Opened in May 1939, Los Angeles Union Station is marked by colorful tiles, shady arcades, fountains and towering palms—the epitome of Southern California glamour.
Los Angeles, California
800 North Alameda Street Los Angeles Union Station Los Angeles, CA 90012
- Annual Station Revenue (2013)
- Annual Station Ridership (2013)
|Facility Ownership||Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority|
|Parking Lot Ownership||Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority|
|Platform Ownership||Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority|
|Track Ownership||Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority|
|1000 Long Term Parking Spaces||600 Short Term Parking Spaces||ATM|
|Accessible Payphones||Accessible Platform||Accessible Restrooms|
|Accessible Ticket Office||Accessible Waiting Room||Accessible Water Fountain|
|Baggage Storage||Bike Boxes||Checked Baggage|
|Dedicated Parking||Elevator||Elevator Accessible|
|Enclosed Waiting Area||Help With Luggage||Metrolink Kiosk|
|Parking Attendant||Quik Trak Kiosk||Restrooms|
|Shipping Boxes||Ticket Office||Wheelchair|
- Coast Starlight
- Pacific Surfliner
- Southwest Chief
- Sunset Limited
- Texas Eagle
(510) 238-2671 (ph)
Local Community Links:
- City of Los Angeles, CA
- Amtrak California
- Amtrak Texas Eagle
- Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)
Los Angeles' Union Station (LAUS) retains a history that rivals that of the city whose name it bears. With its grand opening in May of 1939, LAUS, originally known as the "Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal", was intended to serve as a consolidation of the two local railroad terminals and the railroads they had served (Southern Pacific, Union Pacific and Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe) with construction costs shared by these railroads. With Los Angeles in the midst of a population boom that began in the 1920s, the new station became a necessity. Shortly thereafter, World War II presented further opportunity for wide-scale use of the LAUS facilities for troop movement. As America's defense industries increased accordingly with the needs of the military, so did job opportunities in the Los Angeles area. LAUS was also utilized as a major hub through which these defense workers arrived in California.
The station that exists today was designed in part by John Parkinson and Donald Parkinson, the famous father and son duo who founded The Parkinson Firm of Los Angeles. Their combination of Spanish Colonial, Mission Revival and Art Deco designs was used to accentuate Los Angeles' personal history and heritage alongside its newly found modernity. The station itself is a reflection of the grandeur that is Los Angeles. In the waiting room, beautiful enclosed garden patios and courtyards made the wait for a train quite pleasant. Travelers who strolled to their trains along the terra cotta tiled floors with their inlaid marble strips would walk beside the extravagant interior walls that were designed with both travertine marble and early models of acoustical tiles. If passengers wish they can visit the famous Harvey House restaurant, located in the southern area of the main building. Designed by famous Southwestern architect Mary Coulter, the restaurant located at LAUS was the last of this line of restaurants to be constructed in a passenger terminal.
There was an increasing dependency on airline travel in the decades following World War II, which resulted in a decline in rail patronage in the 1950s and 60s. However, growing Amtrak and transit usage has led LAUS to be revitalized, allowing the station to once again serve as a major transportation hub for people from all over America. This newfound viability was due in part to the efforts of the Catellus Development Corporation. Originally developed in 1984 as the Santa Fe Pacific Realty Corporation and designed with the intent of handling all non-railroad real estate interests for the Santa Fe Industries and Southern Pacific Company, the company became Catellus in 1990, the same year that it purchased LAUS. Catellus has embarked on a major renovation project for LAUS.
The tile and marble used on both the walls and floors will undergo extensive rejuvenation, as will the station's brass chandeliers and wooden seats. The project also entails waterproofing and repairing interior and exterior lighting fixtures. Extensive landscaping undertaken for the station's courtyards and gardens adorning the waiting areas will remain a priority, so as to maintain these beautiful public areas.
LAUS is also improving its transportation efficiency. In response to varied congestion on the available tracks, the California Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration have adopted plans to create run-through tracks that will connect Union Station to nearby Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks. Also, the station became a host to the FlyAway Bus service in March 2006, carrying passengers between LAUS and Los Angeles International Airport. This station is also a hub for the Metrolink commuter train service and is a stop on the Red Line and Gold Line light rail service.
Outside of the station itself, Catellus has developed two new office towers and an apartment complex on the 51-acre site. Future plans for the site involve utilizing an additional 6.5 million square feet for development of office, retail, entertainment and residential space.
Today, LAUS is considered a national landmark, as well as a historic Los Angeles monument. Only serving to highlight its popularity, the station has been a background for numerous film and television productions.
On April 14, 2011, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) completed the purchase of LAUS for $75 million. The purchase, which includes 38 acres and 5.9 million square feet of development rights, will allow LACTMA to build on the property to meet the stations current and future transportation needs. Station use is expected to grow as a result of several factors, including the Regional Connector transit project through downtown, an expanding retail presence and future high-speed rail plans for the Los Angeles area.
The magnificent history of this station is fitting, seeing as it sits adjacent to the site of the original Los Angeles settlement, where the famous Olvera Street is located today. The city was founded in1781 by Felipe de Neve, a Spanish governor. The small pueblo, whose original title was "The Town of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of Porciúncula," consisted of 44 settlers of mixed cultural backgrounds. Control of Los Angeles would shift hands quite often. It remained under Spanish rule until 1821, when it became a part of Mexico following the Mexican secession from Spain. The Mexican hold over the California region was brief, as it came under the control of the United States in 1848 at the end of the Mexican-American War. The Los Angeles region become a population mecca in the 1920s, a cultural and media capital and current home to the nation's most notable entertainment companies.
Los Angeles is also the home to many of America's most notable landmarks, such as the Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame, the Chinese Theatre, and the Hollywood Bowl.
The Los Angeles facility has a waiting room, is staffed by Amtrak employees and is served by 36 trains a day.
Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner is primarily financed through funds made available by the California State Department of Transportation.