YourToyTrains- Model Trains- President Clyde Smith: I have traveled on every Amtrak transcontinental train. Most of them- the Empire Builder, the California Zephyr, the Southwest Chief, and the Texas Eagle all originate at Union Station in Chicago. Ironically America's greatest rail center never had a single "union" station, but with the coming of Amtrak in 1971 over time all passenger trains entering and leaving Chicago start or end trips at this great station. The Daniel Burnham designed Beaux Arts masterpiece was built between 1913 and 1925. Trains of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Burlington Railroad, and the Milwaukee Road used this terminal.
As noted earlier Union Station in Chicago is now the hub for all Amtrak trains, and is the main station for Metra suburban trains as well. The station has been completely restored and is busier than ever. Of course I fantasize about rebuilding the Head House (concourse) demolished in 1969. I would dare anyone to stand in the Great Hall and not be awestruck by one of the greatest public spaces in America. I have stood in that Great Hall many times. The beauty, grandeur, and magnificence of this building (See Image) is only matched by the knowledge I will soon be seeing the beauty and majesty of America from the window of an Amtrak train!