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Union Station
Chicago Union Station was completed in 1925 after ten years of construction at a cost of $75 million. Work was suspended during World War I. This station replaced the Pennsylvania Railroad station built on the same site in 1881.
The station was originally designed by Chigoan Daniel Burnham, a noted architect of the early 1900s, who died before construction was begun. The architectural firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst and White took over the project and are the architects of record.
As originally constructed, Chicago Union Station consisted of a "headhouse," which housed the main waiting room and an eight-story office building. This structure is currently occupied by Amtrak offices and what is now known as the Great Hall (or main waiting room). There was also a concourse building which stood above-ground access to the platforms below. It was demolished in 1969 to make way for the Gateway III office building.
Chicago Union Station is the only railroad station in the United States with a "double-stub" track layout. Tracks approach the station from two directions, most of them deadending at the station concourse rather than passing through.
The exterior of the station is clad in Bedford limestone quarried in Indiana.
The station is owned and operated by the Chicago Union Station Company, which was formed in 1913 by five railroads: the Pittsburgh, Ft. Wayne & Chicago (Pennsylvania Railroad); the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis (Pennsylvania Railroad); the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St.Paul (Milwaukee Road); the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and the Chicago & Alton. None of the five railroads exist now as an independent company.
The Chicago & Alton experienced financial difficulties and wound up as a tenant of the station rather than a shareholder. The railroad's unissued shares are still stored in the Amtrak accounting office.
The Chicago Union Station Company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amtrak when the passenger railroad purchased the station company in 1984. Metra and Amtrak have operating agreements with the Chicago Union Station Company for use of the station's facilities.
Chicago Union Station is the third busiest railroad station in the country and is the fourth busiest Amtrak station. It is also the busiest railroad terminal in Chicago.
The station is served by approximately 50 Amtrak trains and 203 Metra trains on an average weekday.
More than 100,000 Amtrak and Metra travelers pass through Union Station on an average weekday. Of this total, about 95,000 are Metra commuters making two daily visits and 6,500 are Amtrak intercity passengers.

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  visits to TrainWeb since Aug. 01, 1998. Last updated: 12/04/2005  Web Author: Steve Grande

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