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Union Station Celebrates 75 Years with National Train Day

photo credit: On Location in Los Angeles via photopin cc
photo credit: On Location in Los Angeles via photopin cc

This Saturday, May 3rd Los Angeles will celebrate the 75th birthday of lovely Union Station with National Train Day activities for train buffs (both kids and adults) between 10 am- 4 pm.

In addition to the extensive programming listed below, the day will feature more than a dozen acts – including music, dance and theater on multiple stages set up around Union Station. Performances by Las Cafeteras (Afro-Mexican Son Jarocho), Big Jay McNeely with Mark Tortorici & The Hollywood Combo (R&B), Dr. Pinch and the Pinchtones (WWII era swing) and Cava (ska, salsa, funk) are just some of the musical treats in store.

In addition, Cinco de Mayo celebrations and food will taking place across the street at Olvera Street, and Chinatown and Little Tokyo, both close by, will be open and ready for visitors looking for food.

A full schedule of the National Train Day activities are online, but here are some of the highlight for true train buffs:

10 am – Official Ceremony

Watch the rededication of the station at 10am in the historic ticket concourse area.

Chuggington™ Kids Depot

Free kid-friendly activities with Chuggington™, the hit preschool television series that follows the adventures of three young trainees as they learn to ride the rails.

Self-Guided Architectural Tours

Talk with Metro Art docents throughout the station to learn more about Union Station’s architecture, embellishments and artworks. Docents will be posted at the Old Ticket concourse, Waiting Room, Fred Harvey Room and Union Station East.

Model Train Displays

See N-scale model trains in action as Orange County N’gineers showcase their elaborate miniature railroads.

Amtrak Exhibits

Go behind the scenes of the passenger railroad for National Train Day.  See one-of-a-kind rail cars, learn how trains work and tour the Amtrak Exhibit Train.

View the historic cars on exhibit: 

GM&O 50 – Originally a 1927 business car for the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad; better known today as The Patrón Tequila Express.

Tioga Pass – Designed for railroad executives’ business travel, built in 1959.

Silver Splendor – Built in 1956 for travel on Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad’s Denver Zephyr line between Chicago and Denver.

Overland Trail – Built by Pullman Standard in 1949 for the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Acoma – Built for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway’s Super Chief line between Chicago and Los Angeles.

The Palm Leaf – Built in 1951 for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway’s Super Chief line between Chicago and Los Angeles.

National Forum  – Built by Pullman Standard in 1954 as a sleeper for the Union Pacific Railway.

Utah  – Parlor Cafe-Lounge car built in the 1950s and refurbished in 1988.

Colonial Crafts – Sleeper-lounge car built by Pullman Standard in 1949 for the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Montana  – Custom built by the Milwaukee Railroad shops in 1947 as a Tap Lounge car for the Olympian Hiawatha.

Busy this weekend? Think about supporting the Los Angeles Conservancy next weekend, May 17, 2014 for the Union Station 75th Anniversary Gala.

Union Station
photo credit: Jasperdo via photopin cc


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Julie Grist
Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.

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