The Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge closed for renovations this week.

Users were rerouted to a temporary enclosure through Gate D.

Officials anticipate reopening the lounge in February.

Amtrak claimed the renovations would improve the lounge for qualified guests as part of the Union Station concourse upgrade.

“It’s definitely the funkiest, smelliest, and most gloomy of all Amtrak lounges,” said Aaron Wilder, a passenger with Select Executive membership.

At big stations like D.C., Amtrak allows customers to wait for their train in a quiet space with complimentary snacks and food and workspaces.

Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Executive and Select Plus members, Acela First Class and private room guests, and same-day Single-Day Pass holders can utilize the lounges.

Amtrak Business Class day pass holders can access the lounge for $50.

The Metropolitan Lounge at Union Station will get a new kitchenette, a conference room with new furnishings, updated accent finishes at the entry and reception areas, refinished walls and floors, updated lighting, improved luggage storage, and adjusted PIDS placements.

Union Station has been a sore spot for travelers for years. It’s also proven scary for some to wait for a train or bus.

Approximately 40 stores and food stalls remain, but half the commercial premises at Union Station are empty.

Authorities have frequently sought to control the rising number of small and big crimes and homeless individuals at the station.

Meanwhile, Amtrak announced its Concourse Modernization Project would be Washington Union Station’s 2nd Century Plan’s initial enhancement.

The 2nd Century Plan aims to quadruple passenger and train capacity in 20 years through numerous projects.

The corporation claimed the initiative will improve passenger comfort and accessibility while adding natural light and architectural features.

WMATA’s new Metrorail stairway and First Street entrance would complete the western concourse’s passenger enhancements.

Officials claimed more Acela trains and more frequent service will accompany the planned enhancements.

Travelers like Wilder like the upgrades.

Wilder argued that New York’s renovated concourse and lounge should be the model.

“New York has fresh air, nice food, and a bar. D.C. deserves more,” Wilder stated. 

One reviewer called New York’s Metropolitan Lounge “the city’s hottest new bar.”

A news release revealed that New York Amtrak customers now get La Colombe coffee, alcoholic drinks, and a variety of complimentary sandwiches, foods and snacks.

“We are delighted to introduce this new amenity to our customers traveling in and out of New York City; it is another example of Amtrak’s commitment to continually evaluate and improve the customer experience,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Roger Harris.

“Customers can now relax and have a drink in our flagship lounge before or after their train.”

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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