Dallas, TX (DAL)
Opened in 1916, the Beaux-Arts Union Station was renovated to serve as an events space and intermodal center. It is used by DART light rail, TRE commuter trains, local buses and Amtrak.
400 South Houston Street
Dallas, TX 75202
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 42,118
- Facility Ownership: City of Dallas
- Parking Lot Ownership: City of Dallas
- Platform Ownership: City of Dallas
- Track Ownership: City of Dallas, Union Pacific Railroad
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
Dallas Union Station is one of four train stations in Texas that were designed by Jarvis Hunt. Built between 1914 and 1916 in the Beaux-Arts style, this station was intended to secure a union terminal for the seven railroads then serving the city. The station officially opened on October 14, 1916, and was designed to handle 50,000 passengers a day and 80 trains a day once passed through it.
The last privately-operated passenger train left Union Station on May 31, 1969, making Dallas the first major city in the United States to lose rail passenger service. While Amtrak began operating the majority of the nation’s intercity passenger trains in 1971, it did not start serving Dallas until March 1974, with the introduction of the Inter-American (St. Louis-Laredo). The Dallas Union Terminal Company was dissolved on March 13, 1974, and the station and yards were sold to the city of Dallas.
Dallas Union Station was renovated in 1978 by Woodbine Development and included the construction of the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Reunion Tower as part of an urban redevelopment project. As part of the complex, the station’s concourse and overhead walkways were removed and the remaining tracks were made accessible by a tunnel with elevators and stairways. The walls of the climate-controlled tunnel are decorated with pictures of the history of the station and downtown Dallas, connecting the station with the hotel and tower.
A second renovation, along with those of the Hyatt Regency and the Tower, was completed in 2008 at a cost of $23 million. The station now provides unique event venues, featuring catering by the Wolfgang Puck group, which also owns the restaurant atop the Tower. The venue provides a grandly decorated space with 48-foot ceilings and arched windows overlooking Ferris Plaza, and is connected to the Hyatt Regency via a climate-controlled tunnel. In addition to providing an underground connection, the station platforms can also be accessed from the tunnel. The renovation was not intended as a restoration to the station’s original appearance and function, for while paint, tiles, and flooring match the originals, walls were removed to open up the interior space; and the kitchen and restrooms were updated.
Today Union Station serves as an intermodal station, offering connections to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail, Trinity Railway Express commuter trains and local bus lines. The light rail station opened on June 14, 1996.
Dallas, the third largest city in Texas after Houston and San Antonio, was originally inhabited by the Caddo tribes. The area was under Spanish rule for over 300 years until 1836, when the Republic of Texas broke from Mexico. John Neely Bryan, thinking to start a trading post in the area, surveyed the Dallas area in 1839 as the Caddo trails intersected at one of the few natural fords along the floodplain. Bryan returned home to Arkansas, and when he came back with his wife and family in late 1841, the Native Americans had been removed by treaty, so he shifted plans to creating a permanent settlement. In 1844, the blocks and streets of a half square mile of land near the present downtown were laid out. The settlement was named somewhat ambiguously after someone Bryan knew, named Dallas, possibly George M. Dallas, whose family originated in Dallas, Scotland. The city was chartered by the state legislature on February 2, 1856.
A utopian community of European artists and musicians settled nearby in 1855, called La Reunion. When that venture collapsed after two hard years, many of the artists moved to Dallas, where they established a cultural base that is still reflected in the neighborhoods of Deep Ellum and lower Greenville Avenue. The area where Union Station is located takes its name from this historical community.
In 1861, Dallas County voted overwhelmingly in favor of secession from the Union; it saw little action of the American Civil War, and so was undamaged. Reconstruction, however, brought its own challenges.
When Bryan came to settle Dallas, he thought of the Trinity River as a potential conduit for trade. However, the water flow was undependable and full of snags and barriers to navigation, and over the years, had proven impossible to navigate for the purposes of commerce. It required the arrival of the railroads after the war to bring greater growth. In 1873, the Houston and Texas Central Railroad (east-west) and the Texas and Pacific Railway (north-south) intersected in the city, and Dallas’ population doubled that same year. In 1880, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad reached town. Cotton crops were then more easily shipped on tracks now owned by Union Pacific (UP). By the turn of the century, Dallas was the leading book, drug, jewelry, and wholesale liquor market in the southwestern U.S., as well as a center of trade in cotton, grain, and buffalo. It also became the world’s leading inland cotton market.
Transitioning into the 20th century, Dallas turned from an agricultural center into a hub of banking, insurance, and fashion retailing – the last epitomized by the founding of Nieman-Marcus. When Columbus Marion Joiner struck oil 100 miles east of Dallas in 1930, despite the onset of the Great Depression, Dallas became a financial center for the oil industry in Texas and Oklahoma, which put off the effects of that downturn for a year or more.
A version of the integrated circuit was invented in Dallas by Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments in 1958, and in the 1950s and 1960s, Dallas became the third-largest technology center in the country. However, many know Dallas’ downtown, a few blocks northwest of Union Station, as the site of President Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963 in Dealy Plaza.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the booming telecom industry and a real estate boom came to Dallas, the latter producing the city’s distinctive skyline, including the Bank of America Plaza, the tallest in Dallas. However, a recession brought on by failures in the savings and loan banking industry resulted in the scrapping of plans for many more civic structures. A temporary reprieve came with the dot-com boom, and its bust also took a toll. However, the Dallas uptown is now one of the hottest mixed-use real estate markets in the country with the repurposing of office buildings as residences, and the downtown Arts District is expected to become a center of major growth for the city.
Amtrak provides both ticketing and baggage services at this facility, which is served by two daily trains.
- 20 Short Term Parking Spaces
- 20 Long Term Parking Spaces
- Accessible Payphones
- Accessible Platform
- Accessible Restrooms
- Accessible Ticket Office
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Accessible Water Fountain
- Baggage Storage
- Bike Boxes
- Checked Baggage
- Dedicated Parking
- Elevator Accessible
- Enclosed Waiting Area
- Help With Luggage
- Pay Phones
- Quik Trak Kiosk
- Shipping Boxes
- Ticket Office