Promoting passenger trains as a transportation alternative in Florida since 1983.  We are citizens who advocate for Amtrak, commuter rail, intercity rail and transit for Florida's future.

The Silver Rail Blog

  • 14 Apr 2022 8:30 PM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)

    Today I had the chance to join the City of Tampa staff to update the Tampa City Council, meeting as the Board of the Community Redevelopment Agency, on needs and plans for Tampa Union Station's future. 

    You can listen to the presentation here:

    Much work is needed, but $1.1 million of the $2.5 million to bring the station into a state of good repair has already been identified. 

    --Jackson McQuigg

  • 12 Mar 2022 9:58 AM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)

    As FCRP members know, Amtrak's home in Tampa, historic Tampa Union Station, was saved from decay and possible demolition by a grassroots effort which included rail passengers, as well as historic preservationists, and local officials.

    Despite regular maintenance by the City of Tampa, the current owner of the building, the station is in need of repairs and upgrades. It has been 24 years since the station was restored and reopened, and the building is now 110 years old. This memorandum by the City's Director of Logistics and Assets management details the needs and costs involved.

    As the memo indicates, Amtrak will need to move out of the building for a brief period while the building is treated for a termite infestation. 

    Nonprofit group Friends of Tampa Union Station, founded in part by the Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers, is in support of these repairs and upgrades, and is helping to support grant requests for the work.

    So far, the City of Tampa's Downtown Community Redevelopment Agency has placed $1,080,000 into a dedicated capital improvements account for the station to help fund the repairs. This is on top of $25,000 already in the account, which represents funds derived from income from the endowment for the station at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, and revenue from special events rentals of the building. 

    FCRP has long supported the endowment fund for the station at the Community Foundation and helped to establish it in 2008.

    There have been other recent upgrades at the station already, including repairs to the Baggage Building (funded by a bequest, private donations, a grant from the Tom E. Dailey Foundation, and a significant Hillsborough County Historic Preservation Challenge Grant) and Amtrak's construction of a new high-level platform and canopy alongside tracks 3 and 4. The high-level platform project, completed in 2020, also included repaving portions of the parking lot behind the building.

    For more information on the future of the station, check out this speech I gave recently to a community leadership group called Cafe con Tampa. 

    Although Brightline will be building its own station facility in Tampa, historic Tampa Union Station remains a key rail transportation resource for Amtrak in the city, as well as for potential future commuter rail services.

    Please consider sending an email to Tampa Mayor Jane Castor to state that you are in support of the needed repairs to Tampa Union Station.

    --Jackson McQuigg

  • 12 Mar 2022 9:50 AM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)

    Details on what this would look like are scarce so far.

    From The Next Miami:

    --Jackson McQuigg

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