Thursday, April 24, 2014

U is for Union Station, Kansas

My theme for A- Z is the year my book takes place: 1881. I"ll be posting about people, places, and random facts about the year as it relates - however distantly - to my book, West of Paradise.

Today we have U for Union Station, where Katherine boards a train heading...mmm, well, I won't say. Instead I'll tell you about the place itself, which opened in 1878.

The building was a cross between Second Empire Style and Gothic Revivial, with towers of varying heights, windows framed in stone, and a mansard roof. The clock tower above the main entrance was 125 feet (38cm) in height. At one point, over 180 trains passed through the station every day.

But by 1903, the city had outgrown the space, and the lack of room for expansion combined with a major flood led to the decision to build a new station. Here's what the new place looks like...

It is now Missouri's 'second-busiest train station' and in addition to being a city landmark, offers such attractions as Science City at Union Station, the Irish Museum and Cultural Center, and the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity.

Have you ever traveled by train?


  1. I've traveled by train across England, Scotland, and Wales. Best way to see the beautiful countryside.
    That old station is really cool and shame it's gone. New one's not bad though.

  2. I've used the Euro-Star to get from London to Paris.

  3. I've traveled mostly on rail systems in the major us cites, nothing cross country though.

  4. The old station only lasted from 1878-1903... that is quite the population boom. I'm sure the flood didn't help...

    Train travel... I did travel on Amtrak once. It is way better than bus travel (miserable way to go!) and even more comfortable than plane travel. It just takes longer. I recommend it!

  5. I've been there. Beautiful building and the outside courtyard is breathtaking. Must go back again this summer.

  6. I haven't traveled by train but my daughter takes to the train to and from Boston. She loves in and they have wifi.

  7. I think the old building is pretty.

    I actually have traveled by train. Once. My father was going somewhere... I don't recall the details even though I was a teenager at the time. It was kind of fun.

    Oh, and then there's the train ride at Disneyland. I've been on that oodles of times. But I don't think it really counts.

  8. I have traveled by train. But it wasn't so comfortable. Though more comfortable than the time I traveled by bus.

    We found a house for sale that was made in 1860. Saw it on our ride home tonight. We didn't know the date until we came home. Creepy place though. That's what made me Google it.

  9. I have been to Union Station --the new one, not the old one. :) It is very lovely inside too. As for riding trains-- I rode one as a child here in the States. I've picked people up from the train station as an adult, but haven't been on a US train. I have ridden the Bullet train through France a while ago and I took a train from Athens to northern Greece and back a couple years ago.
    Mary @ The View from my World


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