Union Station prepared to accommodate Amtrak if they return to Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Its been decades in the making.

Today, the Amtrak train made its way back to Wichita.  After 40 years, excitement is buzzing around the air capital about the possible return.

As KSN told you last night, if Amtrak decides to come back, Union Station would be the most logical choice for where it would stop.

Gary Oborny, the Chairman and CEO of Occidental Management, manages and owns Union Station.

His company is currently working on a nearly $60 million development to revitalize the area, which they began work on in 2014.

Oborny walked KSN through the large terminal building that was built in 1914.

The building sat vacant for seven years until they started their revitalization project.

Oborny showed KSN what it would look like inside, if Amtrak were to move in and set up shop.

“There would be ticketing and seating areas, and they would either go up the elevator or up the stairs and then go out this second window area,” said Oborny.

Oborny says there is another option for an Amtrak location at the Union State site, on the upper level, near the train tracks.

“An additional building for the actual passengers who would actually go in and ticket their locations, that would be approximately 2,500 to 3,000 square feet,” said Oborny.

Oborny says upgrades wouldn’t have to be major.

He says this is because Amtrak is different today, than it was in the 1960’s and 1970’s, saying it is more modern and efficient.

“Ticketing today is also electronic ticketing, so in a lot of cases you don’t have tenants that are monitoring the Amtrak location, it has cameras, things of that nature,” said Oborny.

However, Oborny says the cost to make any upgrades, would be an added expense.

“An Amtrak location would probably run $350,000 to $400,000, that’s not in that number, so obviously that would increase the capital expenditure we would have,” said Oborny.

Something he says would partially be paid for by revenue generated if Amtrak decides to return to Wichita.

KSN asked Oborny if there would need to be more parking to accommodate a return of Amtrak.

He says they currently have about 550 parking spots on the 10 acre site.

Oborny says they plan to build a parking garage, as part of phase 2 of their revitalization project.


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