First train leaves new Raleigh Union Station

On Tuesday, passengers took the first train out of the new Raleigh Union Station.

The 6:30 a.m. train headed to Charlotte with stops along the way.

Haley Janzen bought the first train ticket from inside the new Raleigh Union Station.

"It's pretty awesome," Janzen said. "I didn't know I'd be the first one here so it's pretty cool."

Janzen takes the train from Raleigh to her job in Greensboro every day. Now, she'll leave from Raleigh Union Station on West Martin Street, which has replaced the old Amtrak station on Cabarrus Street.

"It's great for the state of North Carolina, great for the city of Raleigh," said Michael Jerew, Amtrak Superintendent Station Operations. "Certainly a great day for Amtrak because now we and our passengers get to operate out of this wonderful state of the art new station."

The more than $110,000,000 project features a 26,000 square foot building, observation deck and the first high-level platform in the state, which makes it easier for passengers to board the train.

Funding was provided by the City of Raleigh, N.C. Department of Transportation and Federal Railroad Administration, according to a spokesman for the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Ivan Hovis-Gobern and David Logan rode the train to Charlotte, just to be part of history. Hovis-Gobern said he loves trains.

"I actually changed the ticket 3 times with the delayed openings to be part of this," Hovis-Gobern said. "Architecturally, the union station is so significant. It's rustic. It's urban. It's contemporary."

Logan said he likes the vibe of the new station.

"It's very modern, it's very open," Logan said. "There's a lot of glass walls everywhere so it just feels like you're part of the city."

But something passengers aren't too excited about paying $18 a day for parking.

"That is a little annoying," Janzen said. "It's not as convenient as just parking your car and filling out a slip anymore."

"Times are changing," Jerew said, adding that it's not an Amtrak-owned facility. "Decisions were made and it's the wave of the future, it seems."

For more information on the routes, you can visit NCByTrain.org or call 800-BY-TRAIN
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