Charlottesville Union Station

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1160 The Charlottesville Virginia, AMTRAK Station.jpg
Charlottesville station in July 2009
Location 810 West Main Street
Charlottesville, Virginia
Coordinates 38°01′53″N 78°29′31″W / 38.03139°N 78.49194°W / 38.03139; -78.49194Coordinates: 38°01′53″N 78°29′31″W / 38.03139°N 78.49194°W / 38.03139; -78.49194
Owned by Union Station Partners LLC
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 4
Parking 10 short-term and 165 long-term parking spaces available
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Station code CVS
Opened 1885
Rebuilt 1915, Mid-1990s
Passengers (FY2015) 134,485 annually[1]Increase 1.57% (Amtrak)
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
toward Chicago
toward New Orleans
Northeast Regional

The Charlottesville Union Station, located in Charlottesville, Virginia, is served by Amtrak's Cardinal, Crescent, and daily Northeast Regional passenger trains. It is Amtrak's third busiest station in Virginia, aside from its all-auto Auto Train station in Lorton. The east-west line is owned by CSX Transportation and the north-south line by Norfolk Southern Railway. The station is within walking distance of the University of Virginia, which is the major employer in the area.


The original Union Station was built in 1885 to jointly serve the Charlottesville and Rapidan Railroad, the Virginia Midland Railway, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. Major renovations in 1915 included the construction of a baggage handling facility.

Main Street Station in August 1974

When Amtrak took over most intercity passenger rail service in 1971, the Southern Railway opted to continue running the Southern Crescent itself. The Southern Crescent continued to use Union Station, while the James Whitcomb Riley (later the Cardinal) used Main Street Station to the east. Afflicted with rising costs, the Southern Railway relented and turned the Southern Crescent over to Amtrak on February 1, 1979. Amtrak renamed it as the Crescent and made Union Station the Charlottesville stop for the Cardinal as well.[2]

Since 1999, the former baggage handling facility is home to the Amtrak ticket office and waiting area. The main facility has been privately developed into the commercial restaurant, Wild Wing Cafe. Plans coincident with the redevelopment to create a transportation hub at Union Station were not realized. Instead in 2007 Charlottesville completed the Downtown Transit Center one mile across town.[3]

However, the station does serve as an intermodal transportation nexus, with connecting Thruway motorcoach service to Richmond (operated by James River Transportation) on site, a 200+ space parking lot, and access to a full-service Greyhound Lines bus station down the street. Such services allow Charlottesville travelers to reach various airports in the region.[4] The Charlottesville Free Trolley stops just north of the station, and connects Downtown and the University of Virginia.

Out of the twenty Virginia stations, Charlottesville is the fourth busiest in the state according to the FY2013 ridership.[5]



  1. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2015, Commonwealth of Virginia" (PDF). Amtrak Government Affairs. November 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Nagasaki, Hikki. "Charlottesville, Virginia". USA Rail Guide. TrainWeb. Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Charlottesville Tomorrow, Transportation Matrix Archived November 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
  4. ^ Hawes Spencer (2007-06-22). "Riding the rails: It's the only way to fly". The Hook (newspaper). Charlottesville. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  5. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2013, Commonwealth of Virginia" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Amtrak Virginia announces new Northeast Regional service". 

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