Amtrak completes $2.5 million upgrades at Selma-Smithfield Union Depot

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North Carolina Construction News staff writer

Renovations at the Selma-Smithfield Union Depot are now complete, at a cost of $2.5 million.

The Amtrak Carolinian and Palmetto provide daily service to the depot at 500 East Railroad St. The Carolinian service is sponsored by NCDOT and operated by Amtrak and paid for through state funding and passenger fares and operates between New York and Charlotte. The Palmetto travels between New York and Savannah.

A new 325-foot-long concrete platform features additional lighting, guardrails, and signage. The platform provides a more accessible, sturdier surface, which includes a detectable warning system along the edge of the platform.

Additional improvements include the creation of accessible pathways extending from the parking lot to the station and platform, and accessible parking spaces along Railroad Street and adjacent to the station for customers.

“It is exciting to see the investments being made in our North Carolina rail system. The Town of Selma is thankful to see these ADA enhancements at out Historic Train Depot and the impressive visual improvements that have been made to this busy boarding platform,” said Selma Mayor Byron McAllister. “Thank you, Amtrak, for continuing to invest in and maintain this important piece of nationwide public transit.  We look forward to upgraded and increased Amtrak service through the Town of Selma!”

Amtrak has invested more than $800 million since 2011 in accessibility upgrades and improvement projects at 117 stations across the national network to ensure a safe, efficient, and comfortable travel experience for customers with disabilities. The improvements include repairs and upgrades to platforms, ramps and sidewalks, and renovations to entranceways and restrooms, with 20 stations brought into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act last year. Another 35 stations are targeted for completion this fiscal year at a forecasted investment of $165 million.

“Working with Amtrak and local partners to ensure stations have the facilities and amenities needed to support success and growth is key,” said Jason Orthner, NCDOT Rail Division director. “Upgrades like these at the Selma-Smithfield Station promote safe, accessible and convenient travel that further enhance the passenger rail experience in N.C.”

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