Main Street Station

Richmond Main Street Station is a historic railroad station and office building in Richmond, Virginia. Originally built in 1901, it is currently served by Amtrak, and is planned in the future to become the northern terminus of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor as well as an intermodal station with Richmond's city transit bus services, currently performed by GRTC. With uppermost sections located adjacent to the James River Bridge of Interstate 95, it is locally referred to by some passersby as The Clock Tower. The Main Street Station and Trainshed is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.


Richmond's Main Street Station in the downtown area was built in 1901 by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL) and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O). Seaboard had newly introduced service to Richmond, and C&O had consolidated the former Virginia Central Railroad and the Richmond and Allegheny Railroad, which had previously maintained separate stations.

The ornate Main Street Station was designed by the Philadelphia firm of Wilson, Harris, and Richards in the Second Renaissance Revival style. In the 1950s, Seaboard shifted its Richmond passenger service to Broad Street Station (now the Science Museum of Virginia), but C&O maintained offices in the upper floors, and its passenger service continued at Main Street Station until Amtrak took over in 1971. In 1970, Main Street Station and its trainshed were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

However, after Hurricane Agnes caused the James River to flood the station in 1972, Amtrak moved to a much smaller suburban station in Henrico County in 1975, ending service. To make matters worse, the station was damaged by fires in 1976 and 1983. Main Street Station saw no rail passengers until 2003, when it was renovated and returned to service, reopening on December 18, 2003.

Current Routes

  • Northeast Regional

Future Services

Local officials hope to increase the number of trains by extending some service which currently terminates at the suburban Henrico County station. More importantly, Main Street Station is located on the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor (SEHSR), a passenger rail transportation project planned to connect with the existing high speed rail corridor from Boston, Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., known as the Northeast Corridor (served by Amtrak's Acela Express and Northeast Regional services and many commuter railroads) and extend similar high speed passenger rail services south through Richmond and Petersburg in Virginia through Raleigh and Charlotte in North Carolina. Since first established in 1992, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has since extended the corridor to Atlanta and Macon, Georgia; Columbia, South Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; and Birmingham, Alabama.

Most funding for the SEHSR to date has been by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the states of North Carolina and Virginia. Both states already fund some non-high speed rail service operated by Amtrak on their behalf and own locomotives and passenger cars. The first large section of the SEHSR, from Washington, DC through Virginia and North Carolina south to Charlotte, is planned to be in service by 2020 depending on funding availability.

There are also plans for Main Street Station to become an intermodal station with Richmond's city bus services operated by GRTC, a public service company owned jointly by the City of Richmond and Chesterfield County.

Main Street Station in Fiction

In 2004 Richmond's Main Street Station served as a backdrop for an episode of the TV series Alias, posing as the British Embassy in Vienna.

Building Activity

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