US rail company Amtrak has marked the completion of another station renovation with the $11.6m modernisation of the station in Wilmington, Delaware.
The Joseph R. Biden Jr. Railroad Station, named after the current US president who grew up in the state, has been upgraded with two new escalators and interior stairs, as well as the repair of existing infrastructure to improve accessibility.
Federal Railroad Administration administrator Amit Bose said he was excited to see the renovations at the station, which welcomes half a million passengers a year and looked forward to those yet to come.
Bose said: “Americans need and deserve world-class passenger rail and that includes Americans with disabilities, our ageing population and others who rely on and benefit from modern, accessible and convenient rail stations.”
The opening ceremony for the station was also attended by many of the area’s political leaders, including Governor John Carney, Mayor Mike Purzycki and Representative Lisa Blunt, who said the new work would benefit everyone who used the station.
The Wilmington station is just one of many to undergo upgrades focused on accessibility as Amtrak works towards ensuring all of its stations are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act by 2029.
Its work is being supported by investment through the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which has helped fund the company’s upgrades for 20 of its stations so far.
Tom Carper, the senior senator for Delaware and chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said: “In the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we were able to secure $22bn for Amtrak to make much-needed repairs, address maintenance backlogs and modernise train stations like the one in Wilmington.
“This investment is our biggest step forward yet for the future of passenger rail, which is key to reducing roadway congestion, improving air quality and keeping us competitive in a global economy.”
Amtrak also recently completed similar works on its platform at the Del Rio train station in Texas, which underwent a $3.8m renovation.
The organisation’s ADA Stations Program has invested approximately $800m into the accessibility of stations since it began in 2011, with another 34 stations set to complete upgrade works in the next fiscal year.