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Here's what Union Station in DC could look like in the future

June 18, 2022
3 min read
Here's what Union Station in DC could look like in the future
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One of the nation’s busiest and most iconic railroad stations is poised for a major overhaul. New design renderings shared publicly this week reveal the proposed plans for Union Station. Changes would not alter the 114-year-old station’s iconic, domed hall, but would significantly upgrade its aging concourses and railroad facilities.

The design renderings became public this week through a presentation to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, which is involved in the design approval process because of the historic nature of the D.C. rail station.

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(Rendering courtesy of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts)

As you can see in this aerial view of the proposed changes, the front of the station looks pretty much the same, with the iconic entrance intact on the historic building. Beyond that, things start to look really different.

The proposed design includes a spacious train hall flooded with natural light and arches, mezzanines and seriously upgraded passenger access to Amtrak trains, commuter rails and Washington Metro trains.

(Rendering courtesy of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts)

Here’s a view from atop one of the proposed train hall’s mezzanines.

(Rendering courtesy of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts)

The design calls for underground parking and improved bus facilities and concourses.

(Rendering courtesy of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts)
(Rendering courtesy of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts)

Since the federal government owns Union Station, the Federal Railroad Administration is leading the project. The multibillion-dollar improvement plan could certainly be a major candidate for a piece of the tens of billions in funding allocated for railroad improvements in last year’s bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Related: Amtrak wants to seize control of DC's Union Station

Union Station (Photo by Mike Kline (notkalvin)/Getty Images)

Considering Union Station is Amtrak’s second busiest in the country, perhaps the most critical part of these improvement plans is that it would boost railroad track capacity. In fact, the project could go as far as to double train capacity when factoring in Amtrak and commuter rail capacity expansion, according to Federal City Council, a D.C.-based non-profit advocating for Union Station improvements.

The project would likely be completed in phases if approved, and once work begins it is expected to take well over a decade.

Still, as train travel rebounds from the pandemic and enters an exciting new chapter, this could be a major boost at one of the most well-known stations in the country.

Featured image by spencerpa440/Twenty20
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases