Associate Federal Railroad Administrator Kevin Thompson today joined Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Congressman Jim McDermott at the ribbon cutting for the newly revitalized King Street Station.
The $55 million project, which received $32.9 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation, transformed the early 20th-century rail station into a modern, multi-modal transportation hub that will anchor development in the downtown Seattle neighborhood.
“Providing people with centralized access to multiple modes of safe, affordable, efficient transportation serves as a catalyst for economic development and urban renewal,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We’ve seen it work in cities and towns across the country just as it will in Seattle.”
The restoration refurbished historic features of King Street Station, while creating a safer, more inviting, and accessible station for Amtrak’s Cascades, Coast Starlight, and Empire Builder customers. It also improved connections to commuter rail, light rail, and bus lines operated by Sound Transit, King County Metro and other providers. In addition, the project improves safety through the installation of a new seismic support system, which greatly enhances public safety by improving the probability of the station maintaining its structural integrity after an earthquake.
Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation has funded station development projects in 40 cities, including San Francisco, Washington D.C., Sacramento, Calif., Normal, Ill., and Brunswick, Me.
“Train stations can have a transformative effect on entire neighborhoods, while providing seamless connections to other modes,” said Thompson. “King Street Station is a great example of how rail investment can provide jobs, greater economic development and greater mobility.”
The King Street Station Project received a portion of its funding from an $814 million investment in the Pacific Northwest under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program. These funds are paying for upgrades to one of the busiest intercity passenger rail corridors in the nation, which runs between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Eugene, Ore. Thanks to federal investments, the number of round trips will increase from four to six trips, travel times will be reduced, and passengers will experience fewer delays.