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Richmond Main Street Station facts for kids

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For the other Amtrak station in Richmond, see Richmond Staples Mill Road station.
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Richmond – Main Street
Main Street Station.jpg
Richmond Main Street Station in 2008
Location 1500 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia
Coordinates 37°32′05″N 77°25′45″W / 37.53472°N 77.42917°W / 37.53472; -77.42917Coordinates: 37°32′05″N 77°25′45″W / 37.53472°N 77.42917°W / 37.53472; -77.42917
Owned by City of Richmond
Platforms 1 side platform
Tracks 2
Connections
Intercity Bus Megabus: M21, M22, M23, M24, M27
Shuttle Bus RamRide: Sanger Hill Express
Shuttle Bus GRTC: Pulse, 14, 95x
Construction
Disabled access Yes
Architect Wilson, Harris, & Richards
Architectural style Beaux Arts
Other information
Station code RVM
History
Opened 1901
Traffic
Passengers (2018) 48,384 Increase 4.38%
Services
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
Williamsburg
toward Newport News
Northeast Regional Richmond Staples Mill Road
toward Boston South or Springfield
Preceding station GRTC Pulse Following station
VCU Medical Center
toward Willow Lawn
Broad & Main Street Line Shockoe Bottom
toward Rocketts Landing
Former and Proposed services
Preceding station Seaboard Air Line Railroad Following station
Chester
toward Tampa or Miami
Main Line Terminus
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
Proposed Services
Petersburg
toward Norfolk
Northeast Regional Richmond Staples Mill Road
toward Boston South or Springfield
Petersburg
toward Miami
Silver Star Richmond Staples Mill Road
toward New York
Silver Meteor
Petersburg
toward Charlotte
Carolinian
Petersburg
toward Savannah
Palmetto
Main Street Station and Trainshed
Richmond Main Street Station 1971.jpg
Richmond Main Street Station in 1971
NRHP reference No. 70000867
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1970
Designated NHL December 8, 1976
Location

Richmond Main Street Station, officially the Main Street Station and Trainshed, is a historic railroad station and office building in Richmond, Virginia. It was built in 1901, and is served by Amtrak. It is also an intermodal station with Richmond's city transit bus services, which are performed by Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC). It is colloquially known by people from the city as The Clock Tower. It is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Main Street Station serves as a secondary train station for Richmond providing limited Amtrak service directly to downtown Richmond. Several Amtrak trains serving the Richmond metropolitan area only stop at the area's primary rail station, Staples Mill Road which is located five miles to the north in Henrico County.

Since 2018, the station has also been a stop along the GRTC Pulse bus rapid transit line.

History

Richmond's Main Street Station in the downtown area was built in 1901 by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL) and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O). Seaboard had introduced service to Richmond, and C&O had consolidated the former Virginia Central Railroad and the Richmond and Allegheny Railroad, which had previously maintained separate stations.

The ornate Main Street Station was designed by the Philadelphia firm of Wilson, Harris, and Richards in the Second Renaissance Revival style. In the 1950s, Seaboard shifted its Richmond passenger service to Broad Street Station (now the Science Museum of Virginia), but C&O maintained offices in the upper floors, and its passenger service continued at Main Street Station until Amtrak took over in 1971.

Major long distance passenger train services in the mid and late 1960s included:

  • Chesapeake and Ohio trains west to Louisville, Cincinnati and Detroit:
    • Fast Flying Virginian
    • George Washington
    • Sportsman
  • Seaboard Air Line (and from 1967 to 1971 Seaboard Coast Line) to Birmingham and Florida:
    • Silver Comet
    • Silver Meteor
    • Silver Star

In 1970, Main Street Station and its trainshed, one of the last surviving trainsheds of its type in the nation, were added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1976 it was designated a National Historic Landmark.

In 1972, Hurricane Agnes caused the James River to flood the station. The damage was so severe that in 1975, Amtrak moved its Richmond stops to Richmond Staples Mill Road, a much smaller suburban station in Henrico County, five miles north of downtown. To make matters worse, the station was damaged by fires in 1976 and 1983.

Rail service did not return to Main Street Station until 2003, when it was renovated and returned to service on December 18.

Station layout

The station is served by two daily Northeast Regional trains originating or terminating at Newport News. Northbound trains provide direct service to Union Station in Washington, Pennsylvania Station in New York, and South Station in Boston, among other stops.

Ground level Station building and parking
Platform level Side platform, doors will open on the left, right
Track 1      {{{{{system}}} lines|{{{line}}}}} toward Newport News (Williamsburg)
     {{{{{system}}} lines|{{{line}}}}} toward Boston (Richmond – Staples Mill Road)

Future services

Local officials hope to increase the number of trains by extending some services which now terminate at the suburban Henrico County station, Richmond Staples Mill Road station. The completion of a bypass around Acca Yard in March 2019 allowed a second Northeast Regional round trip to Norfolk to begin, though it did not immediately increase service to Main Street Station. The 2017 Draft Environmental Impact Report of the DC2RVA project recommended routing all Staples Mill-serving trains through Main Street Station, while maintaining full service to Staples Mill. Other considered alternatives had involved closing one of the two stations, or replacing both with a single station at Boulevard or Broad Street.

Main Street Station is located on the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor (SEHSR), a passenger rail transportation project planned to connect with the existing high speed rail corridor from Boston, Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., known as the Northeast Corridor (served by Amtrak's Acela Express and Northeast Regional services and many commuter railroads) and extend similar high speed passenger rail services south through Richmond and Petersburg in Virginia through Raleigh and Charlotte in North Carolina. Since first established in 1992, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has since extended the corridor to Atlanta and Macon, Georgia; Columbia, South Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; and Birmingham, Alabama.

In 2018, the station became a stop on the GRTC Bus Rapid Transit's Broad and Main Street Line. There are also plans for Main Street Station to become an intermodal station with Richmond's city bus services operated by GRTC, a public service company owned jointly by the City of Richmond and Chesterfield County.

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