$2.7 million Macomb Amtrak upgrades unveiled

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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MACOMB (WGEM) - What’s been a five year process from planning to completion, $2.7 million improvements at Macomb’s Amtrak station are finished.

Local and Amtrak officials gathered at the station to unveil a 300-foot platform that now meets Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.

The platform features brick pattern-stampede surfacing, an embedded hydronic snowmelt tubing system, trench drain and guardrails. Before the upgrades, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the boarding platform was far from ADA compliant.

Magliari said the old platform lacked a snow-ice melting system, wasn’t smooth and didn’t have correct paving.

“When you make an improvement at a station for ADA compliance, you’re doing it for everyone who has wheeled baggage, everyone who uses a stroller, so everyone benefits,” Magliari said.

Amtrak is in the process of making 29 other stations ADA compliant. Magliari said they are on pace to accomplish that feat by the end of the year.

“Our mission is to be as welcoming as possible,” Magliari said.

The train station has been in Macomb since 1913. Going on it’s 110th year, Mayor Michael Inman said it’s important to keep the station up to par because it links a rural town to large communities.

“We’re grateful for the highway infrastructure we have but we think we have an extra bonus when it comes to being an Amtrak served community and this project only underscores that,” Inman said.

Amtrak Director of Government Affairs Derrick James described the Macomb station as a “front door” to the rural area.

“Even though the front doors only give visitors a taste of what’s inside, we want this front door of the Amtrak station to reflect the treasures available to all who visit Macomb,” James said.

More upgrades are on the way with new railcars soon hitting the tracks. James said the new railcars will have better wi-fi capabilities and provide more comfort overall. He said Amtrak is targeting a date sometime before the end of the year.

According to Magliari, Amtrak has completed 172 ADA station-related projects. Amtrak paid for the Macomb upgrades.

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