random thoughts on railroad photography, railfanning, technology, and such

Entries in Union Station (12)


Poster Art: Travelers

As I exited the tunnel from Track 3 at Los Angeles Union Station and joined the tide of humanity, the hundreds of recently freed commuters that were rushing to find their exits, I felt the pressure and the urgency that seems to be part of the daily commuting process. Making my way through the main waiting area of the terminal I passed several lines of people that seemed to consist of business travelers, family vacationers, and many others seeking to be elsewhere. They were checking in for one of the Amtrak trains soon departing Los Angeles for points beyond. It seemed a hectic and hurried sense permeated the air for us all.

Just prior to breaking free and reaching the main entrance of the station on Alameda Street, I passed a rather out-of-place scene that reminded me of a Norman Rockwell painting. I initially passed it by but I eventually gave in to my urge and snapped the following photo in HDR of a group of seasoned travelers just relaxing, reading, and in no apparent hurry at all - totally contrary to the sense of hustle of the rest of the station.   

Travelers - Seasoned travelers read and relax while waiting for their train’s departure time to draw near at Los Angeles’ Union Station.
[11/4/2010 - River Subdivision] © Copyright 2010, Joe Perry


Drivers - Man, Water, and Fire

In the course of human achievements there have been many truly advancing inventions forged by talented and brilliant folks. Obviously computers, atomic fusion, and airplanes come to my mind immediately. However, one invention that had far-reaching ramifications, good and bad depending on one’s perspective, considering the time frame when it was first developed, the late 1700s, was the steam engine. This eventually morphed into a steam locomotive, among other implementations, and the future of discovery and settlement of America was cast. 

While at the Los Angeles Union Station on National Train Day, May 8, 2010, I caught the former Santa Fe No. 3751 posed and ready to run to San Bernardino with an excursion train as part of the San Bernardino Railroad Days and Bicentennial Celebration. I took a bunch of photos of the famous locomotive and have recently reworked some of them with a more artistic lean. Here is a close-up shot showing an amazing amount of detail of the 3751’s drivers and of the magic of one of man’s most amazing inventions.

Drivers - Detailed view of the driving wheels of the former Santa Fe No. 3751.


A Passing Opportunity - HDR of Los Angeles Union Station

Here are a few HDR shots of Los Angeles Union Station taken as I quickly headed to work:

Los Angeles Union Station
© 2010 Joe Perry, ChasingSteel.com

Los Angeles Union Station
© 2010 Joe Perry, ChasingSteel.com

During one of my morning jaunts to work in downtown Los Angeles I found myself presented with an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. The old ticketing area of Union Station, or the Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal (LAUPT), is often closed from view and hidden in a veil of secrecy. Apparently Hollywood uses the area often for film and television shows and is funny about public access to the area - for some insane reason, I am sure.

On this particular morning I walked through the station to reach my shuttle to work and saw the area was viewable and bathed in the morning light. I hesitated briefly and took in the scene. “I want a photo,” I thought.

I approached a nearby guard and asked for permission to shoot some photos of the room and he asked, “Video or still?” I replied, “Still.” He paused, looked around and then gave me a nod to proceed. I pulled out my camera and quickly fired off a few bracketed exposures as seen below:


The original ticket counter at Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal.
© 2010 Joe Perry, ChasingSteel.com

The original ticket counter concourse at Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal.
© 2010 Joe Perry, ChasingSteel.com