Comments and photographs by Noel T. Braymer
The main buildings of the historic Los Angeles Union Station are being preserved and restored as part of a major upgrade of the station. This will turn it into a major transportation hub not only for Los Angeles but also for all of Southern California. With this will come major new construction and demolition of many existing structures at and around Union Station. The following is a visual presentation of how things look now and what is planned in the future at Los Angeles Union Station.
This view from LA Metro from the west looking east at Union Station as of 2012. Major changes are planned with the High Speed Rail platforms being build east of the current Union Station site. On the west side of Union Station, parking in front of the station is planned to be removed, a new drive way for buses and parking built and a major hotel built at the station. A new concourse with natural sunlight will replace the existing tunnels under the platforms and a new, larger double decked bus station built along side what is now the Gold Line. Plenty of new commercial development is also planned to make Union Station a destination.
This is the view from the east side of Union Station looking across Vignes Steet. This is the location of the future underground platforms for High Speed Rail. As you can see the site is already occupied. That big red building is part of the city of Los Angeles’s Piper Technical Center which is home of many of the city’s services including city archives and the Police Department’s heliport.
This drawing shows the plans for the new concourse. This will handle many more people than is possible now and allow direct connections between Light Rail on tracks 1 and 2 to the subway station. Also many more concession and services will be available in the open space under the station tracks and platforms. Looking to the right at the east end of the station property is the outline in white of the Piper Technical Center.
In this view we see much the same as the image above. But now with the construction of the High Speed Rail underground platforms and some new commercial buildings east of the current station site on mostly City of Los Angeles Land. A good part of the Piper Technical Center would be gone with this plan.
This shows the area on the east side of Vignes St. including this Denny’s Restaurant. Looking at the graphic above this picture you can see where this Denny’s is now, future plans call for a major office and retail building.
This show plans by LA Metro to redo the entrance at Union Station. The streets in front of the station will have fewer traffic lanes and more room for pedestrians and bicyclists. Parking in the front of the station will be removed and most of the auto traffic will be rerouted away from Alameda St.
This is the north end of the parking at the west side of LAUS. The parking will be replaced with a “Forecourt”. The apartment building on the LAUS property in the background will be torn down for major changes to the station including a station hotel.
Here is another view of the future plans for the west end of LAUS. This shows the location of the station hotel and the plans that require the removal of the apartments. This includes a Bike Shop and a diagonal walkway/ bike path to the east side of the station which will be elevated over the station platforms.
This LA Metro drawing shows the plans including a new double deck bus station at Union Station. Bus traffic will flow between Caesar E. Chavez Ave at the north and the El Monte Busway at the south end. In blue are some of the sites planned to have major commercial development.
This is the current bus station at the East Entrance of Union Station.
This is an artist’s conception of what the new bus station will look like.
This is the view from platform 1 of part of the site of the future bus station today.
This is the estimate of the growth of ridership at Los Angeles Union Station compared to with the past and present.
This is the view of the finished product for the planned future of Los Angeles Union Station by LA Metro. This shows the scale of the new buildings planned for the site. This shows the network of planned elevated pedestrian/ bicycle paths at the station. This also shows part of the new run through tracks entering Union Station at the south end of the station. The run through tracks are central to increasing train capacity and expanded ridership at Union Station. Constructions of the run through tracks or SCRIP is expected to be finished by 2020. No timeline has been given so far of when much of the work for the rebuilding of Union Station will be finished. But the construction of the run through tracks will require closing off the existing tracks and elevating them to clear the 101 Freeway it will go over. It would be less disruptive to rebuild the concourse at the same time as building the run through tracks than to do them separately. This major project will be on going for many years no doubt in the future. Plans are to bring High Speed Rail to LAUS by 2029.