Officials celebrate “final link” to Springfield, Mass., Union Station restoration project

Jan. 27, 2020
ADA improvements to Platform C mark the final phase in the project designed to transport Union Station into a multimodal transportation hub.

Officials gathered on Jan. 24 to celebrate the improvements made to Platform C at Union Station in Springfield, Mass., which marked the completion of the station’s multi-year overhaul.

The Platform C project built a fully ADA-accessible high-level platform accessing two tracks and included the installation of an elevator, new stairway, canopy roof, new lighting and other amenities. While Platform C opened a few months ago, the elevator connecting Union Station’s main concourse to the platform unofficially opened last week, providing what officials called the “final link” in the project.

“Our administration is pleased to celebrate the completion of Platform C, which will significantly improve customers’ experience at Union Station,” said Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. “Union Station is important to the economic vitality of downtown Springfield and these improvements are an investment in both the city of Springfield and the entire region.”

The $10-million Platform C project included the following features:

• A new, fully ADA-accessible 328-foot long high-level platform accessing two tracks.

• Space for platform-level boarding for up to four passenger coaches.

• A new ADA-accessible elevator with an enclosed vestibule at the platform level.

• A newly reconstructed enclosed stairway, which provides direct platform access from the station concourse near the new Amtrak ticketing facility.

• A new canopy roof covering Platform C which was constructed with some of the original canopy steel structure to maintain the historical character of the station.

• New platform lighting, signage, public address system and platform message board monitors to display train departure/arrival information and other passenger information.

• Improved platform security through CCTV cameras.

“The opening of Platform C today represents the final piece of what has been a decades long project of completing the restoration of Springfield Union Station,” said U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-MA-1). “In the late 70s, I announced my run for Springfield City Council in the shuttered concourse with a vow to reawaken this sleeping beauty of a building. While it took quite some time, today’s celebration shows what can be done with perseverance, a strong federal, state and local partnership and a positive attitude.”

The Platform C project was part of a much larger overhaul of Union Station began in 2012 and transformed the historic building into an intermodal transportation center with local and long-distance buses, retail and office space, parking, CTRail New Haven-Hartford-Springfield trains and Amtrak trains, which returned to the station from a temporary facility in June 2019.

Rep. Neal said he is discussing with Gov. Baker the need to include Western Massachusetts and a faster and more frequent Boston-to-Springfield rail connection in any Massachusetts transit plans. Rep. Neal says Connecticut officials, buoyed by better-than-expected passenger numbers on CTRail’s Hartford line, are pushing for better accessibility to Boston, as well.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.