Four Points Bulletin

Travels north, east, south, and west of our Oceanside home base.

Los Angeles Union Station is the largest railroad passenger terminal in the western United States. It serves about 110,000 passengers daily, and today was busier than usual as it hosted the Los Angeles Union Station Train Festival. This 52-acre transportation hub opened in 1939. It was designed by a father/son architect team, who blended Spanish colonial, mission revival and art deco architecture (known as mission moderne). The first part of our day included the two hour train journey to Union Station where we walked through the station to the miniature trains displays, noting the tiles, designs, chandeliers and amazing fonts along the route. There were four organizations that had their various scale trains proudly set up. I would say my favorite had to be Southern California Z Scale Model Railroading Group because that scale is so detailed, but then Orange County Module Railroaders, Inc. actually allowed children of all ages to operate (with supervision) their model trains. Right across the street from Union Station is Olvera Street, where we had a delicious Mexican lunch. When we returned to Union Station we got in line to see the big trains. Where we started the line there was a sign stating the wait was 90 minutes, but luckily it took us only 30 minutes to get through. There were various trains on display, including a Metrolink similar to the train we came in on (which we didn’t tour). It was interesting to see the Amtrak sleeper cars, because two people can sleep and sit comfortably in a fairly small private space (much better than sitting up all day and night like the people in coach). There were also vintage cars, like the Tioga Pass, built in 1959 for railroad executives, and the 1956 Pullman sleeping car, which is still in use today. The friendly man in the conductor hat pictured below is actually a train engineer, who currently drives the train at Knott’s Berry Farm! The highlight for most people was the 1927 Santa Fe 3751 steam locomotive, which was the very first steam locomotive to bring a passenger train into Union Station on opening day.

On our next visit to Union Station we will be taking part in an art and architecture tour. Today there was just way too much to see and do at Union Station. Luckily Metrolink offers weekend tickets for $10 for adults and kids under seventeen are free. You can’t beat a two hour train ride for a whole family for $20 round trip!

8 thoughts on “Los Angeles Union Station Train Festival

  1. Denise says:

    I love, love, love this. What great photos along with fantastic history. You find such fun stuff to do. Wow. A1 looks so happy to be there. Something for everyone it seems. Thank you for sharing. Maybe one day we’ll get there, too. It has been years since exploring LA. Hmmm.

    1. I remember you used to take exchange students to LA oh so long ago. It is fun to explore once in a while.

  2. Kimmie says:

    I love Union Station so pretty. What an awesome train day! Hope we get to ride some trains in Switzerland together someday soon! 😊

    1. Ugh. Can’t wait for that!

  3. Evelyn says:

    What another wonderful blog! Haven’t been to Union Station in years! Loved your beautiful photos!!

    1. Thank you! I can’t wait to go back.

  4. tagpipspearl says:

    That ceiling – wow! What a gorgeous building.

    1. It is really amazing. I wanted to do a building tour but we really didn’t have enough time with the train event. There are regular tours offered with the LA Conservatory that I would like to partake in!

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