Chicago Union Station Map
Chicagos Union Station is the third-busiest rail station in the U.S., with about 140,000 passengers passing through each day. Acquainting yourself with the layout of the station ahead of time will help. Study the map before taking off on a train trip with a Chicago layover. Youll feel more confident when you detrain and will be able to focus on having fun during your time in Chicago.
Inside the station, be sure to take in the Grand Staircases in the Great Hall, made famous by the movie The Untouchables. If youre a sleeping car or first-class passenger, spend some time relaxing in the Metropolitan Lounge located in the Grand Hall. Familiarize yourself with the Grand Hall and its location as this is where youll wait to board your connecting train. When its time to board, an Amtrak attendant will make the announcement for passengers to form a line, then youll follow the attendant to the correct boarding track.
Once youre comfortable getting around the station, its time to check your bags for your day in Chicago. Go to the Concourse level where youll find the baggage check. You can check your bags through to your next destination or leave them for the day, freeing you up to check out the city without lugging bags around.
Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise
Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Drive, ~8-minute drive from Union Station
Interested in Chicagos diverse and iconic architecture? Spend part of your layover on the Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise. Youll meet at the Southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Drive. Look for the blue awning marking the stairway entrance.
The cruise, which lasts an hour and 30 minutes, will treat you to a view of the city from the water aboard Chicagos First Lady. These cruises sell out quickly, so consider purchasing tickets in advance.
Wartime Decline And Resurgence
During World War II, Union Station was at its busiest, handling as many as 300 trains and 100,000 passengers daily, many of them soldiers. Illustrator Norman Rockwell captured this era with his cover painting for a December 1944 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, depicting the station jammed with Christmas travelers. After the war, the growth of highway construction and private ownership of automobiles caused a severe decline in American passenger-rail ridership, including at Union Station.
In 1969, the station’s owner demolished the concourse building, making way for a modern office tower. A new and modernized, though less grand, concourse was constructed beneath the tower. In May 1971, the national railroad Amtrak was formed to take over long-distance passenger train service, while commuter trains remained privately operated. In 1980, the station’s Fred Harvey restaurant experienced a large fire. The space was damaged, windows on Clinton Street were destroyed, and the space was left vacant since then.
In 1984, Amtrak bought out the shares of Chicago Union Station Company held by Burlington Northern and the Milwaukee Road, becoming sole owner of the station.
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Public Transportation To Chicago Union Station In Chicago
Looking for directions to Chicago Union Station in Chicago, United States?
Looking for the nearest stops closest to Chicago Union Station ? Check out this list of closest stops to your destination: Clinton & Jackson Jackson & Canal Canal & Adams Union Station Transit Center Adams & Canal Union Station Jackson & Chicago River Clinton-Blue Chicago Otc Clinton Washington/Wells.
You can also get to Chicago Union Station by Bus, Chicago ‘L’ or Train. These are the lines and routes that have stops nearby -Bus: 125, 126, 151, 28Train: MD-N, ME, RI, UP-N, UP-NWChicago ‘L’: BLUE LINE
We make riding on public transit to Chicago Union Station easy, which is why over 930 million users, including users in Chicago trust Moovit as the best app for public transit.
Ultimate Guide To Flixbus/flixtrain
Friends who live in Europe know that buses are currently one of the cheapest ways to travel in Europe. Flixbus is currently the largest long-distance bus company in Europe.
At present, Flixbus not only does business in popular tourist cities, but most of the large residential towns in Europe have bus stations, including Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Spain , Portugal, Hungary, Austria, Croatia, Belarus and other countries. Among them, the German route is the cheapest. Flixbus began to expand to the United States in 2018, and currently has thousands of sites in the United States….
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Metro Centre Redevelopment Proposal
During the early 1970s, Canada’s two major passenger railways, the Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National, were reducing their services to the bare minimum mandated under the Canadian Transport Commission, largely as a result of unsustainable losses caused by increased competition from new, subsidized four-lane highways and airports.
The third Union Station’s future was looking bleak by 1972, when both railways sought to increase return on their underutilized waterfront rail classification yards which was being viewed as valuable real estate. Both CN and CP began to abandon their extensive waterfront rail classification yards south of the passenger station to make way for urban redevelopment. The Gardiner Expressway project was constructed over part of the railway property and CN had proposed constructing a telecommunication tower .
CN and CPR proposed a “Metro Centre” development on the south side of Front Street on the site of Union Station and proposed to demolish the structure . The proposed Metro Centre development was strikingly similar to what occurred with New York City’s Penn Station and would have consisted of an underground fourth Union Station , a convention centre, a telecommunications tower, along with complementary office and retail developments. Local opposition to the proposal was successful in having the city council’s decision to support the Metro Centre development overturned and Union Station was saved.
A History Of Chicago Union Station
No other major U.S. city was served by so many passenger terminals as Chicago. Long regarded as the country’s rail hub nearly all of the major eastern, western, and southern trunk lines met in the Windy City to exchange freight and passengers.
Interestingly, no centralized union station was ever conceived although groups of carriers allied together and eventually built six different facilities including:
- Dearborn Station
- Northwestern Station
- Chicago Union Station
The latter terminal had two predecessors before the current building was completed. According to Brian Solomon’s book, Railroad Stations, the first was opend in 1858 but alas destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.
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Baggage And Cargo Services
Amtrak allows carry-on baggage on all routes services with allow checked baggage at selected stations. With the passage of the in 2010 passengers are allowed to put lawfully owned, unloaded firearms in checked Amtrak baggage, reversing a decade-long ban on such carriage.
The cargo service provides small-package and less-than-truckload shipping between most Amtrak stations that handle checked baggage . Cargo travels alongside checked luggage in baggage cars. Service and hours vary by station, limited by available equipment and staffing. Nearly all stations with checked baggage service can handle small packages, while large stations with forklifts can handle . Amtrak Express also offers station-to-station shipment of human remains to many cities.
Who Is Eligible For Lounge Access
- Amtrak Guest Rewards members traveling with a same-day Amtrak ticket and valid Select Plus or Select Executive member card.
- Amtrak passengers with a same-day travel ticket in First Class or sleeping car accommodations.
- Amtrak Business class passengers with a same-day travel ticket may use the lounges in Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland and St. Louis.
- Complimentary Single-Visit Station Lounge Pass holders may access ClubAcela, Metropolitan Lounge and Unstaffed Lounge locations.
- Private car owners/lessee and party between time of arrival and departure specified in the reservation. Provide your reservation number to the Amtrak representative upon entry.
- Due to space restrictions, private car owners and their groups are not permitted in the Los Angeles – Union Station Metropolitan Lounge.
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Chicago Union Station Power House
Chicago was once the railroad center of the nation, linked to a network of substantial passenger and freight railroads, many crisscrossing the country through our city, and often terminating at one of the great railway stations. These railroad structures, terminals, power plants, office buildings and stations at one time dotted downtown Chicago and its perimeter. Since the 1970s, many of these buildings have been lost to demolition. With those losses, our Citys strong connection to the railroads, and its shared history, has been almost completely obliterated.
The iconic and austere, Chicago Union Station Power House is truly a significant building, worthy of preservation, protections and reuse, with its streamlined Art Moderne/Art Deco facades and smokestacks. The building exemplifies the story of Chicagos growth as a railroad and transportation center beginning in the pioneering days of the 1850s.
Today, most of Chicagos grand terminal train stations have been demolished, including:
Two Hours At/near Union Station
my friends train arrives two hours after mine. any suggestions where i might hang out for those two hours? lunch, coffeenearby?
10 replies to this topic
On the mezzanine level. There are still a few kiosks open. Willis tower foos court 2 blocks away.
thanks all. can i just sit and have coffee at these restaurants? or something small? i want to save my appetite for lunch with my friend.
Lou Mitchell’s is the only place where you might get the side-eye hanging out for a couple hours with just a coffee…it is a diner. The other places are grab-and-go / food court type places.
Starbucks right across the street. A few blocks over is olgilvy station that has a food court.
Lou Mitchells has counter space as well as tables but they also work on the basis of quick turnover – sitting there for two hours with a cup of coffee isnt the thing to do there.
Ive walked through Union Station and seen people sitting in the Great Hall.
Ive never been there, but Google maps shows a place called Dark Matters Coffee bar on Jackson between Jefferson and DesPlaines.
If you walk east across the river you will probably have more options.
There is a Starbucks in Union Station but I think the one that was on Adams a block or so west closed.
French market is a food court so yes you can sit there for hours with a coffee.
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How Do You Get From Chicago Airport To Union Station
Although taking the train is a great budget option, there’s no direct train from Chicago airport to Union Station, you will first need to take the CTA Blue Line train to Clinton Station in downtown DC and then walk 5 miutes to Union Station. The total journey time will be around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Other Famous Chicago Terminals
Chicago served so many railroads that even if every major system had agreed upon one, massive centralized union station it likely would never have been feasible. As it were, six prominent facilities sprang up around the city.
Along with Chicago Union Station these included Dearborn Station, Grand Central Station, North Western Terminal, Central Station, and LaSalle Street Station.
Interestingly, while Union Station often earns the most recognition, Dearborn actually witnessed more usage with several major railroads calling there.
Alas, today all of these magnificent facilities are mere shadows of their former selves, altered in some manner through either demolition or adaptive reuse.
North Western Terminal
Sometimes referred to as North Western Station this facility was Chicago & North Western’s primary terminal in the Windy City until the railroad finally discontinued all passenger and commuter services during the 1970s.
Designed by architects Frost & Granger in the Renaissance Revival style it opened for service in 1911 and replaced Wells Street Station.
The new facility was located at Madison and Canal Streets featuring five beautiful Corinthian columns on the main façade flanked by decorative clocks above them.
Inside was the building’s main concourse along with dressing rooms, baths, and a doctor’s office. The main waiting room was roughly 200 feet long featuring an 84-foot, barrel-vaulted ceiling.
LaSalle Street Station
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Austria Germany And Switzerland
In German-speaking countries, the similar term Gemeinschaftsbahnhof is used in administrative language only it applies for stations with joint facilities as well as for stations with side-by-side facilities some border stations also fall under that term. The general public often call them “Hauptbahnhof” , but this is a misnomer, as stations administratively classified as “Hauptbahnhof” need not be served by multiple operators.
Many major stations in Germany are served by various trains operated by incumbent Deutsche Bahn and other railways that operate local passenger trains, sometimes also by railway companies of neighbor states that operate trans-border connections a special term like union station is usually not used. The stations are generally owned and operated by DB Station& Service.
As another example, Leipzig Hauptbahnhof, the main station of Leipzig, originally consisted of side-by-side parts that were used by the Prussian and Saxonian Railways until the federal Deutsche Reichsbahn was founded in 1920, but were essentially two stations operated separately by the two neighbors.
Entertainment And The Arts
The performs at , and is recognized as one of the best orchestras in the world. Also performing regularly at is the , a more diverse and multicultural counterpart to the CSO. In the summer, many outdoor concerts are given in and . , located 25 miles north of Chicago, is the summer home of the CSO, and is a favorite destination for many Chicagoans. The is home to the . The was founded by in 1956, and presents operas in .
Other live-music genre which are part of the city’s cultural heritage include , , , and . The city is the birthplace of and , and is the site of an influential . In the 1980s and 90s, the city was the global center for house and industrial music, two forms of music created in Chicago, as well as being popular for , , and . The city has been a center for culture, since the 1980s. A flourishing independent rock music culture brought forth Chicago . feature various acts, such as and the . A 2007 report on the Chicago music industry by the ranked Chicago third among metropolitan U.S. areas in “size of music industry” and fourth among all U.S. cities in “number of concerts and performances”.
Chicago contains a number of large, outdoor works by well-known artists. These include the , , and by , by , by , by , by , by , and the mosaic by .
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