Posts Tagged ‘train’
Sometimes our Private Tour Guests Arrive by Train
A number of long distance passenger trains arrive and depart from downtown Los Angeles at Union Station. The monumental Spanish-style architecture rises up in walking distance to the birthplace of Los Angeles on Olvera Street. The Mexican restaurants and outdoor shopping bazaar are a wonderful place to spend time while awaiting a train heading north to Seattle or east to Chicago or to New Orleans. The station, because of its spaciousness and location so close to Hollywood is as familiar to film and television lovers as Grand Central Station in Manhattan. Film crews are regular visitors to the almost 80-year old structure that witnessed the passage of so many celebrities on their way to and from Beverly Hills in its glory days during and after WWII. Automobiles and air travel led to the reduction of passenger trains to travel long distances and this transportation hub in the middle of downtown L.A. saw a smaller and different group of passengers availing itself of train rides. The station’s interior is beautiful and distinctive with enclosed courtyards and lots of marble and terra cotta to please the eye. The last of the Harvey House restaurants at train stations opened and closed here. There are plenty of reasons for us to pull up in the station’s parking area while on a private Los Angeles tour to show off our historic Union Station even if we are not picking up or dropping off our guests who are traveling on Amtrak.
Transit Art for Our Private Tour Guests
Means a Train Ride
Visitors to Los Angeles, even local residents, do not immediately think of subway trains when they consider the idea of public transportation in our city. Even trolley cars seem foreign despite the popularity of WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. All you see in our city are cars and buses. You really need to know where to look to see our growing rail system. Thankfully, many of our private Los Angeles tour guests are interested in how we move around the city. Or….they are interested in public art. That is one of our favorite topics as our readers know and the Metro Rail system is a hugely fun way to experience the work of some very special artists. The Metro Rail system consists of two heavy train lines (Red, Purple) comprising almost 23 miles of rail (and it’s growing). We have almost 50 miles (also growing) of light rail line, just so you know. What is fantastic is that a living artist was assigned to the design team of each underground station (and several above ground stations of the light rail system) providing Los Angeles and Hollywood with beautiful works of art to enjoy at each stop. The entire station is that work of art. Different media and presentations run from the surface to the tracks. How “artistic” is this enterprise? Regular docent guided walking/riding tours are scheduled throughout the year to see a number of stations just as an art lover would experience in an art museum. Our guides are familiar enough to lead their own tours when their guests wish to get out of the SUV and ride the subway. For obvious reasons we like the Hollywood station the best. All aboard!
This photograph was taken on a private luxury helicopter tour as we flew over Union Station near downtown Los Angeles. This great train station was built in 1939 and is considered the “Last of the Great Railway Stations” built in this country. Served by Amtrak (travel throughout the U.S.) and Metrolink (southern California) for train transportation, the station is also an MTA hub for the Gold Line trolley and the Red Line subway to make it easy to get around Los Angeles, Pasadena and Hollywood.
You often see the station in movies and television as its great hall and entrance are regular filming locations for the entertainment industry. Railroad aficionados sightseeing with us love to visit the station as it so completely invokes memories of the great age of train transportation in this country. Our helicopter tours can include a 3-hour (or more) ground tour so that our guests can visit personally what they just had the opportunity to see on their helicopter flight.