Burlington restored train service in the Amtrak area starting on May 12, 1990 when North Carolina began sponsoring the Carolinian to restore service between New York, Raleigh and Durham. Trains originally stopped at a platform in the same location as the current platform (or possibly on the opposite side of the single track) and a temporary modular building was used as the train station. Burlington, NC was originally named company shops when it was founded in 1857 as the halfway point between Charlotte and Goldsboro (towards the coast beyond Raleigh).
On August 19, 2003 the current Company Shops Station was dedicated. The station is inside a former locomotive maintenance shop and engine house that was built circa 1870. In 1895 the line was long-term leased by the Southern Railroad and the shops were faded out of existence with most of them (except for the current building) burning down in 1914. Today this one building has been restored. It is a huge two story brick building shared with the Burlington Police Department's Criminal Investigations Unit is on the Second Floor and offices for the North Carolina Railroad Company (mostly leased to Norfolk Southern but still owned by the state under its original charter). Passengers entering the station from the street or the platform are immediately greeted by the small exhibits of the North Carolina Railroad Company. These exhibits consist of the replica of the front of a steam locomotive and a modern Norfolk Southern locomotive coming out from a couple walls. In the middle of the room is a diorama model of the Company Shops when they were bustling in the 1870s. A few exhibits give the history of railroads in North Carolina and how the state was a very late adopter to modern transportation. Beyond this exhibit hall is a wide vestibule with a couple seats and doors that lead out to the platform. A sign tells passengers to please check in with the station attendant before boarding trains. This requires right and walking through the passenger waiting room. This room has non-descript white walls and wooden benches with standard Amtrak posters. A Quik-Trak Machine is all that's provided for ticketing. A desk with an office beyond is home to the station's NC Station host who when I visited at least wasn't bothering the lock the doors out to the platform.
The only legal entrance to the platform itself are doors out to it that lead to a very small covered outdoor waiting area with benches before the actual platform is reached. This platform is 400 feet long with a tactile warning strip and has a simple, grey canopy structure that covers the middle-third of the platform. On each end of the structure are simple grey with white text Burlington signs.
The western end of the platform is nearly at the grade-crossing of Main Street. The only thing to keep people off the platform here is some ballast and a No Trespassing sign. Webb Avenue is parallel to the tracks opposite the platform with some grass between it and the station and also no fence. Accessing the 'restricted access' platform would be extremely easy by trespassing. The company shops station is surrounded by parking lots with 25 Amtrak Parking spaces and more for the buildings.
Across Main Street from the station is the original erected in 1892 large brick Victorian station. It was moved in the 1970s or 1980s from being trackside when Webb Avenue was moved and straightened. The Victorian station is owned by the Parks Department of Burlington. In front of it is a small red caboose Norfolk and Western Caboose #518654. It contains another small railroad exhibit.
All Photos Taken on 16 July, 2014