As great as Union Station may be, the tracks that serve Metrolink and Amtrak dead-end in the station. That causes train congestion and slows up the time it takes for trains to exit and enter the station.
Metro has been studying a remedy for that problem: a project called Link Union Station that would build run-through tracks that would allow trains to enter Union Station from the north and new tracks from the south that would span the 101 freeway. The project would speed up train trips, increase the station’s capacity and add tracks for the state’s high-speed rail project.
Part of the project also involves building a new passenger concourse for Union Station — either at street level or above the tracks, as shown in this nifty new video that shows how the concept may look and work:
Again, I emphasize that this is a conceptual video. It’s an idea that Metro is exploring. Nothing yet has been designed or decided. The project team is currently working on a second part to the video that will show the at-grade passenger concourse option.
The Link Union Station project is currently in the environmental study phase and both the above-the-tracks and at grade–passenger concourse options will be analyzed. As is often the case in life, cost is a factor. Metro estimates the project with the concourse at street level would cost $2.2 to $2.6 billion whereas the project with above track concourse could cost $1.7 billion to $2.1 billion. That’s a consideration as Metro still needs to secure a funding source in order to build the project.
In an update on the project to the Metro Board this month, Metro staff offer this look at the two approaches for the passenger concourse. Note that ‘below-grade concourse’ should read ‘at grade concourse.’
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report (DEIS/R) is scheduled to be released in early 2018.