New canopy unveiled at Kannapolis depot
KANNAPOLIS — The nearly 19,000 passengers who pass through the Kannapolis train station each year getting on and off state-sponsored Amtrak trains are now enjoying an improved travel experience with the addition of a new platform canopy that will provide them protection from the elements.
Representatives from the N.C. Department of Transportation joined local elected officials and residents in downtown Kannapolis today to celebrate the completion of the $540,000 canopy project, which was paid for with federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds through the state’s Piedmont Improvement Program. It is the latest phase of improvements at the site, which have also included construction of a platform in 2003 and a new station in 2004.
“Ridership at Kannapolis has increased by nearly threefold, from about 6,300 in 2003 to nearly 19,000 in 2012, as we’ve made improvements to this facility,” said Transportation Department Rail Division Director Paul Worley. “It’s important that we continue to meet the increasing demand at this station and encourage future growth.”
The Kannapolis Train Station was designed to match the Colonial revival architectural style of downtown Kannapolis. The station includes community meeting space and currently houses Kannapolis City Council chambers. The Department of Transportation anticipates future parking expansion to the west, as well as eventual waiting room expansion into the current council chambers.
The Kannapolis station provides a convenient alternative to train service from Charlotte and helps support increasing travel demands related to the growth of the North Carolina Research Campus in downtown Kannapolis.
The canopy project is one of several projects progressing along this rail corridor as part of the state’s Piedmont Improvement Program, which focuses on making improvements to the Charlotte to Raleigh Rail Corridor that will help improve safety, reduce congestion, increase reliability and lower travel times, and improve the movement of freight and logistics as well as support long-term economic development.
A project is planned just to the north of Kannapolis to construct approximately 12 miles of second track along the North Carolina Railroad corridor in Rowan County. This project is one of three that will add a total of approximately 25 miles of new second track along the main line. Together, these projects will provide an uninterrupted double track spanning 92 miles between Greensboro and Charlotte, which will allow trains to pass more frequently and help reduce congestion.