Home Accessibility upgrades completed at Ashland Amtrak station

Accessibility upgrades completed at Ashland Amtrak station

AmtrakA construction project to improve accessibility and safety at the Amtrak stop in Ashland has been completed. Amtrak and the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority are partners in bringing Amtrak Northeast Regional daily service to the station located in the town’s downtown at 112 N. Railroad Ave.

Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration, VPRA and the town of Ashland partnered to advance a series of improvements including the construction of two brick platforms, placement of two mobile lifts and an accompanying canopy.

Mobile lifts are available on each platform and will benefit all customers with wheeled luggage or strollers, in addition to those passengers who use mobility devices.

“We are making these kinds of investments across our national network,” said Amtrak Vice President Dr. David Handera. “We want Ashland and all of our stations to be welcoming and a comfortable environment to all of our customers.”

To date, Amtrak has completed 162 ADA station related projects as part of the ADA Stations Program with 16 stations brought into ADA compliance last fiscal year for $58 million. Another 41 stations are targeted for completion this fiscal year at a forecasted investment of $126 million.

The program is advancing 120 station designs and 40 station construction projects as part of Amtrak’s ongoing commitment to providing accessibility for all of their customers.

“The upgrades at the Ashland station make rail service more accessible and an even better option for those travelers with mobility issues,” said DJ Stadtler, Executive Director of VPRA. “Through the strong partnership between the town of Ashland, Amtrak, and VPRA, using the Ashland station is now safer and more convenient for all Amtrak passengers.”

Amtrak and the town of Ashland partnered in a redesign of one block of N. Railroad Avenue. A new site design will allow for a safer experience for customers and pedestrians, and modified vehicle traffic pattern. The new platforms will connect to sidewalks, crosswalks and a pedestrian grade crossing for customers to safely travel between trains and the station.

“The Ashland platform improvement project is a great benefit to the community,” Ashland Town Manager Joshua Farrar said. “The most important element of this project is ensuring that individuals with mobility issues have a safe and accessible platform and pedestrian crossing to use while catching a train or simply visiting the area.”

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.