Over the last two months since we found out that some very exciting upgrades were coming to Union Station in Downtown LA, work has been humming along with construction upgrades to the station including: the addition of new wayfinding signage; major touch-up work like fresh paint on walls and floors getting a beautiful shiny glossy polish; and other restoration work that’s really producing some very exciting and dramatic results. Part of the wayfinding signage program being implemented even includes a new towering interactive kiosk in the east portal section of the station and new large digital schedule screens for Amtrak and Metrolink.
Built in 1939, the current busiest rail station west of Chicago had gone through major decline post WWII (like most rail stations in the country including the venerable Grand Central Terminal in NYC) but was slowly brought back to life as Union Station once again became the hub for our then-fledgling rail network here in Los Angeles with the introduction of metro rail and Metrolink in the early 90s. Today, the station is busier than ever serving as the true hub of our expanding mass transportation system in Southern California with connections to Amtrak, Metrolink, and Metro’s Red, Purple, and Gold Lines, as well as countless local and express bus service including the popular LAX FlyAway shuttle that takes passengers conveniently to their terminal.
These much needed upgrades are part of the short-term upgrades and will eventually be followed in the next decade by major long-term changes as part of the Union Station master plan. Nevertheless, even the short-term upgrades being implemented right now have really given the grand station a rejuvenated appearance. Enough so to hopefully instill pride in Angelenos and encourage more transit use in a Los Angeles that’s undergoing major urban revitalization.
The perfect opportunity to show off all these exciting new changes will take place next Saturday on May 3, 2014, when Union Station will be celebrating its 75th anniversary since its inception in 1939. For more info on this free family fun event that’s not to be missed, click here!