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Union Station (Denver)

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Title: Union Station (Denver)  
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Subject: Denver, Denver International Airport, Coors Field, LoDo, Denver, FasTracks, Lakeside Amusement Park, DUS, Prospector (train), Ski Train, Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad
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Union Station (Denver)

Denver Union Station
The front of Denver's Union Station, facing Wynkoop Street
Station statistics
Address 1701 Wynkoop Street (Amtrak)
1600 Wewatta Street (RTD)
Denver, CO 80202

39°45′11″N 105°00′00″W / 39.753187°N 105.000093°W / 39.753187; -105.000093Coordinates: 39°45′11″N 105°00′00″W / 39.753187°N 105.000093°W / 39.753187; -105.000093

Line(s) Amtrak:RTD:
  C Line
  E Line
  W Line
Connections Thruway Motorcoach
Regional highway coaches for Boulder County points
other express and local bus routes
Platforms 1 side platform (Amtrak)
1 side platform, 1 island platform (Light Rail)
Tracks 1 (Amtrak)
2 (Light Rail)
Other information
Opened 1894
Rebuilt 1914
Station code DEN
Owned by RTD and partners
Passengers (2012)113,393[1] Decrease 1.7% (Amtrak)
Preceding station   Amtrak   Following station
toward Emeryville
California Zephyr
toward Chicago
Terminus C Line
W Line
E Line
toward Lincoln
    Former services    
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
Major stations
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad
Rock Island Line
Union Station
Union Station (Denver, Colorado)
Location 17th St. at Wynkoop, Denver, Colorado

39°45′12″N 104°59′57″W / 39.75333°N 104.99917°W / 39.75333; -104.99917

Area 1.6 acres (0.6 ha)
Built 1881
Architectural style Classical Revival, Other, Romanesque, Italian Romanesque
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 74000571[2]
 # 5DV.114
Added to NRHP November 20, 1974

Union Station is Denver, Colorado, USA's historic train station at 17th and Wynkoop in the LoDo district. The station first opened in 1881.[3]


Denver's first train station was constructed in 1868 to serve the new Denver Pacific Railway, which connected Denver to the main transcontinental line at Cheyenne, Wyoming. By 1875, there were four different railroad stations, making passenger transfers between different railroad lines inconvenient. To remedy this issue, the Union Pacific Railroad proposed creating one central "Union Station" to combine the various operations. In February 1880, the owners of the four lines (the Union Pacific, the Denver & Rio Grande Western, the Denver, South Park & Pacific, and the Colorado Central) agreed to build a station at 17th and Wynkoop Streets. Architect A. Taylor of Kansas City was hired to develop the plans, and the station opened in May 1881.[4]

A fire in 1894 destroyed the central portion of the 1881 depot. The Kansas City architectural firm of Van Brunt & Howe was hired to design a larger replacement depot in the Romanesque style. Both the 1881 and 1894 depots included a tall central clock tower with four clock faces.[5]

In 1912, the original Union Depot partnership was dissolved and replaced by the Denver Terminal Railway Company, representing the then-major operators of the station (the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe, the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy, the Chicago, Rock Island, & Pacific, the Colorado & Southern, the Union Pacific, and the Denver & Rio Grande Westen). The new partnership decided to demolish and rebuild the central portion of the station to handle the increasing passenger traffic. The new central portion, designed by Denver architects Gove & Walsh, was built in the Beaux-Arts style and opened in 1914.[6]

Current activity

During its heyday, the station was served by 80 daily trains operated by six different railroads; however, most of this was terminated at the time of the formation of Amtrak, which has since operated only one train daily between Chicago and the Bay Area, routed through Denver. Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad's Ski Train was operated until the end of the winter of 2008–2009, at which time the operation was discontinued. In September 2009 plans were announced to revive the service as a special limited route beginning in December,[7] but this did not happen due to insurance problems.[8] Current passenger services include:

The station also serves the once a year Cheyenne Frontier Days Train, usually pulled by Union Pacific's steam locomotive 844, the last steam locomotive built for the UP. The train runs between Union Station and Cheyenne, Wyoming for the Frontier Days Rodeo event.

Of the nine Colorado stations served by Amtrak, Denver was the busiest in FY2011.[1]


Under a public/private consortium, the station and the surrounding 19.5 acres (79,000 m²) will soon be the hub of Denver's new FasTracks rail network, under the Regional Transportation District's master plan for the station site, officially known as the Denver Union Station. Eight teams of prominent architects, developers and engineers competed in 2002 for the massive contract to redevelop the station into a transit-oriented retail, office and residential complex, with a budget in the range of $900 million.

On July 30, 2010, the US Department of Transportation announced that the station had received a $300 million grant to construct three light-rail tracks and eight heavy-rail tracks for both intercity and commuter rail services, as well as additional storage and servicing capabilities.[9]

On February 1, 2011, Amtrak's passenger station and boarding platform was moved to a temporary station at 21st and Wewatta streets, behind Coors Field, in order to allow construction of the commuter rail tracks and platforms.[10] This temporary relocation is scheduled to last until spring 2014, at which time Amtrak's services will move back to the newly constructed passenger area behind Denver Union Station.[10]

The new light rail station opened on August 15, 2011.[11] The new location is west of the former light rail stations, and is adjacent to the consolidated main line railroad tracks and near the Denver Millennium Bridge. The westernmost stop of the 16th Street Mall shuttle, also known as the MallRide, was also moved west and is adjacent to the new light rail stop.

The building closed to the public on 1 December 2012, and will remain closed for construction of a new hotel, dining facilities and retail outlets until early 2014, when Amtrak service will return.[12] The full redevelopment, designed and built by Milender White Construction Company and managed by the Union Station Alliance, is planned to be completed by the middle of 2014.[12]

See also


External links

  • Amtrak – Stations – Denver Union Station
  • Denver Union Station
  • Denver Union Station (USA RailGuide – TrainWeb)
  • Denver (DEN)--Great American Stations (Amtrak)
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