Ideas for Improvements

Stort Term Ideas

These projects currently have funding committed for implementation during the next few years.

  • Amtrak Projects: Amtrak is in the process of undertaking some improvements that will improve passenger conditions and amenities within the Station and reduce crowding. The first of these projects, announced in 2010 have already been completed.
  • CDOT Projects: Two upcoming CDOT projects will improve local street traffic flow and curbside access to Union Station:
    • Central Area East-West Bus Rapid Transit project
    • Union Station Transportation Center

Medium Term Ideas

  • Widen selected Metra platforms (using the area now occupied by unused baggage platforms) and add direct access to/from street level
  • Create new station tracks and passenger platforms by converting unused former mail platform space
  • Modify existing passenger station facilities to improve passenger flow and simplify wayfinding
  • Coordinate further street access improvements with CDOT’s planned Canal Street Viaduct reconstruction project

Long Term Ideas

The study has developed concepts for increasing passenger handling capacity and improving the traveler experience by significantly expanding or completely replacing the existing intercity and/or commuter station facilities. These plans are described as:

  • A new facility in the 300 S. Riverside block, to be constructed on air rights over Union Station tracks (which are owned by Amtrak) and integrated with the existing office building on this block
  • Redevelopment of the 200 S. Riverside block with new intercity and commuter station facilities
  • Construct a new fourth lead track on the north side of the station

The study has also developed two concepts for adding additional track and platform capacity in underground alignments that bypass and augment Union Station’s existing track and platform infrastructure. These plans are described as:

  • Clinton Subway (per the original West Loop Transportation Center concept)
  • Canal Subway

For more information, please download the full report.