Sadly, the age of the great metropolitan railroad terminals is over. There are still some impressive rail terminals in use today. Grand Central Station in New York is impressive, and Chicago Union Station still has the grandest waiting room in all the midwest. The once massive Penn Station in New York has been reduced to a subterranean glass and steel concourse without personality or nostalgia whatsoever.
Some stations have been torn down in the name of progress or lack of use. The Katy's San Antonio station was a beauty, and Memphis Union Station was a rail temple as it should have been. Both are gone. Kansas City Union Station was an impressive operation, as was the Kansas City Terminal Railway, and in late 2001 Amtrak is scheduled to return to the station, although to a tiny waiting room. St. Louis Union Station still stands, but as a shopping mall - its only tracks serving private owner and museum rolling stock and locomotives. Amtrak now operates out of a small "shack" just to the East of what was once, with its 32-track triple-laced wye, possibly the largest operating station in the country.
One of the unique aspects of the entire St. Louis Union Station complex was the presence of the Terminal Railroad Association. With TRRA employment nearing 10,000 in the World War II years, the sheer flow of humanity in and out of the station required man (and woman) power to support the vast services. There was mail and baggage, ticket sellers and agents, telephone and telegraph operators, passenger agents and red caps, and the hotel staff which included the barber shop, shoe shine, and housekeeping and restaurant personnel.
A financial perspective was included in this story in order to attempt to establish who paid for this operation and how the charges were assessed. One sad note, then as now, taxes accounted for a significant portion of the operation of the station. Even with Uncle Sam out of the picture, the state of Missouri took a sizable chunk of money out of the operation.
The Editor's Page
St. Louis Union Station News
In The Beginning
Pages 4-5, with 1894-1902 Union Station trackage plan
From the 1904 Report to the Chief Engineer of the TRRA
Pages 6-7, with 1902-1903 Union Station trackage plan
Pages 8-9, Tower One burns
From TRRA News Release of November 29, 1940
Pages 10-11, Perry Tower replaces burned Tower One
Pages 12-15, with 1904-1929 and 1929-1968 Union Station trackage plans
Fourteenth Street Shops
Four Page Centerfold - Panoramic Photo Looking South from the Roof of the Trainshed
Pages 22-23, overleaf pages contain additional Union Station photos
When Steam Was King
Pages 28-29, Tower Three was on the roof of Engine House No. 1
The Age Of The Diesel-Electric
St. Louis Is A Baseball Town
Information from Bob Burnes and Bob Broeg
Union Station - The TV Series
Who Paid For It?
Compiled by Ruth Trask
Mail By Rail
From a TRRA press release dated October 1,1957
Working At Tower One
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Last Update: Thu, 5 Jul 2001 by Rich Zellich