Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Union Station’

80th Anniversary of LAUS Set for This Weekend

May 1, 2019

The 80th anniversary of the opening of Los Angeles Union Station will be observed with various events on May 3 and 4.

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to have cultural displays, concerts, guided tours, arts and crafts, model train exhibits, train memorabilia, live music and family activities.

A kickoff event will held on May 3 in the station breezeway at 12:30 p.m., featuring bands playing music from the 1920s to 1950s.

Special menus will be featured by restaurants located in the passenger concourse on Friday and Saturday.

Events set for Saturday include live performances, arts and crafts, and a kid’s zone from Griffith Park’s Travel Town featuring toy trains and tracks. There will also be food trucks, local artisans, and a display of model train equipment by Del Oro Pacific Model trains.

Those events will begin at 11 a.m. Live entertainment will featured between 3:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. in the ticket concourse.

Tour guides will be on hand to discuss the station’s architectural features.

LAUS is Amtrak’s largest rail terminal in West. It opened May 3, 1939, and cost $11 million to construct.

It was designed by the father-and-son architectural team of John and Donald Parkinson and sports a blend of Spanish Colonial, Mission Revival, and Art Deco features now known as Mission Modern.

California Shows Off New Chargers

October 10, 2018

California officials and Amtrak recently showed off the livery to be used on the 14 new Charger locomotives that are being assigned to Pacific Surfliner service.

The locomotives and their livery were introduced at a ceremony at Los Angeles Union Station that was sponsored by the California Department of Transportation, Amtrak and the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency.

The units were built by Siemens in Sacramento, California, and have received the Tier IV emissions certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, making the Charger one of the cleanest diesel-electric passenger locomotives in operation.

Caltrans funded the locomotives with $100 million in state, federal and local funds. The Chargers will replace Amtrak-owned locomotives that are nearly 20 years old.

Amtrak Routes Said to be Eyed by Terrorists

August 20, 2017

Amtrak’s Empire Builder and Lake Shore Limited might be targeted by terrorist groups the Transportation Security Administration has warned.

The TSA has told mass transit agencies, freight, and passenger rail lines to be vigilant in the wake of a propaganda video released by the terrorist group Al Qaeda.

TSA said there are no known plots against transportation operations in the United States, but that the terrorist group has listed dozens of rail routes that it considered to be vulnerable.

Many of those routes serve Chicago Union Station. Al Qaeda listed the Chicago-New York Lake Shore Limited and the Chicago-Seattle/Portland Empire Builder.

“The Al-Qaeda video is an important reminder that mass transit, passenger-rail, and freight-rail operations are a potential target for terrorist activity,” TSA officials said.

The federal agency said employees should keep a close watch on their environments and to exercise caution with equipment and materials that could be used to obstruct or derail trains.

Transportation officials has indicated that airport-style screening systems are unlikely to become common in rail transportation, including mass transit lines, but testing is being conducted of systems that would enhance existing security measures.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Los Angeles conducted a test run of new technology designed to scan passengers to detect firearms or explosive vests.

“While we’ll never become a fully secured environment like you’d have in the airport, we do want to find a way to more effectively screen passengers,” Metro security executive Alex Wiggins said. “We are trying to stay ahead of the threat.”

One reason why airport security measure have not been implemented for rail passengers is because they cannot process transit and intercity rail passengers fast enough.

The technology being tested in Los Angeles can scan up to 600 passengers per hour. Riders are not required to remove their shoes or take out laptops, keys and phones from their bags.

The scanners cost about $60,000 each and 20 would be needed for Union Station alone.