Amtrak Completes Renovations at Selma-Smithfield Union Depot

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Courtesy of Amtrak

SELMA, N.C. – The Selma-Smithfield Union Depot renovations are complete and include a detectable warning system at the station.

Along with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and Selma town officials, Amtrak has announced the renovations to the Selma-Smithfield Union Depot are complete. The improvement project was part of an “ongoing and companywide commitment at Amtrak to ensure a safe, efficient, and comfortable travel experience for customers.” At $2.5 million, the project included a new 325-foot-long concrete platform with additional lighting, guardrails, and signage. In addition, the platform has a detectable warning system along the platform edge that will warn riders who are “blind or have low vision if they are close to the platform.” Amtrak states that improvements were also made to the parking lot with accessible pathways to and from the platform as well as accessible parking along Railroad Street.

Amtrak Vice President Dr. David Handera said, “Providing an accessible travel experience is a priority and we’re actively advancing construction, renovation, repair, and upgrade projects at stations across our national network. . . We are pleased we delivered these improvements to the Selma-Smithfield Union Depot.”

Both the Amtrak Carolinian and Palmetto provide service to 500 East Railroad St. daily. Sponsored by the NCDOT and operated by Amtrak, the Carolinian service operates between New York and Charlotte, while the Palmetto travels between New York and Savannah.

Selma Mayor Bryon McAllister said, “It is exciting to see the investments being made in our North Carolina rail system. The Town of Selma is thankful to see these ADA enhancements at our Historic Train Depot and the impressive visual improvements that have been made to this busy boarding platform. . . Thank you, Amtrak, for continuing to invest in and maintain this important piece of nationwide public transit. We look forward to upgraded and increased Amtrak service through the Town of Selma!”

NCDOT Rail Division Director Jason Orthner said, “Working with Amtrak and local partners to ensure stations have the facilities and amenities needed to support success and growth is key. . . Upgrades like these at the Selma-Smithfield Station promote safe, accessible and convenient travel that further enhance the passenger rail experience in N.C.”

Since 2011, Amtrak has invested over $800 million in upgrades to accessibility and completed improvement projects at 117 stations across its network. According to the statement from Amtrak, 20 stations were brought to ADA-standards last year with another 35 stations “targeted for completion this fiscal year at a forecasted investment of $165 million.” By 2029, its program seeks to advance “137 station designs and 43 station construction projects as part of Amtrak’s ongoing commitment to providing accessibility” to 100% completion.

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