Officials Celebrate the Naming of the Thomas R. Carper Train Station in Newark

The Newark Regional Transportation Center was dedicated the Thomas R. Carper Train Station today at an event with local, state, and federal transportation leaders. U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) has long been an advocate for passenger rail, and has secured significant federal investments for Delaware’s transit and transportation systems through his work on historic infrastructure legislation like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) Deputy Secretary Shante Hastings, former DelDOT Secretary and current Federal Highways Administrator Shailen Bhatt, Amtrak President Stephen Gardner, State Senator David Sokola, State Representatives Paul Baumbach and Cyndie Romer, and University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis were all in attendance at the dedication to highlight the importance of Senator Carper’s work to invest in improvements to passenger service and revitalize this area of Newark.

“Senator Tom Carper has always been a faithful supporter of the University of Delaware and of our Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus, where the Thomas R. Carper Train Station is a key component in building a vibrant community of scholars, innovators and entrepreneurs,” said UD President Dennis Assanis. “It is entirely fitting that this station will bear the name of someone who played such a foundational role in helping us to realize our shared vision for the STAR Campus. We thank him for his service to the entire state of Delaware for the past 47 years.”  

“Renaming this train station is a deserved honor here in Delaware and is emblematic of the impact that Senator Carper has had on our national transportation system,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “Thanks to his leadership there are roads, bridges, rails, dams, and other critical infrastructure benefitting our communities and our country. He has been a transformational leader for us and a true bipartisan champion.”

“Senator Carper has been one of Amtrak’s biggest supporters throughout his career as a Congressman, Delaware’s Governor, a past Amtrak Board Member, and in the Senate. He has been a staunch advocate for improving the Northeast Corridor and investing in passenger rail across the nation so American travelers could reap the benefits of having rail as a convenient, sustainable, and comfortable travel option,” said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner. “Naming the Newark Train Station in honor of him is a perfect tribute to his leadership and legacy as a transportation visionary, a dedicated public servant, and an enthusiastic railfan.”

“It has been my honor to work for the state of Delaware to make it a better place to work and raise a family,” said Senator Carper. “When Newark was faced with the shuttering of the Chrysler plant, which at one time employed thousands of workers and provided good-paying jobs, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work on reimagining this area and bringing jobs back. We were able to do so in part because of this modern and accessible train station that allows passengers on both Amtrak and SEPTA to come here to work and learn. I am so proud that 3,000 employees and scores of students come to work here every day. This honor is undeserved, but not unappreciated!”

“Federal funding is critical as we continue to make significant investments in our transportation infrastructure,” said Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski. “We are grateful for Senator Carper’s support for the dozens of projects that we have sought federal funding for over the years and his advocacy for our state’s infrastructure needs.”

As a former chair of the Amtrak board and current chair of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee who commutes daily by train from Wilmington to Washington D.C., Senator Carper played a key role in securing funding for rail improvements throughout the Northeast corridor, including a $21 million restoration of the Wilmington Train Station, later named after President Joseph R. Biden, and $12.25 million in TIGER grants for the Newark station that will soon bear his name.

The Newark Regional Transportation Center brings together Amtrak and SEPTA trains, three bus services, walking and biking trails and plenty of motor vehicle parking to create a multi-modal hub immediately adjacent to the STAR Campus, which houses more than 30 companies and more than 1 million square feet of modern labs, classrooms, clinical space and offices. The Thomas R. Carper Train Station also is seen as a potential linchpin in any future plans to connect Pennsylvania-based SEPTA service with Maryland-based MARC regional rail or extend passenger rail from New Castle County to Kent and Sussex counties. 

Following three tours of duty as a naval flight officer during the Vietnam War, Senator Carper first came to Delaware in 1973 to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Delaware. Three years later, he was elected as Delaware’s state treasurer at the age of 29.

He went on to serve five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, two terms as governor, and four terms in the U.S. Senate. After winning more statewide elections than any other Delawarean in history, Senator Carper announced last spring his plans to retire from the U.S. Senate at the conclusion of his current term in January 2025.