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Corporate Communications ARRA Project Overview

Project Identification

Wilmington Station Renovation Project. The station is located on the Riverfront in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, at 100 South French Street.


Extensive work is underway to restore and renovate the historic Wilmington Station along Wilmington’s Christina River. Built in 1907, the station fell into a state of disrepair after years of deferred maintenance. Construction includes the restoration and waterproofing of the building’s exterior and a complete restoration of the interior.

The Wilmington station is one of Amtrak’s busiest and one of the few passenger stations with the railroad operating directly over it. The renovation of this local landmark will provide Amtrak and SEPTA passengers, as well as the local community and visitors, with a more comfortable and convenient station. The modern station will include safety improvements and enhanced accessibility for passengers with disabilities. In addition, the project helps stimulate economic vitality along the Riverfront, which offers recreational, cultural, retail and culinary attractions.

The project is funded with $20 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $12 million from the Delaware Department of Transportation, and $3.7 million from Amtrak with support from the Federal Transit Administration.

Renovation Details

This project involves the architectural restoration of the original building exterior, with special care taken to preserve the station’s original Victorian style. Highlights of this project include the following:

  • Repair and restoration of the brick exterior and decorative terra cotta, repair of the tiled roof, replacement of exterior windows, and restoration of entry doors.
  • Construction of a new accessibility-compliant ramp at the Martin Luther King Street/French Street entrance.
  • Repair and restoration of the platforms including wood-framed canopies and installation of new lighting, restoration or replacement of the original walls of windows that serve as a windscreen along the platforms.
  • Installation of a state-of-the-art waterproofing system on the trackbeds over the station concourse, reconfiguration of platforms and construction of a permanent high-level platform along Track 1.
  • Repainting of six bridges over local streets in the area of the station.
  • Complete remodeling of the station interior, including restoration of the Grand Staircase, new restrooms, ticketing facilities and station services, with contemporary finishes, including lighting and decorative terrazzo floors.
  • Repair and restoration of the platform-level historic waiting rooms, including the marble and tile floors, as well as repairs to the walls and ceilings.
  • Upgraded building fire protection systems, installation of a new heating and air conditioning system, and new plumbing and electrical systems.
  • AmtrakConnect Wi-Fi® Internet service will be available free of charge throughout the station.
Wilmington Station Background

The Wilmington Station was designed by renowned architect Frank Furness and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The station was last renovated between 1981 and 1984. The historical structure ranks as the eleventh busiest station in the Amtrak system, serving 89 Amtrak trains and 54 SEPTA trains on weekdays and nearly 700,000 passengers annually.

The Wilmington station is served by two of Amtrak’s most popular services, Acela Express and Northeast Regional. Seven additional services stop at the station:

  • Crescent (daily New York-Atlanta-New Orleans)
  • Palmetto (daily New York-Savannah)
  • Silver Meteor (daily New York-Miami)
  • Silver Star (daily New York-Tampa-Miami)
  • Cardinal (tri-weekly New York-Washington-Cincinnati-Chicago)
  • Carolinian (daily New York-Richmond-Charlotte)
  • Vermonter (daily Washington-St Albans)
Project Update

While the station interior is being renovated, a temporary full-service station, including ticket sales, baggage and station vendors, will be in service just east of the original station on the corner of Martin Luther King Blvd. and Walnut St. The completely accessible temporary station will be in use through December 5, 2010.

Station operations will resume at the newly renovated station on Monday, December 6.


For questions or comments concerning this project, call Amtrak at the toll free hotline 1-800-288-1310 or e-mail us at