Talk:Union Station (Washington, D.C.)

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In no case does any passenger use a "step ladder" (portable ladder) to enter or exit any train at WAS' low platforms. Amtrak's Amfleets, Horizons and Viewliners, MARC single-levels and Kawasaki bilevels, and VRE/MARC gallery cars all have stairwells built into the body of the cars. Amtrak Superliners and the Bombardier bilevels that VRE once used have low floors and can only be boarded from a low platform. (talk) 06:13, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Silver Streak[edit]

That's the film! Thank you Anonymous Maybe there's some good to anon. editors after all. Wetman 20:09, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Train Operations[edit]

As constructive criticism, this article is loaded with architectural details, but could use some better balance about train operations. I have added some, but it could use more. Vaoverland 18:28, Dec 23, 2004 (UTC)

Union Station Novel[edit]

I am pretty sure I remember seeing another novel about Union Station while in the Barnes & Noble on the main floor. I can't remember the author, though, and an Amazon search isn't coming up with much. If anybody knows this novel - it's not the Truman one - could you please fill in the details? Thanks! --Etoile 03:31, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)



Can anyone integrate the photo with the box so that they are the same width, with the photo at the top of the box, like so many similarly formatted pages? I'm not good at it. --06:14, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Done. This required removing the caption, but it wasn't really necessary anyway. -Etoile 16:09, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
With Firefox they're still side-by-side with white space all about. --Wetman 16:56, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

2005 Food Court Redo in the Current Use?[edit]

The food court area was redone in 2005. Could someone find out the exact dates of closure and reopening and put something in the Current Use section about it? (I'm new to wikipedia and can't write up to their standards yet.) C4bl3Fl4m3 00:32, 18 January 2006 (UTC)


It is worth mentioning that trains coming from, and going to, the south use a tunnel under First Street SE when entering or leaving the station. However, I will leave this to a rail expert to include in the article. BTW, do the freight trains operating on the CSX Capital Division in Maryland also go through (or under) the station, assuming they need to use the First St. tunnel to continue on to Virginia? -- Gyrofrog (talk) 16:26, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

I added a link for the First Street Tunnel. This tunnel is for passenger trains only. Freight trains on the CSX Capital Subdivision heading south leave the main line at Hyattsville, Maryland and proceed along the Alexandria Extension to southeast D.C., then west across the Anacostia Railroad Bridge to the RF&P Subdivision and across the Long Bridge to Virginia. Caseyjonz (talk) 05:03, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Columbus Circle[edit]

the Attractive grounds infront of the station are called Columbus Circle, Washington D.C.. I would like to add this, but I am unsure exactly where.--Niro5 21:38, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

VRE in the Routebox too?[edit]

I considered adding VRE trains to the routebox, until I realized that they already exist in Union Station (Washington Metro). I know there's a good reason not to merge both articles, but if VRE stops here, why not add the lines to the routebox? DanTD 05:13, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

MARC's lack of a station-specific link[edit]

Anybody know why MARC doesn't have any station-specific links on their website(including D.C.)? I wanted to hook it up as an external link, but their website only seems to covers the whole railroad. ---- DanTD 14:39, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Not to be confused with Union Station (LA)[edit]

The "Union Station" used in season 6, episode 2 of 24 is the Union Station in Los Angeles, not the one in Washington, D.C. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:55, 10 April 2007 (UTC).

Cleanup 6 August 2011[edit]

I have reorganised the existing content into a new 'description' section for details of the station now, a single history section with subsections for the historical content and a new 'incidents' section with a single subsection for the 1963 overrun incident. I have removed the '{{Northeast Corridor}}' inclusion because it its presence makes it impossible to include photos inline in the body text. Possibly someone can work out why that is happening and then it can be reinserted. I have not removed or added any significant content. PeterEastern (talk) 20:16, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Accident of 1953[edit]

This was not due to an icicle but caused by default construction. See: here -- Reinhard Dietrich (talk) 16:54, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

VRE ridership[edit]

The infobox shows VRE ridership of 201,000. This seems rather implausible as a yearly or daily given that 2012 monthly ridership was in the 300k range. Are yearly or daily station-by-station totals available? Pi.1415926535 (talk) 16:17, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

I just wonder why it has Amtrak and VRE ridership but no MARC ridership stats in the infobox. ---------User:DanTD (talk) 19:11, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi. I have not seen a source that provides ridership data for MARC or VRE service at Union Station. The most I've found is data for total ridership on each line, which isn't sufficient since this article is about Union Station. As a result, I have removed the VRE data, which was also out-of-date and unreferenced. If an editor can find passenger data specific to Union Station, then we can add it. Otherwise, total passenger data should be left to the individual MARC and VRE pages. Best, epicAdam(talk) 21:36, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

That's all well and good. But id you do find any info on MARC and VRE ridership at Union Station, you should put it back. ---------User:DanTD (talk) 22:32, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

"In the media" section[edit]

Hi all. I've moved this information off the main page until it can be 1. sourced and 2. determined if it is WP:TRIVIA, as much of it seems to be. Thanks, epicAdam(talk) 21:47, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Union Station has featured as a location in numerous movies, not all as memorable as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Others include Strangers on a Train, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (where it is partially destroyed), Hannibal, The Recruit, Along Came a Spider, Collateral Damage, The Sentinel, My Fellow Americans, and Wedding Crashers.

Several episodes of the television series The West Wing used Union Station as a setting. Union Station was used as a setting for one episode of the CBS military courtroom drama JAG, and was frequently mentioned in that series as being a landmark located to the south of the main character Harmon Rabb's apartment building.

The station has also been the subject of multiple books. The 128-page Union Station: A Decorative History of Washington’s Grand Terminal by Carol Highsmith and Ted Landphair tells the complete history of the station through text and photographs. Presidential daughter Margaret Truman’s Capital Crimes mystery series includes a Murder at Union Station novel.

Redundant Line information in Infobox[edit]

The S-line templates in {{{services}}} contain successive stations, line and color information, while the Rail color box templates under {{{line}}} have only duplicate line and color info. They are redundant and, in a large station like this, stretch the Infobox and reduce the readability. There is no logical reason to have that shown twice. These parameters are designed to distinguish between when there is either only line information or when succession templates are available, or in those cases where the line refers to the trackage corridor. Secondarywaltz (talk) 20:27, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Why shouldn't the services be shown twice? Moreover, why are you doing the same thing that you did at Pennsylvania Station (New York City)? Epicgenius (talk) 20:31, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
I have already told you the reason above. Why are you changing something that was done here a long time ago. You have that backwards! Secondarywaltz (talk) 20:57, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
I already know that, as I've looked through the page history. The {{{line}}} and {{{services}}} aren't the same. The former are the next stops accompanied by the services, and the services are in the s-line solely to reduce confusion, not to completely replace the {{{services}}}. Epicgenius (talk) 21:22, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Daily traffic, historical and present[edit]

Does anyone have a solid source for daily traffic through Union Station at its ostensible peak during World War II and today? The Union Station Redevelopment Corporation cites a WWII peak of "serving up to 42,000 passengers daily" yet Amtrak's 2012 Master Plan says the station currently handles "100,000 passenger trips per day". PRRfan (talk) 21:53, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

The National Park Service site (U.S. Dept. of Interior) says "200,000". Centpacrr (talk) 22:13, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
I'd like to see something a bit more authoritative than NPS's tourist guide. Here's Union Station's own website: "In 1937, between 35,000 and 42,000 travelers swarmed through Union Station's vast concourse on a daily basis." So wartime traffic can be assumed to be well north of that. PRRfan (talk) 02:00, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
According to The Centennial History of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company by G.H. Burgess an M.C. Kennedy published by the PRR Co. in 1949, it states at page 686 that on December 24, 1943, "178,892 tickets were collected" on just the PRR trains that ran between Philadelphia and Washington. With all the other PRR, B&O, and trains from the south that would have passed through Union Station on that day, it is easy to believe that on many days during the WWII years in excess of 200,000 people would have regularly passed through Union Station. Centpacrr (talk) 10:19, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, you're right. I've readded the figure, and pointed people toward this discussion in the Notes. PRRfan (talk) 15:23, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
The number cited in the text of the National Park Service site is "200,000", not "100,000", which is also supported by material found on page 686 in the PRR's 1949 "Centennial History" as noted above. With gasoline rationing and minimal air and bus service during WWII, virtually all intercity traveI during the war years was by rail. I have therefore corrected that number in both places it appears in the article. Centpacrr (talk) 22:55, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

1902 article and drawing[edit]

Image from 1902 article

Epicgenius and others, you might be able to make use of this 1902 article about plans for Union Station. It includes the rather spectacular drawing (right) which is interesting to compare to the final result. Cheers, Pi.1415926535 (talk) 17:32, 21 January 2016 (UTC)

@Pi.1415926535: Thanks. There appears to be some interesting information on the bottom as well, so I'll check it out. epicgenius (talk) 17:40, 21 January 2016 (UTC)

Station Owner[edit]

The owners of the Union Station are Amtrak and United States Department of Transportation. The day-to-day manager is Union Station Redevelopment Corperation, and they leased the building to Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation. SRich (talk) 20:59, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Union Station (Washington, D.C.)/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Needs references.

Last edited at 20:23, 15 August 2006 (UTC). Substituted at 09:33, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

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Southern Railway station prior to Union Station[edit]

The article gives the Baltimore & Ohio and the Pennsylvania Railroad stations prior to the Union Station. What station did the Southern Railway use prior to the opening of Union Station?Dogru144 (talk) 15:15, 27 November 2016 (UTC) Dogru144 (talk) 15:15, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

  • The Pennsylvania station. I've updated and added a reference. Mackensen (talk) 15:49, 27 November 2016 (UTC)