Wordful Wednesday-Union Station in Los Angeles

Union Station is one of the most beautiful Railway stations I’ve ever seen. It’s a hub for national Amtrak and Amtrak California passenger trains, Metrolink commuter trains, the Metro Red,PurpleGold Lines, & the Silver Line. There are also several other bus services that stop there, so it’s a busy station.  It’s also right across the street from Olvera Street, the oldest street in Los Angeles.

Built in the 1930’s, Union Station is known as the “Last of the Great Railway Stations” built in the United States,  and has a massive and ornate waiting room and ticket concourse that makes one think they’ve stepped into the past while staying in the present.  I love it.

Most Southern Californian’s, in general don’t use public transportation.  We don’t.   In fact, when we took the Metrolink into Union Station (as a treat-it’s more expensive for our family to ride into LA on the train than to drive) to get to Olvera Street, it was the first time Jeff or the kids had ever ridden on it.  It was only my second time I’ve used public transportation in Los Angeles!  It was a fun little adventure, but I’ve decided that I’m a seat-belt-required kind of traveling gal.  Telling my kids to stop getting up and  moving around during the trip was annoying.

What about you?  Do you use public transportation?  What’s the most beautiful station you’ve ever visited?

Wordful Wednesday is like Wordless Wednesday, only WITH words. It’s for those of us that can’t contain the chatter, but in a good way. More info. in my tabber box titled WW on the right. Thank you for playing along!

Don’t forget to hop on over to my co-host Amanda’s place (Parenting By Dummies) to see what she has to be Wordful about today!

About Angie

Angie is a CRAFT dabbling, recipe making, WORD loving, sunshine hording, book DEVOURING, Mama to a lot! She's kind of in love with Instagram right now, so if you want her attention, go find here there. {smiling}


  1. 1
    Twitter: GennyHeikka


    Looks like fun! I don’t take public transporation often, but about a year ago, I went to San Francisco for the day on the train with my kids and my mother in law. It was great. The ride was about an hour and after we got there, we took a ferry across the bay. The kids loved it!

    Fun photos!

    • 2
      Twitter: 7clowncircus

      We are heading up your way this week….any suggestions in San Francisco we must do?

      • 3
        Twitter: GennyHeikka

        How fun! Yes – Pier 39 for sure (there are always sea lions on the dock and they are so much fun to watch, and there is a great aquarium there), Koit Tower (such a beautiful spot with a great view), China Town, and the Academy of Arts and Sciences… just to name a few! I hope you have more than a few days in SF; you will have such a great time!

  2. 4

    We’ve never been on a local train or trolley. But we have taken the bus a few times. And I agree it’s tough with kids. Last time I had Charlie on my lap, so that’s easier than trying to wrangle multiple kids. Looks like a fun adventure though 🙂

    • 5
      Twitter: 7clowncircus

      I’ve NEVER ridden a public bus in my area! I was thinking the other day that I should. Because I can and it would be a good experience.

  3. 6
    Twitter: elainea

    We actually rode the train from a gorgeous small station in upstate NY to Grand Central when we were visiting my FIL. Grand Central is amazing.

    But this station you showed us – WOW!!! Love the original materials and decor. LOVE!

  4. 8
    Tabitha Blue
    Twitter: tabithablue

    Definitely a gorgeous place!! We don’t really have much public transit where I live… but I’ve used it plenty all over 🙂

    • 9
      Twitter: 7clowncircus

      Isn’t it funny how much “easier” it seems to use it in “foreign” places?

  5. 10
    Twitter: bcIMthemommy

    Wow! Really beautiful, reminds me of the subway terminals in Moscow. It’s a lost art.

  6. 12
    Terra Heck says:

    I took a train ride many years ago on an Amtrak and went to Union Station in St. Louis. It was an experience I’d like to do again sometime. Lovely photos!

    • 13
      Twitter: 7clowncircus

      With kids, it wasn’t my favorite, but I’m sure thankful for the option!

  7. 14
    mom taxi julie
    Twitter: momtaxijulie

    That looks like such a nice place! The one time I looked into taking Amtrak to southern CA from northern CA it was going to be about $900 for our family and that involved a bus ride in-between the trains. Um yeah we drove 😉

    • 15
      Twitter: 7clowncircus

      It’s SO expensive for the whole family, isn’t it? We went on a weekend with a special, but if it hadn’t been reduced rates it would have cost us close to $100 RT!

  8. 16

    Wow! I’ve never been near any public transportation that looked like this…amazing!

  9. 18
    Kristi {at} Live and Love Out Loud
    Twitter: TweetingMama

    I haven’t used public transportation in a while, but I have a great excuse. We live out in the country. Love these pics. Union Station looks so beautiful and grand!

    • 19
      Twitter: 7clowncircus

      You get to ride riding lawn mowers though, right? 🙂

      • 20
        Kristi {at} Live and Love Out Loud
        Twitter: TweetingMama

        Yes and I kind of feel bad a** when I ride on our riding mower. I’m so not a country girl so it’s almost like a carnival ride for me. lol

  10. 21
    Rachel {at} Mommy Needs a Vacation
    Twitter: RachelVoorhees

    Beautiful! I don’t use public transportation but I would have to say my favorite station is Grand Central!

    • 22
      Twitter: 7clowncircus

      See, Case in point. Californians don’t use public transportation. 🙂

  11. 23
    Twitter: babiesandbacon

    What an amazing train station! So much beauty and so well preserved!

    We always use public transportation when we travel. Metros, taxis, trains, buses the whole nine. But at home? Almost never. It’s too bad. A great public transit system is really a wonderful asset to a city.

    • 24
      Twitter: 7clowncircus

      I’m really thankful to have the option. It really is something that I underuse and under appreciate.

  12. 25
    Honey Mommy says:

    Not a lot of public transportation in Utah, though I have taken a ride on Trax to temple square in Salt Lake City before!

    • 26
      Twitter: 7clowncircus

      That’s true. Not much public transport in Utah, is there? Besides buses….

  13. 27
    Twitter: ErinsMiracles

    I so love how bored your oldest looks! That’s hilarious!
    I’ve lived in So Cal almost my whole life, I’ve also lived in S.F. for 5 years, two of the top rated cities for public transportation and I’ve never once used it. Except for that trolley ride! =)

    • 28
      Twitter: 7clowncircus

      See. My case in point. I think it’s under used and under appreciated.

  14. 29
    kariellen says:

    Living in SoCal we too don’t use public transportation and found that it was so much more expensive to take MetroLink than to drive into LA. Which is sad because I would rather keep my gas guzzling/pollution making SUV home and not fight the traffic downtown (not to mention find a safe parking lot) if I didn’t have to.
    Have you tried the Gold Line/Subway system? Aside from price, I couldn’t figure the maps out. IMHO, LA needs to rethink it’s public transportation.

    • 30
      Twitter: 7clowncircus

      I haven’t used the Gold Line. It’s so much cheaper to drive into LA for us. The Metro link has a $10 special on the weekends, but during the week it’d cost almost $100 for us to go into LA RT. That’s just WAY too expensive. Our trip was easy, but I didn’t “jump” lines. I’d guess that it’s way easier to use in other places where it’s commonly used by everyone!

  15. 31
    Twitter: BFLife

    When I lived in SF and NYC, I was definitely a public transport kind of girl. But here in Vegas, apparently there’s no such thing! LOL! Having your own car is a must!

    The most beautiful station I’ve visited is Grand Central in NYC. I think mostly because I couldn’t believe I actually made it to NYC and could ride the subway to the station whenever I wanted. It was a wonderful time in my life!

  16. 32
    Life with Kaishon says:

    That looks like SUCH a fun outing. The train station is beyond gorgeous. WOW!

  17. 33
    Lauren@BabyinBulgaria says:

    30th street station in Philadelphia is another art deco gem but it isn’t kept up nearly as nice as this one! Looks like a fun family outing 🙂

  18. 34
    Laura Scarborough
    Twitter: nicurnmama

    beautiful shots of Union Station. I LOVED the old Union Station in St Louis that is now a mall.
    Our family circus does rely on BART all the time when we head over to the Bay Area from the Central Valley in Cali.

  19. 35
    Stacy Uncorked
    Twitter: RandomCoolChick

    What a beautiful train station! We don’t take public transportation, mostly because we live out in the boondocks, so we’d have to drive somewhere to get to public transportation, and by then we’d already be where we were going! 😉 I had the pleasure of being in a beautiful train station in Seattle years ago, when I was an extra when they were filming a TV series Mr. & Mrs. Smith (which only aired one or two episodes before they pulled it and decided to make it into a movie instead). 🙂 It’s beautiful, and sad they stopped using it as a station so long ago. 🙂

  20. 36
    cat@juggling act says:

    Beautiful! I would really love to know who designed it. We have a new train in our area – one of those city speed ones – I so am going to take the kids.

  21. 37
    Twitter: anne_hogan

    I live just outside of DC, so I take the Metro when I have to go downtown. After college I lived in NYC for a while and it was the BEST. I didn’t even have a car – I just took mass transit everywhere. I loved it, because I hate driving. I think NYC is probably one of the most mass transit friendly cities, mostly because they system is so big and it really takes you everywhere you could possibly have to go.

  22. 38
    blueviolet @ A Nut in a Nutshell says:

    It really is pretty! I like to learn the subway system if I’m in a city long enough, but that’s only on vacations. Where I live it’s all about cars, unfortunately.

  23. 39
    Twitter: Mommysfabulous

    Grand Central Station in NYC is the most architecturally impressive station I’ve ever seen. It is so interesting though, to see the differences between West Coast and East Coast architecture. Because 30th Street station in Philly is similar to Grand Central – but nothing looks like Union!

  24. 40
    Twitter: _MamaJules_

    That is a gorgeous station! We took advantage of public transportation when we were in DC this summer, but none of the stations we were in were anything like that.

  25. 41

    kansas city has a beautiful union station too!

  26. 42
    Susie's Homemade says:

    That IS a gorgeous station!!!

  27. 43
    Anti-Supermom says:

    I would take public transportation if it were closer to us, beside the bus, the light rail is just not in our neighborhood… yet!

  28. 44
    Twitter: threeundertwo

    Looks like a fun trip! As a quilter, I want to copy the floor ans wall tiles as quilt blocks. Beautiful graphically.

  29. 45
    Megan (Best of Fates)
    Twitter: bestoffates

    SO very gorgeous – and looks so different from the big East Coast train stations.

    I had no idea we were missing out.

    Now I feel all lost and bereft.

    (It’s quite intense.)

  30. 46
    Stacy Molter says:

    The station is very beautiful! I wish we had beautiful stations like this one where I live.

  31. 47
    A Mountain Momma
    Twitter: amountainmomma

    Wow, it is gorgeous inside there. I want those old train seat for my living room!

  32. 48
    Twitter: rhondaslife

    Wow! That is a beautiful building. You do not want to see the train station where I catch our little city train every day! Blah. lol

  33. 49
    Twitter: rhondaslife

    Wow! That is beautiful. You do not want to see where I catch out little city train every morning! Blah.

  34. 50
    Twitter: irishbymarriage

    Beautiful! The dinky South Florida tri-rail system is sadly lacking in the looks department! ; )

  35. 51
    michelle @ one crafty mama says:

    What a beautiful old building. Reminds me of old Hollywood. And as a southern california girl you know I don’t take public transportation. 🙂

  36. 52

    What a beautiful place! It seems definitely worth the extra expense just to experience it. I’ve only been to Grand Central Station and the decor inside is simply stunning. The station is an amazing hustling, bustling hive of activity.

  37. 53
    Cori's Big Mouth
    Twitter: corisbigmouth

    WOW what a gorgeous place!!

  38. 54
    Vanessa @FrenchFoodieMom
    Twitter: FrenchFoodieMom

    Everywhere we go, I think of public transportation as a great form of entertainment. When you compare it to the cost of going to an amusement park, it’s a lot cheaper!

  39. 55
    Twitter: adriennesfts

    These pics make me want to GO somewhere!! I love to travel, but haven’t gone far. LOL These just make me think about getting out there and going…
    Love them!

  40. 56
    Kitchen and Kids
    Twitter: kitchenandkids

    Those are gorgeous pictures. We don’t take public transportation where we are either. We live in an area where it is not prevalent. I have taken the train into the city, but it is my least favorite thing to do, and I am right there with you about seat belts. I can’t imagine taking my two year old on something she wasn’t restrained in.

  41. 57

    Wow, it looks like an adventure all in itself! Roaming up and down the station with its beautiful architecture. I love the photos you shared. Thank you!

  42. 58

    That is beautiful, it’s like a museum. I don’t think ‘westerners’ in general use public tran. Now easterners, they are all about the Metro. I’m a little nervous about going to NYC to tell you the truth. What if we get lost in the subway system and never resurface? I’m not even sure how we’re getting from the airport to the hotel… hitching?

  43. 59
    Mommy Blogger says:

    Looks fun, and full of history!

  44. 60
    Twitter: jumpinbeans09

    we used to, when we lived near the marta station.. (for concerts and going to the airport…)
    now, nope… with a toddler and not near a station, we drive

  45. 61
    Twitter: celeste_sann

    BEAUTIFUL! So rich & full of history. Thanks for sharing!

  46. 62
    Trippin' Mama
    Twitter: trippinmama

    I used to live in London and rode the Tube all the time. I cannot imagine trying to get around with my triplets on the Tube or any other mass transportation, even now that they are nearly 3. I would have to duct tape them to the seats or they’d be all over the place and even out the doors! Great pics, Angie.


  47. 63

    When I lived in LA I never went there…maybe next time I visit I’ll have to check it out!

  48. 64
    Twitter: SteshaSims

    We don’t use public transportation. It’s so expensive. Once (before I had kids) I took a public bus in the city and the person next to me was sitting so close that I felt like a hostage.

    Hugs and Mocha,

  49. 65
    Julie {Angry Julie Monday}
    Twitter: AngryJulie

    One of my friends just did the same trip last weekend. They took the kids on the train from Fullerton to LA. I need to drag my family there soon!