Washington Union Station badly needs updates. Here’s why fixing it is so complicated.

By George Kevin Jordan, Editor and Correspondent, Greater Greater Washington; November 7, 2019

Union Station in DC is a key transportation hub serving 37 million riders annually on various modes of transit, but the station is also in need of a makeover to address a range of issues, from insufficient train tracks to long passenger bottlenecks. The $5 to $7-billion Washington Union Station Expansion Project involves myriad different local and federal agencies, private developers, and of course, the public. And they’re not all in agreement on how to get it done.

Amtrak wants to update its tracks for a growing number of passengers, and the nonprofit Union Station Redevelopment Corporation (USRC), which leases and manages much of the station, wants to protect its history, maintain retail, and ensure it’s up to modern standards. The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) owns the complex, but it’s the Federal Rail Administration (FRA), that is in charge of figuring out how the project will impact the area. To add to the complexity, development firm Akridge wants to execute a sibling project above the Amtrak rail yard called Burnham Place.

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