The Amtrak GreatAmericanStations.com website has been upgraded with new tools, resources and information to help local communities discover and develop the economic power of America’s train stations.
Since 2006, the site has provided resources to communities contemplating preservation and renovation of their publicly- or privately-owned stations, as well as the construction of new passenger rail or multi-modal facilities and the associated economic and social benefits they offer. The site includes step-by-step tools and resources, project ideas, suggested tactics and lessons learned from the station redevelopment experiences of others.
Amtrak reorganized the website for easier navigation, added a section on “Getting Your Project Started” and created a downloadable “Development Checklist.” Additional case studies showcasing Great American Stations success stories will be uploaded to the website in the coming months, the company said, emphasizing stations as anchors for economic development, catalysts for historic preservation and tourism growth, potential sites for commercial and cultural uses and points of civic pride that reinforce local identity.
The website contains detailed and comprehensive information on more than 500 Amtrak-served stations and their communities. It also offers useful planning guidance to assist local leaders such as:
Financial tools to help with renovation efforts, including grant, loan and tax credit opportunities;
Station Planning and Signage Guidelines, accessibility regulations and development tools to start station projects;
and quarterly e-newsletters, recent station news from across the country and information on Amtrak Civic Conversation conferences.
Working with the communities to improve intercity passenger rail stations is important, the company says, as roughly a third of all Amtrak station buildings are owned by local municipalities. Of the more than 500 stations Amtrak serves, other railroads own about 22 percent, Amtrak owns 14 percent, transit agencies and state Departments of Transportation own 12 percent and the remainder are held by various parties including private individuals and redevelopment agencies.
Photo: The Fort Edward Train Station.