Union Station

Denver's Union Station

To the left is the original station that served the city of Denver, built in 1881. It lasted in that form until a fire in 1894 which brought down the building and it's iconic clock tower. In 1894 the building was rebuilt and lasted until the 1930's when another renovation and an addition were completed to finalize the structure as it stands today.

The Mizpah/Welcome Arch

With the prevalence of rail transport in the early 20th Century, the city decided to erect a large steel arch in front of the station to welcome visitors to the city, and to acknowledge those leaving, but never too far. In total, the arch cost $22,500 and included more than 70 tons of steel and 2,000 light bulbs. While an icon for the station, it was torn town in the 1930's as it was deemed a traffic hazard.

New Renovations and the modern Station

Post WWII rail ridership slowly decreased, and with it the need for a central Union Station. While it was still served by a few unique and special trains along with the Amtrak California Zephyr, the station was is disrepair towards the end of the century. However, the powers at be in Denver were determined to revamp the iconic building at the heart of downtown.

Renovations began in 2010 to the surrounding area and the completed building and stations for light rail, Amtrak and busses were all opened in 2014. The main great hall has been converted into 'Denver's Living Room' with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars. In the wings and upper floors, the Crawford Hotel has guest rooms styled in the historic motif the original strucutre was built in.

The MMRG model of Union Station

On the layout you'll find the Union Station area a little bit different than you might encounter in the real world today. The model and surrounding area are designed to be set between the 1900's and the 1930's. Note that you'll see the classic Model T automibles, the numerous trolley's and the rails that served the many warehouses located downtown at the time. At the center of the model is a 3d printed version of the Mizpah arch. Printed in clear resin, the whole arch acts like a giant fiber optic and will allow the model to appear as though it has the same thousands of lights the original had.

On the trackside of the model you'll see the old platforms as they had been for years before the renovations in the 2000's. Also of note, when Union Station was the bustling station as it is modeled on the layout, the station was a run through platform. The station was converted to a back-in single entrance setup in the 90's and the surrounding area's were developed into the Lodo district of downtown Denver.