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A Plan to Transform Washington Union Station

Union Station Master Plan
Washington, DC, USA

“This plan will transform the station into a world-class transportation hub to serve the region and the mobility needs of generations of passengers yet to come.”

Joe Boardman
President and CEO, Amtrak

HOK and Parsons Brinckerhoff collaborated with Amtrak, Akridge and several regional transportation agencies to develop Amtrak’s master plan for making Union Station a center for high-speed rail and commercial activity in downtown Washington, DC.

Designed by Daniel Burnham, Union Station opened in 1907 as one of the world’s preeminent passenger rail facilities. A national landmark, the station is one of the country’s busiest multimodal transportation hubs. It currently is operating beyond capacity, serving 100,000 passenger trips on 200 Amtrak and commuter trains and hundreds of Metro trains and buses per day.

The Amtrak master plan revitalizes the historic station, triples passenger capacity, doubles the number of trains the station can handle and improves the passenger experience.

The plan positions Union Station as an integral part of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor investment plan by upgrading it to accommodate an additional level of tracks, platforms and concourses below the existing track level. This will support increasing commuter and intercity rail service, including high performance high-speed rail. The plan unlocks up to 6 million square feet of space for transportation-related activities below the station and 3 million square feet of air rights development above.

At the heart of the plan is a new train shed that will welcome passengers to the nation’s capital. HOK’s design brings natural light into the station and creates better connections to Amtrak, commuter rail, transit and other transportation services. A planted, vegetated roof will retain rainwater and temper the interior environment.  The overall design underscores the inherent sustainability of mass transit.


9 million sq. ft. / 836,100 sq. m.


Facility Programming
Master Planning
Project Management


AIA Washington, DC – Honorable Mention – Urban Design/Master Planning

American Institute of Architects – Honor Award for Regional & Urban Design

World Architecture News (WAN) – Highly Commended – Transport


31 October 2013
“WAN Transport 2013 Highly Commended” 
World Architecture News 

27 July 2012
“Capital Improvements”
The Architect’s Newspaper

25 July 2012
“Amtrak Plans $7 Billion Upgrade of Washington, DC, Station”

24 July 2012
“Amtrak to Propose $7 Billion Overhaul at Union Station”
The Washington Post