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Delaware Senate Democrats

Lawmakers file bill to name Newark Regional Transportation Center after U.S. Sen. Tom Carper

April 16, 2024

DOVER – Newark residents and visitors may soon catch their next train at the Thomas R. Carper Station under legislation filed in the State Senate on Tuesday.

“Perhaps no one is more deserving of a lasting tribute like this than Sen. Carper, a devout public servant who has worked tirelessly to better our state and our nation for nearly five decades,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Dave Sokola, the Senate prime sponsor of Senate Bill 276.

“For as long as I’ve known him, Sen. Carper has advocated for the tremendous public good that gets created when we invest in our infrastructure, support job creation and connect our communities,” he said. “The new train station under construction in Newark will soon do all three by creating a transportation hub right next to one of Delaware’s most exciting hubs of innovation, which is why naming this new facility in honor of Sen. Carper is so fitting.”

Following three tours of duty as a naval flight officer during the Vietnam War, Sen. 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, Sen. Carper announced last spring his plans to retire from the U.S. Senate at the conclusion of his current term.

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., Sen. 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 will bring 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 future Senator Thomas R. Carper 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.  

In addition to Sen. Sokola, five other Newark-area legislators have signed on as prime sponsors of SB 276, including Senate Majority Leader Bryan Townsend, Sen. Jack Walsh, Rep. Cyndie Romer, Rep. Paul Baumbach and Rep. Ed Osienski.

“From protecting our environment, to strengthening our transportation systems, to mentoring the next generations of Delaware’s leaders, Senator Carper has contributed immensely to our state and nation through his decades of public service,” said Rep. Cyndie Romer, the House prime sponsor of SB 276. “Naming this train station in honor of Senator Carper not only serves as a tribute to his public service but also celebrates the station’s important role within our transportation network.”

SB 276 has been assigned to the Senate Executive Committee.