NEC Projects


Washington Union Station Concourse Modernization Project

Project Partners

  • Amtrak
  • Union Station Redevelopment Corporation (USRC)
  • Maryland Transit Administration (MTA)
  • Virginia Railway Express (VRE)
  • Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)
  • District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT)
  • Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
  • Akridge

Project Benefits

  • Increased Passenger Capacity
  • Improved Circulation and Safety
  • New Passenger Amenities
  • Enhanced Architectural Finishes and Natural Light
  • Better Access to Connecting Modes

Project Status


Available Funding

$4-6 M

The Concourse Modernization Project will be the first set of improvements to come to life as part of Washington Union Station’s 2nd Century plan. The 2nd Century plan is a comprehensive improvement initiative comprised of multiple projects that seek to triple passenger capacity and double train capacity over the next 20 years.

While Union Station has served the region well for over a cen­tury, it is now operating beyond its capacity, particularly during rush hours and peak travel times. Over 37 million people pass through Washington Union Station each year, making it one of the busiest intercity and commuter rail stations for Amtrak, MARC and VRE commuter service and Metrorail service. Ridership has soared, resulting in long and crowded queues of de­parting passengers that routinely impede the public concourse, blocking flows and diminishing a fluid travel experience.

The Claytor Concourse, Union Station’s intercity and commuter concourse, will be modernized and reconfigured to alleviate congested conditions, doubling its present capacity. The Concourse Expansion Program will enhance passenger comfort and accessibility, while enlivening the space with new architectural finishes and natural light. In addition to the expansion of the concourse, improvements by WMATA for a new Metrorail staircase and new First Street entrance will bring a consolidated set of passenger improvements to the western portion of the concourse. 

In June 2015, Amtrak hired KGP Design Studio, Grimshaw Architects, and ARUP to achieve 100% design and construction phasing for the Project. Early action construction work began January 2017, including the relocation of key support services now impeding passenger circulation. The entire project is anticipated start construction in 2018 to be completed by 2021 in advance of the introduction of a new Acela Express fleet which is accompanied by more frequent service. The Concourse Modernization Project advances in parallel to other 2nd Century Plan projects including the Federal Railroad Administration's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Washington Union Station Expansion Project, a comprehensive expansion and redevelopment of the station complex.