Chicago Union Station Company
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|Chicago Union Station Company|
|Dates of operation||1925–|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)|
The Chicago Union Station Company (reporting mark CUST) owns Chicago's Union Station and the approach tracks. It was originally owned equally by four companies - the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway and Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad (two Pennsylvania Railroad subsidiaries), the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (Burlington Route), and the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road) - and is now owned fully by Amtrak.
The Union Station Company was incorporated July 3, 1913 and organized November 19, 1913 to replace the old union station on the same spot. On May 7, 1915 the company was renamed to the Chicago Union Station Company. The station was opened May 16, 1925, with viaduct construction for cross streets lasting into 1927.
The connection with the PFW&C was at the south end of the CUS trackage at the Roosevelt Road crossing. The north end of CUS trackage is at the curve near Kinzie Street, west of which the PCC&StL and CM&StP shared trackage to a split at Western Avenue. At the Roosevelt Road crossing, the tracks of the CB&Q split to the west, turning west just after crossing under the St. Charles Air Line Railroad. A fifth line - the Chicago and Alton Railroad - merged with the PFW&C line at Alton Junction and used Union Station, admitted on September 18, 1915.
The last Pennsylvania Railroad train into the north side of Union Station (via the PCC&StL) ran April 23, 1927; after then all PRR passenger service ran out the south side and the PFW&C, using the South Chicago and Southern Railroad to reach the PCC&StL.
Buildings were gradually built over the sunken approach tracks using leased air rights.
A new connection at Englewood Station was completed October 15, 1971, allowing trains on the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad to run over the PFW&C to Union Station instead of to LaSalle Street Station. This was never used by passenger trains, as the dying Rock Island decided to continue using LaSalle, and Metra's Rock Island District commuter trains still use that same route.
The CM&StP became the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad in 1928, and their approach trackage, shared with the PCC&StL, has since been acquired by Metra. The CB&Q and its approach is now part of the BNSF Railway, and the PFW&C trackage is now owned by Norfolk Southern (transferred from Conrail in 1998). The CUS itself is now wholly owned by Amtrak. Amtrak also owns former PFW&C trackage from Roosevelt Road south to Alton Junction (21st Street), including their 14th Street Maintenance Facility.