Picking Up Grandpa Essig
Union Station was built by the Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, and Santa Fe railroads. Costing $11 million, it opened in 1939, the last of the great stations in America. Over 1 1/2 million people visited it within its first three days, and in its heyday (the 1930s and 1940s), it served 7,000 passengers daily. After WWII, and the beginning of the jet age and freeways, train use declined.
I remember going to the station to pickup Grandma and Grandpa Liles (Essig) as they would never drive all the way from Arkansas. It was exciting to see the hustle and bustle of the railway station and try and guess when it would really arrive. Those super large leather seats were wide enough (in those days) for two.
The station was huge
Paul remembers when it looked like this