly designed and served, can be catalysts for economic growth and development. They can be gateways, welcoming visitors. And they serve as community hubs. So, even though Congress is mired in political dysfunction, local advocates looking to improve service in their communities today now have another tool at their disposal.