A massive makeover is in the works for Union Station, and the plan for the overhaul includes, possibly, building an above-ground passenger concourse for subway, light rail, and Amtrak and Metrolink riders.
A new video on The Source shows what that might look like—an airport terminal-like space with large windows overlooking train platforms below and escalators connecting to the platforms.
A raised concourse would be a big departure from how passengers access Amtrak and Metrolink trains now: by walking through a long tunnel beneath the tracks and ascending directly onto the platforms.
Right now, those train tracks dead-end at the station, and the train cars have to turn around in order to exit. To speed up that process, Metro wants to build tracks that allow for trains to pass through the station; this will be especially important when high-speed rail starts moving through here.
The proposal for a new passenger concourse is part of the Link Union Station project, which has another alternative to build a concourse at-grade. Metro is exploring both options right now, says The Source, and it will soon have another video that shows the at-grade option.
The above-grade concourse looks flashy, but it’s also got practical advantages. Metro documents say that of the two, the above-grade concourse would be faster to build and less disruptive to normal train operations during construction.
It’s also the least expensive option, with a price tag estimated at up to $2.1 billion. The at-grade concourse could cost as much as $2.6 billion.
The Union Station Master Plan outlines a series of additional upgrades for the transit hub, from moving Patsaouras bus plaza to creating better connections to the front of the station for pedestrians and bike riders. The plan will allow the station to handle an expected doubling in the number of daily passengers by 2040.