Amtrak, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), Metra and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) – known as the Project Partners” — invite you to learn more about the transformative initiatives taking place at Chicago Union Station, which will help the historic Station evolve into a modern transit hub as well as a destination in its own right.

Amtrak, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), Metra, and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), along with input from stakeholders and the general public, prepared a Master Plan for Chicago Union Station in 2012. The 2012 Master Plan included both transportation-related improvements and provisions for transit-oriented developments surrounding the station.

These planning efforts represented a continuation of the City of Chicago’s longstanding interests in improving passenger transportation and interchange facilities in the Union Station area, consistent with the City’s Central Area ACTION Plan of 2009 and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s GO TO 2040 regional plan.

Union Station is one of the region’s key transportation facilities and economic drivers. It is the third-busiest railroad terminal in the United States, serving over 300 trains per weekday carrying about 120,000 arriving and departing passengers – a level of passenger traffic that would rank it among the ten busiest airports in the U.S. Union Station is Metra’s busiest station, and it is also the hub of Amtrak’s network of regional trains serving the Midwest as well as most of the nation’s overnight trains, which connect to the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts.

The Master Plan identifies potential ideas for adding tracks and platforms, as well as possible opportunities for improving passenger flows. Near, medium, and long-term opportunities were identified to assist Amtrak, Metra, and other station stakeholders in preparing for these future improvements. Additional design work was done to build upon these near-term concepts, including planning, historic review, and preliminary engineering. These concepts include:

  • Station Capacity Expansion Projects
  • Platform Capacity Expansion Projects
  • Multi-Modal Connections
  • Track Operation Improvements
  • Retail Improvement Projects
  • Ventilation

These efforts are being coordinated with ongoing projects and initiatives already taking place at Union Station, including the Master Developer process. The partners continue to work together – and with other regional, state, and national stakeholders – to find ways to advance the final design for the near-term projects identified in the program. Since the release of the 2012 Master Plan, many exciting projects at the Station already have come to fruition, such as the Union Station Transit Center, the beautifully restored Burlington Room, and the accessible elevator from Canal Street to the historic Great Hall. The latest news on Union Station improvements can be found on the Chicago Union Station Media Page.