Amtrak platform won’t be ready for Union Station grand opening

Regulations have forced architect to change plans for platform

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The passenger train platform at Union Station in downtown Springfield will not be ready in time for the facility’s grand opening this coming winter. Chris Moskal, Director of the Springfield Redevelopment Authority, made the announcement Tuesday in a news release sent to 22News.

Moskal said that the project is continuing on schedule, and that the bus terminal, parking garage, and tunnel to the current Amtrak terminal should all open as scheduled in January. The passenger platform, however, will have to wait, because of Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations regarding the width of the platform.

Because of the “unique configuration” of the tracks at Union Station, the Springfield Redevelopment Authority applied for a waiver to the FRA’s rules back in March, but last month, the FRA responded that all of their requirements would have to be followed. This means that big changes will have to be made to the platform and the underground passenger tunnel project.

A schedule has not been finalized, and there is not a cost estimate at this time for the changes that will need to be made, but Moskal said the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will provide funding.

When Union Station opens, Amtrak passengers will enter through the lobby of the renovated station, and then travel through the renovated portion of the passenger tunnel to the current Amtrak terminal on Lyman Street.

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