The Goldsboro Union Station has a long and important history, but now finds itself needing help so that it can continue its service to our community and help restore the pride we once had when it was constructed back in 1909. If a stabilization band aid is not applied to it soon, we could lose it and all the opportunities it provides.

Constructed between 1907 and 1909, Goldsboro’s Union Station was built to serve three railroad companies; one had boasting rights of owning the longest rail line in the world at 161.5 miles. It was designed to convey the importance of the railroad to Goldsboro, Wayne County, and eastern NC with its elaborate architectural details, much of which are still intact, and is considered to be one of North Carolina’s most ambitiously designed stations. This landmark structure is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and holds the honor of state significance.

Goldsboro Union Station (GUS) is located at 101 N. Carolina Street and is a two-story station building comprising of approximately 12,434 square feet situated on a property encompassing two city blocks or over 6.1 acres. It accommodated passenger rail services until 1968. In 1972, Arthur Perry purchased it to house Goldsboro Builders Supply Company that remained until 2006. In 2006, NCDOT acquired the property to protect its potential use as a passenger rail hub serving a future Raleigh to Wilmington route. The state invested money into the property to get it ready for a restoration-and-reuse project, stabilizing it and conducting studies to prepare for that opportunity.

In 2009, the property was conveyed to the City of Goldsboro to position it for additional alternative funding opportunities and enable community input and involvement to allow it to meet our community’s needs. The vision that developed had Union Station serve as a catalyst to develop a multi-modal transportation hub to create a seamless transportation system where multiple transportation options could intersect, such as passenger rail, inner city bus, rural demand response transit, bike, pedestrian and even taxi-type services. Due to community investment, including grants from the state and federal partners, a transit facility operated by GWTA was constructed on GUS’s property to its north. It currently serves Greyhound, and local urban bus and rural demand response services.

The last investment to GUS was made in 2019 to replace a majority of the upper roof with clay roof tiles of similar nature and profile to its original roof. The building has suffered from lack of investment and is now structurally compromised in certain places and needs immediate attention.

A local group of concerned citizens called Saving Union Station formed in late 2023 to advocate for its needs and raise funds to address them. The goal is to raise $750,000 to match a combined and equal contribution by the City of Goldsboro and County of Wayne, to reach the necessary $1.5 million needed to address GUS’s most immediate stabilization needs.

What will it become? We don’t know. What we do know is that the Federal Rail Administration announced in early December 2023, that they will be studying the proposed passenger rail route between Raleigh and Wilmington, through Goldsboro using this property to potentially be added to a list of future passenger/freight rail route development investments. We also know that regardless of what is developed at Union Station or who owns it, it will have restrictive covenants on it to allow space, either within GUS or on the property to serve passenger rail service, should it develop. Other than that, we do not know who will ultimately own it or what it could become. We just want to make sure it has that opportunity – to become vital and meaningful to us once again.

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