Union Station

  • History
  • Projects

Los Angeles Union Station - History

Widely regarded as “the last of the great train stations,” Los Angeles Union Station is the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States.  For information on station amenities, events and transportation service, visit unionstationla.com.

Built in 1939, Union Station combines Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, Mission Revival and Streamline Moderne styles. The architecture team included John and Donald Parkinson who also designed Los Angeles City Hall and other city landmarks.

Originally intended as a transcontinental terminus station for the Union Pacific, Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railways, the station was a major hub for troop movement during World War II. With the advent of air travel, train service declined at depots across the nation – including Union Station.

The station’s historic 161,000 square foot terminal was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and the station was restored in 1992. Beginning in the 1970s, growing use of Amtrak and expansion of local and regional rail revitalized the station as a major transportation hub. Under the Alameda District Specific Plan adopted in 1996, the 47-acre Union Station property has six million square feet of development rights.

Metro acquired the station in 2011, managing the property that currently serves as a transportation hub for Metro, Metrolink, Amtrak and other transportation services as well an urban mixed-use development site. Adjacent downtown Los Angeles and El Pueblo, the stations’ close proximity to the Los Angeles Civic Center, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, the Arts District, Los Angeles River and Boyle Heights make it a favorite stop for Los Angeles visitors and locals alike. 

    Los Angeles Union Station - OverviewThe following are current improvement projects at LAUS:

    • Metro Bike Hub
      Design is underway for a Metro Bike Hub at Union Station.  The facility will provide 24/7 secure access, customer support, bike parts and accessory sales, repair services, clinics and a self-service bike repair stand with air pump.  The Metro Bike Hub is scheduled to open in Summer 2017.  

    • Metro Bike Share
      Metro Bike Share launched its Downtown Los Angeles Pilot in Summer 2016 with 750 bicycles and 61 stations.  One of the most actively used stations is located at Union Station

    • Los Angeles Union Station Forecourt and Esplanade Improvements
      Environmental Clearance is currently underway for the Los Angeles Union Station Forecourt and Perimeter Improvements (formerly the Stage One Perimeter Improvements of the Union Station Master Plan). The Los Angeles Union Station Forecourt Improvements reestablish the connection between Union Station and surrounding communities to provide a better passenger experience and connectivity for residents, visitors and workers in the Downtown area.

    • Cesar E. Chavez Av Bus Stop Improvement Project
      New transit and bike amenity improvements are underway along Cesar E. Chavez Avenue between Alameda Street and Vignes Street . The project is currently in the design phase and should start construction at the end of 2017.

    • Link US
      The Link Union Station (Link US) project, formerly known as the Southern California Regional Interconnector Project (SCRIP), is a Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) project designed to meet the long-term regional rail needs at Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) by allowing the station to function more efficiently and providing a better overall passenger experience.
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