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Author Topic: Union Station Los Angeles
sbalax
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All--

Today's (Sunday, 11/24/13) Los Angeles Times TRAVEL section has a nice feature article about LAUPT and the surrounding area.

I don't know if it can be viewed on the website or not. Registration or payment may be necessary.

Frank in sunny, clear and cool SBA

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Ocala Mike
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Here's the link:

http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-postcards-from-the-west-union-station-20131121-dto,0,87377.htmlstory#axzz2lavZJzcj

I like the line in the article "...more interested in making money on freight." So, why wouldn't they be?

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sbalax
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Thanks for posting the link, Mike.

I really like the picture of the interior of the former Harvey House. If I recall correctly, the flooring in the Indian rug motif is inlaid linoleum.

Frank in sunny but cool SBA

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dilly
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My second favorite station in the nation, after Grand Central Terminal.

Whenever I'm in L.A., without fail, I always spend an hour or so sitting in the waiting room and the courtyard outside (even when I'm not catching a train). I find it very peaceful.

During the 1970s, it was usually so deserted that I half-expected to see tumbleweeds drifting through. Since then, passenger traffic has picked up remarkably -- it's now 10 times what it was in its golden heyday.

Which is especially wondrous in a car-centric place like Los Angeles.

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Geoff Mayo
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quote:
Originally posted by dilly:
Whenever I'm in L.A., without fail, I always spend an hour or so sitting in the waiting room and the courtyard outside (even when I'm not catching a train). I find it very peaceful.

It is surprising how tranquil the courtyards are, given the hubbub inside.

While it's not exactly my favourite station, it is nonetheless something to appreciate in the modern world. The timeline is interesting: something that provokes me into researching more.

Thanks for the link, Frank/Mike.

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Geoff M.

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Railroad Bob
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Good to see the place has become so active in our modern era. Old heads pine for the days of the SP, UP and ATSF running their streamliners and heavyweights in and out of the LAUPT, but Amtrak and Metrolink are still proudly flying their flags!

Like Dilly said, it was pretty dismal in the 70s to the 80s. I recall homeless persons camped in the corners back then; also really poor low level lighting. Not clean and ancient public restrooms; there was a "communal electric shaver" in the main Men's room. It sat under purple flickering UV light, in order to make the patrons think it was "disinfected." It's gone now, haha.

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Geoff Mayo
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The article makes mention of 15 trains in and 15 trains out from 1967. However, just before Metrolink in 1992, how many trains were running? Just the Amtrak LDs - Starlight, Desert Wind, Southwest Chief, Sunset Ltd?

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Geoff M.

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Gilbert B Norman
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On A-Day, there was the Chief, Daily, two San Diegans, Daily, Tri-Weekly nameless that was through from San Diego to Seattle, Four weekly nameless to Oakland, and Sunset, then as now Tri-Weekly.

All told, four and two thirds a day.

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PullmanCo
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Uhhh. NO.

ATSF 19 and 20, the Chief, was approved by the ICC for train-off in 1968.

ATSF 17 and 18, the Super Chief/El Capitan was the Santa Fe flagship train running on A-Day.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Well, actually the joker is on the both of us, Mr. Pullman.

Referring to the May 1, 1971 Amtrak timetable, all trains were nameless beyond Metroliner and Turbo. Therefore my posting should be perfected to read:

  • On A-Day, all trains lost their names and as such there was one Daily to Chicago, two to San Diego, Daily, a Tri-Weekly that was through from San Diego to Seattle, a Four weekly nameless to Oakland, and , then as now, a Tri-Weekly to New Orleans.

POSTING RETRACTED; factually incorrect - GBN

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palmland
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GBN, My TT of 5/1/71 page 24 says Trains 17 and 18 - 'Super Chief - El Capitan' with coaches, lounges, diners, sleepers. Apparently more than the one lounge and diner so I guess it really was a continuation of the those two trains - separate but equal.
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Geoff Mayo
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Thanks for the 1971 version. I forgot Historical Amtrak Timetables Museum so I will attempt to answer my own question. The one thing I'm not sure about is whether there was any commuter service not listed in the Amtrak timetables in 1990.

So:
1/2 Sunset Ltd thrice weekly (with 21/22 Texas Eagle)
3/4 Southwest Chief
35/36 Desert Wind (daily?)
11/14 Coast Starlight
9x San Diagans in each direction

Total: up to 26, not counting empty stock to/from the yards. I don't know how the "through" San Diegans (where LAX was an intermediate rather than origin/destination stop) would be counted under the original article.

I count approximately 88 Metrolink arrivals into LAX these days, plus 2-3 LD Amtraks. I'm not sure whether Surfliner is included in the Metrolink schedules - if not, add another dozen or so.

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Geoff M.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Reviewing Mr. Alweg's related topic, it would appear that Penn Station (NYP) and Union Station (LAX) have much in common - along with the likes of Five Points in Atlanta, Metro Center in Wash, and Times Square in NY.

The only difference is that in the other venues, they have fewer of the 'local color and fragrances'. Funny, but I always thought that LA, where I haven't been near in over 22 years, was known for its no-nonsense and effective policing; albeit with civil rights not exactly front and center.

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Gilbert B Norman
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I have marked my obviously ioncorrect posting as retracted; however, I will not kill it as that would represent a burial of my mistakes.

I reviewed the schedule columns and saw no mention of train names. I also review the 'equipment' for 11-14, 98-99 and saw no mention of names. From that, I made my false conclusion.

Now regarding the Amtrak Super Chief, the separate Dining and Lounge cars did continue into the Amtrak era, and provided a level of Dining service not seen elsewhere on Amtrak. I believe they lasted until the 1974 demise of the Super, when Amtrak, at Santa Fe's request, agreed not to use that name any further.

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PullmanCo
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Well, the San Diegans, which were a remnant of 5 a day service in the 50s as I recall, were also the beginning of LA-SD interurban commuter service as the route knows it today...

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The City of Saint Louis (UP, 1967) is still my standard for passenger operations

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PullmanCo
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Actually, I was a member of Pacific Railroad Society back then.

I remember an article "Memories of a Domeliner, The Last City of Los Angeles", posted in a late 1971 Wheel Clicks (their journal).

The authors took the Super out to San Berdoo the night before, and had a steak dinner on the way out. They explicitly called it the Super. IIRC they noted the only difference was a note at each table that the train was operated by the ATSF under contract to Amtrak.

The next morning they took the last City from Berdoo back to LAUPT.

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The City of Saint Louis (UP, 1967) is still my standard for passenger operations

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