Amtrak has requested permission to make improvements to its Union Station facilities in Meridian, Miss., which would involve city-owned property, according to a report in The Meridian Star.
According to the report, Amtrak Senior Public Relations Manager Marc Magliari said the project would “involve renovations of two train platforms and would include new canopies, signage and electrical connections. The new platforms would also be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to help disabled travelers navigate the platforms more easily.”
“Care has also been taken to make sure the upgrades work with the Meridian Railroad Museum’s section of rail line as well,” Magliari added.
“This is a project that Amtrak has asked us to participate in, basically just allowing them to come in and do the work,” said Community Development Director Craig Hitt, who, according to the report, told the Meridian City Council that Amtrak had requested permission. “Some of it will be done on city property, but they will be covering all the costs.”
According to the Meridian Star report, Magliari said “Amtrak hopes to begin the project, which is expected to cost about $13 million, by the end of the 2023. The upgrades will be done in stages to avoid interrupting service to the Meridian station while construction is underway.”
While travelers will still be able to use Union Station, “maintaining service does require some sacrifices,” said Magliari, who added that Amtrak “enjoys a working partnership with the City of Meridian, and the upgrades to the station are an example of the transportation provider’s commitment to the region.”
The phased approach, he said, takes longer, and the project is not expected to be complete until 2025, according to the report.
According to the report, in addition to improving passenger rail service in Meridian, the upgrades will also “put the Queen City in a good spot as discussions around a proposed service line along the Interstate 20 corridor continue.” The proposed route would open new travel options throughout the southeast with passenger service running from Atlanta, Ga., to Dallas, Tex.