Today this wing of the station is reserved for special events, including, I believe, filming for movies and commercials.
When I was a kid, each of the three railroads’ names appeared in sedate chrome or gold-colored metal lettering behind their series of ticket sales windows. The tickets that passengers carried away came in folders and envelopes as illustrated below.
The photo, which I took in June, 2014, belies that fact that, owing to the number of Surfliners, Metrolink trains, and transit lines serving Los Angeles Union Station, the beautifully-preserved station is busier than at any time in its history.
The diesels pulling the trains were painted as illustrated below, but for only about ten years because by the late fifties SP went to its cheaper gray and red color scheme; also, while the post card, “distributed by Souvenir Color Card Company” was from a “Union Pacific Railroad color photo,” the color is off: Union Pacific trains were never such a yellow shade of yellow. The back of the card reads, “Three streamliners lined up for departure from Union Station.” One wonders by what trick the passengers were going to get on the middle train. Of course, they aren’t really three trains lined up for departure, but the numbers on the SP and UP engines suggest one will pull tonight’s Sunset Limited and the other the late afternoon’s City of Los Angeles.
No longer in print, but available used, is The Last of the Great Stations, which includes the Donald Duke photo, bottom, of the main waiting room, essentially unchanged today.