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Los Angeles Union Station turns 75 on May 3, and the celebration goes on all-month long. Union Station is the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States, with 70,000 people passing through daily.

It’s the hub for Metrolink, with lines coming in from the Antelope Valley and Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. 

Three Metro Rail lines serve Union Station: the Red Line (from North Hollywood), the Purple Line (Wilshire/Western) and Gold Line (Pasadena/East LA). 

With an adjacent transit plaza for buses, as well as bike amenities and Park & Ride facilities ($6 a day), it’s as vibrant today as it was 75 years ago.

Here, we take a look at what’s happening at the historic station serving Southern California since 1939...

 75th Anniversary Celebration & National Train Day, May 3

Join Metro, in partnership with National Train Day, Amtrak and Metrolink, on Saturday, May 3, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., to celebrate the station’s 75th anniversary.

 

In addition to train tours, model train displays, kid-friendly activities, live music and docent-supported architectural tours, the day includes:

  • Guided bike tour of street murals throughout neighboring artist communities, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; ride begins and ends at Union Station;
  • Free rides on Metrolink to the historic Glendale Southern Pacific Railroad Station,
  • Discounts at area eateries when you show your TAP card.

Union Station in Pop Culture –
a Quiz
 

1) Union Station is a popular filming location for TV, movies and commercials. Which one of these movies was not filmed at Union Station? (Answers at bottom of page.)
a. Catch Me If You Can
b. Planes, Trains and Automobiles
c. The Way We Were
d. Silver Streak
e. The Dark Knight Rises
f. Pearl Harbor
g. Speed

2) What LA neighborhood used to be where Union Station now stands?

3) What Chaka Khan music video was shot in Union Station in 1984?

4) What Cecil B. DeMille 1939 Western movie filmed on the very first railcar to leave Union Station on opening day?

Answers: 1) b, 2) Chinatown, 3) Through the Fire, 4) Union Pacific

For more about the anniversary celebration and train day, go to metro.net.

...And More Union Station Events in May

  • Metro Art Moves You tours—Docent led tours cover the art and architecture in Union Station, see schedule at metro.net/about/union-station (choose “events”).
  • Screening of The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound, May 31, 8-10 p.m. in Union Station’s Fred Harvey Room. This documentary is free (first come-first served) and includes a Q & A with the director.

Union Station—a Historical Perspective

Widely regarded as “the last of the great train stations,” in 1980, it was entered into the National Registry of Historic Places. To find out more…

  • A new Metro Moves Union Station video celebrates the 75th anniversary with a lively look at the station’s illustrious history—including its star-studded past, its impact on culture and even a peek at the future.
  • The Source is running a series of posts highlighting special moments in the station’s past, including a customer who was there on opening day in 1939, a peek at the Harvey House restaurant (made famous by the Judy Garland 1946 movie The Harvey Girls) and others, thesource.metro.net.
  • Podcast: Filming Over the Years at Union Station
    Union Station is quite the versatile filming location, playing parts ranging from, yes, a train station, to a bank, a police station, a dance club and more.