From Portland Afoot
Union Station is Portland's Amtrak passenger rail station, using Amtrak code PDX. It sits near the heart of the city at 800 NW 6th Ave., just east of the Pearl District and north of downtown Portland. It is, as of 2009, the most-used Amtrak station in the Pacific Northwest.
The station's clock tower displays the iconic message "GO BY TRAIN" on the northeast and southwest sides, and "UNION STATION" on the northwest and southeast. The neon signs were added to the tower in 1948.
The station's initial design, in 1882, called for what would have been the largest rail station in the world. A smaller plan was approved in 1885, with construction beginning in 1890 and opening day on Feb. 14, 1896.
The station served 601,582 arrivals and departures in 2009, an all-time high and a 28 percent jump over three years. Its average fare was $48. The most common links were, in order, to Seattle, Tacoma, Eugene, Salem, Olympia/Lacey, Tukwila, Albany and Los Angeles. About 75 percent of trips were less than 200 miles, which includes all those cities except the last.
In 2009, the Portland station's traffic exceeded Seattle's King Street Station to become the Northwest's busiest.
- Union Station ridership statistics from the National Association of Railroad Passengers (see page 327)
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