Metro Board Approves Link US Union Station Run-Through Tracks

Metro's final concept for Link US Union Station run-through tracks. Map via Metro
Metro's final concept for Link US Union Station run-through tracks. Map via Metro

At its Meeting today, the Metro board approved environmental studies for the Link US Union Station run-through tracks project. Link US will improve the overall efficiency of Union Station, especially for Metrolink, Amtrak, and planned California High-Speed Rail. The final design, as detailed in this earlier SBLA post, includes an expanded central concourse hallway and eliminated loop tracks. These modifications reduced project costs while prioritizing rider convenience while transferring between trains.

Comparison of three concourse concepts considered for Link US
Comparison of three concourse concepts considered for Link US. Option 1 is the final design selected. (click to enlarge image)

Mostly due to time constraints, Link US approvals sailed through both committee and full board unanimously with no presentations or discussions. The board action officially certified the Link US Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR).

The overall Link US project is estimated to cost roughly $2.3 billion. Metro already has $950 million to fund the initial Link US phase, essentially just building a new elevated track structure over the 101 Freeway. An unfunded second phase – costing nearly $2 billion – would make extensive changes to Union Station itself, including widening the concourse hallway, raising the platforms, expanding the northern “throat tracks,” etc.

Potential 101 Freeway bridge concepts for Union Station run-through tracks - renderings via Metro
Potential 101 Freeway bridge concepts for Union Station run-through tracks – renderings via Metro

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Preliminary rendering of future double-deck light rail tracks at Union Station, with the Gold Line below the future West Santa Ana Branch rail. Image via Metro staff presentation

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Metro will study an above-grade concourse as part of its LinkUS project. Image via Metro

New Concept Considered For Union Station Re-Vamp: Above-Grade Concourse

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The estimated $2.75 billion LinkUS project is planned to convert Union Station from a stub-end station to a run-through station. Run-through tracks would decrease delays, increase capacity, and get Union Station ready for future West Santa Ana Branch light rail and California high-speed rail. LinkUS would significantly expand today’s current underground concourse hallway that riders use […]