Jefferson City, MO (JEF)
Located along the Missouri River between the statehouse and the Governor’s Mansion, the station is housed in the 1855 Union Hotel, part of the Jefferson Landing Historic Site.
101 Jefferson Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2022): 25,190
- Facility Ownership: Missouri Department of Natural Resources
- Parking Lot Ownership: State of Missouri
- Platform Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
- Track Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
Please note that as of January 2020, the Jefferson City station has relocated to a temporary facility that is located along the boarding platform a half-block west of the regular Amtrak station, which closed for repairs in October 2019 at the direction of the building’s owner, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
The Jefferson City station is located below the bluffs near the Missouri River between the Missouri Statehouse and the Governor’s Mansion. Amtrak served the Missouri Pacific depot, two blocks east of the current location, from May 1971 until 1984, and the former Union Hotel since then.
The hotel is a rectangular three-story Federalist-styled structure on a slope facing the platform on the river side. The lower story is clad in a pale, rusticated stone, with the upper two stories being red brick. Open-gabled dormer windows pierce the longer sides of the gabled roof. The waiting room is located on the ground floor of the historic Union Hotel, part of the Jefferson Landing Historic Site. It is entered from the lower level and occupies the building formerly shared with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
The Missouri state capital was located in St. Louis when the Missouri Territory was organized in 1812, moving later to St. Charles in 1821. Legislators then decided to move the capital to mid-state on the Missouri River. The village of Cote Sans Sessein, at the confluence of the Osage and the Missouri, was initially considered. However, land speculation moved the location a few miles west to Lohman’s Landing. At first the legislature proposed the new town be called Missouriopolis, but later settled on Jefferson City, in honor of the American statesman and third U.S. President.
When the legislature first met there in 1826, the town was very small apart from the commercial and transportation hub formed around the riverboat landing. The first Capitol building, which also served as the Governor’s residence, burned in 1837 and a new Capitol building was erected a few blocks west in 1840, on the other side of Lohman’s Landing. In 1839, James A. Crump built what is now known as the Lohman Building, housing a grocery and later the Missouri House Hotel, which gained a reputation as a meeting place for rivermen and legislators.
In 1852, Charles Maus and his brother-in-law, Charles Lohman, bought part of Crump’s building for a general store. In response to the need for hotel accommodations, Maus built a hotel across the street from the Lohman Building in 1855, calling it the Missouri Hotel and later the Veranda Hotel. Upon returning home from the Civil War, Maus changed its name one last time to the Union Hotel, and this is the building holding the current train station.
The Pacific Railroad reached Jefferson City late in 1855. West from that point, the railroad was purposefully located away from the Missouri River to avoid competition with steamboat traffic. The Pacific Railroad itself established a fleet of 12 steamboats to connect with the trains at Jefferson City and transport passengers and freight on up the river to Kansas City and beyond. An advertisement of that period stated that at Jefferson City passengers could step from the train to the waiting steamboat and that by this route, the time from St. Louis to Kansas City had been cut to a mere 50 hours.
Rail overtook river trade; and into the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Union Hotel and Lohman Building were used as storage and tenements, and later as a factory and offices for Tweedie Shoe Company. The state acquired the property in the 1960s with the initial intent of razing the buildings for a parking lot. However, concerned citizens, led by Elizabeth Rozier, moved to preserve the buildings. The Lohman Building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969, and in 1974, the state’s bicentennial commission adopted the Jefferson Landing proposal as the state’s official bicentennial project. Three structures on the property—the Lohman Building, the Union Hotel and the Christopher Maus house next door to them—were restored. The Lohman Building was opened to the public on July 4, 1976 as the cornerstone of the Jefferson Landing Historic Site.
The Lohman Building features exhibits on the history of the capital and serves as a support facility for the Missouri State Museum, located on the main floor of the nearby Capitol. The Union Hotel has housed not only the Amtrak waiting room but the Elizabeth Rozier Gallery with programs of rotating exhibits emphasizing Missouri art and culture.
The Missouri Capitol, a few blocks to the west of the Jefferson Landing Historical Site, covers three acres and houses the two state legislative bodies as well as offices for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, State Auditor, and various administrative agencies. This present building is the sixth that the state has had and the third in Jefferson City. Built to replace a capitol that burned from being struck by lightning on February 5, 1911, this capitol building was completed in 1917 at a cost of $4,215,000, including the site and furnishings. The building is five stories high, 437 feet long, 300 feet wide in the center and 200 feet wide in its wings. The dome, which stands 238 feet high, is topped by a statue of Ceres, goddess of vegetation and the harvest.
Statuary is prominent on the Capitol grounds. Two heroic bronze figures, representing the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, together with a thirteen-foot statue of Thomas Jefferson dominate the south entrance. A bronze relief memorializing the signing of the Louisiana Purchase, by Livingston, Monroe and Marbois, and the Fountain of the Centaurs are the outstanding features on the north side of the grounds, facing the river.
On the east side, at the corner of Jefferson and Capitol Avenue and overlooking the station, stands the Lewis and Clark Monument at the Katy Trailhead Plaza. Heroic-sized bronze figures in a native stone and waterfall setting look out over the plaza to the Jefferson Landing and the Missouri River. Conceived by mid-Missouri sculptor Sabra Tull Meyer and funded by private commissions and contributions that also included Missouri school children’s donations, the sculpture commemorates the heroes of Jefferson’s Corps of Discovery, and the part Missourians played in the Lewis & Clark bicentennial across America. Public transportation enhancement funds and city matching funds were used for the trailhead plaza setting.
The plaza functions as a cyclists and hikers trailhead to eventually connect to the Katy Trail State Park Trail via a pedestrian bridge across the Missouri River. The five figures depicted are York, Lewis, Seaman (Lewis’ Newfoundland dog), Clark, and George Drouillard (their guide and interpreter). The plaza was dedicated on June 4, 2008, exactly 204 years after the explorers passed through the future site of the city. The Katy Trail was built on former railroad tracks and closely follows the Missouri River (east of Boonville) between Clinton and St. Charles, Mo., and connects at least approximately with all of the Missouri River Runner’s stops.
The Missouri River Runner is financed primarily through funds made available by the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Platform with Shelter
- ATM not available
- No elevator
- No Quik-Trak kiosks
- Unaccompanied child travel not allowed
- Vending machines
- No WiFi
- Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure
- Amtrak Express shipping not available
- No checked baggage service
- No checked baggage storage
- Bike boxes not available
- No baggage carts
- Ski bags not available
- No bag storage
- Shipping boxes not available
- No baggage assistance
- Same-day parking is available; fees may apply
- Overnight parking is available; fees may apply
- Accessible platform
- Accessible restrooms
- No accessible ticket office
- Accessible waiting room
- Accessible water fountain
- Same-day, accessible parking is available; fees may apply
- Overnight, accessible parking is available; fees may apply
- No high platform
- No wheelchair
- Wheelchair lift available