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Friends of Tampa Union Station Raises $100,000 for Tampa Union Station Endowment Fund

10 Feb 2015 6:21 AM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)

Friends of Tampa Union Station, organized in part by the Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers in 2008, just announced that the nonprofit group has raised over $100,000 for the Tampa Union Station endowment fund at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.

The endowment fund supports the ongoing preservation and rehabilitation of historic 1912 Tampa Union Station, which serves as the primary Amtrak station for the Tampa Bay area.

Tampa Union Station was saved from the wrecking ball in the 1980s due to the efforts of rail passenger advocates and local preservationists. Boarded up for nearly 15 years, the building was restored in the late 1990s and reopened to the public in 1998. It is now owned by the City of Tampa.

A recent fundraising campaign by the Friends was completed when Board members of the group accepted a $12,500 check in matching grant funds from the Community Foundation. 

Even with the campaign's goal met, however, fundraising for the endowment fund continues. The endowment helps to ensure that the needs of this historic landmark and wonderful train station may continue to be met in the future.

To learn more about Friends of Tampa Union Station, visit

To learn more about the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, visit

--Jackson McQuigg


  • 13 Feb 2015 1:03 PM | Anonymous member
    There were plans to relocate the Tampa Amtrak station to Busch Blvd., north of town close to Busch Gardens, back in 1982. If that would have been done, access to this new location would be severed right now, due to the construction of a new off ramp from the Selmon Expressway toll road. This ramp sits right over the location where tracks used to be leading out of Tampa Union Station going to Pinellas County.
    Link  •  Reply
    • 14 Feb 2015 11:49 AM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)
      Little known history, but correct! The plans to relocate the Tampa Amtrak station to a new site were hatched back in 1977. In that year (according to a St. Pete Times article from that era), Amtrak asked Congress for $700,000 to build a station near Busch Gardens. Congress did not provide the funds. By 1984, the tide had shifted when a Federal grant was made that would have turned Tampa Union Station into an intermodal center, but those funds were rescinded later that year thanks to an effort of a Congressman angered by Amtrak's decision to halt train service to St. Petersburg and Clearwater. Instead, Tampa Union Station sat vacant and deteriorating for many years until a grassroots group of preservationists and rail advocates got Union Station restored in the 1990s.
      Link  •  Reply
      • 03 Mar 2015 12:27 AM | Anonymous member
        That Congressman was Mike Bilirakis, who represented my district at the time. His son, Gus, now holds the seat and is no better a supporter for Amtrak than his dad. NARP news even quoted a letter I received from Congressman Bilirakis regarding the loss of the Pinellas County train service.
        Link  •  Reply
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