Union Station – Plans For The Future

Union+Station+-+Plans+For+The+Future

Austin Gilmore, Staff Writer

Union Station, located in St. Louis, Missouri is a 125 years old railroad station that was once the world’s largest and busiest train station. It opened officially on September 1, 1894, and the station at the time had 22 to 27 railroad lines to bring people from from all across America to and from  St. Louis. But in the 1950’s the arrival of air travel decreased the travel time from place to place faster than railroads. The worst hit to Union Station came in 1971 when a takeover by Amtrak reduced train departures to only 3 per day. The last train to depart from Union Station was a Chicago bound Inter-American on October 31,1978. The station closed down with Amtrak moving 1 block east to present-day Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center.

Lots of new things are happening to Union Station, but it still remains the old and historic train station with unique and special attractions in St. Louis, Missouri. ”

In 1985 renovations turned Union Station into a hotel with a shopping mall, food courts, and restaurants. Union Station transformed from iconic train station into one of the most visited attractions in St. Louis. The hotel was housed in the train shed, which now also houses a lake, entertainment, and dining establishments.

But today, Union Station is getting renovated again. There are plans for a 75,000 square foot,  $45 million aquarium which is expected to be completed by fall of 2018. Along with the aquarium, there are plans for a 200 foot Ferris Wheel which will contain 42 enclosed gondolas with seating for 8 adults. There will be 1 VIP gondola that will have leather bucket seats, a stereo system, and a glass floor.

There are also changes coming to the walking grounds outside the station. The plans include light shows and a fountain with a fire show at the small lake.There is a design to have a Gateway Light Tunnel, and a 3-D animation above the lake and on the hotel’s facade. The hotel is also getting renovated with the addition of 48 hotel rooms, adding the current hotel rooms up to 587. The new rooms are expected to have train-themed decorations and overlook a train track.

I asked someone what they think about the renovation plans for the old station. They told me “ I have been to Union Station at least once every year. Now that they are remodeling it, I bet a lot of attention will be brought to the light shows, the ferris wheel, and the new rooms here at the station. I can not wait to go check it out once it is complete.”

Lots of new things are happening to Union Station, but it still remains the old and historic train station with unique and special attractions in St. Louis, Missouri. Over 125 years ago Union Station was born, and although it has transformed several times over its existence, it is still a national landmark of the United States of America.