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St. Louis Gateway Station Layover


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#1 Guest_adanish_*

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 01:17 PM

I'll be enjoying my first-ever Amtrak adventure on the Texas Eagle/Missouri River Runner next week - round trip from San Marcos, TX to Kansas City.  Thanks to all of the excellent advice and info posted here and elsewhere, I feel like I'm well-prepared with one nagging exception and could use a little guidance.

 

On the return trip, (transdorm sleeper room #24), I have a 6 hour layover in St. Louis.  My scheduled departure time for TE 21 is 7:55 p.m., assuming the train is running on time.  I know I can expect the SCA to set a late dinner reservation for me if all is well, but should I count on that?  Also, I know the train can arrive late and really mess up the works re: expecting dinner in the Diner.  I have no problem with using the long layover to track down a meal somewhere near the station, but would much prefer to wait if the odds favor being able to eat on the train.

 

Finally, if the consensus is that I might starve to death if I depend on the train being on time and dinner available, does anyone have any recommendations for a good restaurant within a short walking distance of the St. Louis Gateway Station?  

 

Any and all help will be very much appreciated!

 

 



#2 ehbowen

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 01:28 PM

The odds do favor dinner on the train. Last call for dinner is almost always after St. Louis southbound. While not exactly unprecedented, it's highly unlikely that the train will lose so much time on the run from Chicago to change that.

If you do hit the jackpot, the old Union Station is within walking distance (or one light rail stop away). There's a Landry's seafood and a Hard Rock Cafe at the light rail end of the complex, and if you walk to the head house you can eat at the Hilton Hotel restaurant or at Maggie O'Brien's pub a block over.

Edit To Add: While it's hardly a lounge, there is a first class waiting room at the St. Louis station which offers some quiet and privacy.

Edited by ehbowen, 28 June 2017 - 01:30 PM.

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#3 ehbowen

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 01:35 PM

The odds do favor dinner on the train. Last call for dinner is almost always after St. Louis southbound. [ETA: Even on the current modified schedule.] While not exactly unprecedented, it's highly unlikely that the train will lose so much time on the run from Chicago to change that.

If you do hit the jackpot, the old Union Station is within walking distance (or one light rail stop away). There's a Landry's seafood and a Hard Rock Cafe at the light rail end of the complex, and if you walk to the head house you can eat at the Hilton Hotel restaurant or at Maggie O'Brien's pub a block over.

Edit To Add: While it's hardly a lounge, there is a first class waiting room at the St. Louis station which offers some quiet and privacy.


broadside-1.jpg 16 inch Armor Piercing...When you care enough to send the very, VERY best!
Visit Streamliner Schedules - Historic timetables from the Streamliner era.


#4 Guest_adanish_*

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 02:06 PM

Thank you for the quick and helpful reply!  Although I shouldn't be fixated on dinner, I'm a girl who likes her food!  I think I'll roll the dice and hold out for dinner on the train, but I'll keep a close eye on tracking the train's progress and default to grabbing something at the Station if necessary at the last moment.  If the train is obviously going to be very late, I'll head over to Landry's or Maggie O'Brien's - both look excellent.   

 

I knew this was the right place to ask silly questions and get great answers - thank you!



#5 Bob Dylan

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 03:16 PM

Don't count on eating @ the Intermodel Station while waiting for your Train.

All they sell @ the "Cafe"is Greezy,Overpriced PizzaHut Pizza and Limited Menu KFC.

You'd be much better off hoping on the Light Rail and head up the Hill to Union Station for a "Snack" to tide you over until you eat in the Diner on the Train. ( after 800pm).
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#6 Guest_adanish_*

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 03:35 PM

Bingo!  It looks like a late lunch on the town for me, then, and I'll enjoy dinner on the train if/when it happens.  Thank you for saving me from the hockey-puck pizza and mystery chicken!



#7 Marylee

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 12:24 AM

The Union Station is well worth the walk over.  It is a beautiful building with a fountain in front.  Had a family gathering there a few years ago and one of the main reasons we went was because I had a picture of my Mom in the 1940's standing in front. 



#8 ehbowen

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 11:24 AM

Just be advised that the mall which was built into the old St. Louis Union Station in the late '80s is now dead and closed and, as of my visit last month, is in the process of being converted to an aquarium. However, Landry's and Hard Rock are still open and the Hilton hotel is still very much a going concern. The Hilton bar upstairs in the old waiting room area with its arched/vaulted ceilings is spectacular.


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#9 ehbowen

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 11:28 AM

I didn't confirm this on my visit, but at most Amtrak stations which have a designated first class waiting area (and St. Louis does) sleeper passengers can day-check their luggage at the baggage desk without charge. You can have it out of the way while you leave the station and explore during your layover.


broadside-1.jpg 16 inch Armor Piercing...When you care enough to send the very, VERY best!
Visit Streamliner Schedules - Historic timetables from the Streamliner era.


#10 Eric S

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 12:36 PM

Just be advised that the mall which was built into the old St. Louis Union Station in the late '80s is now dead and closed and, as of my visit last month, is in the process of being converted to an aquarium. However, Landry's and Hard Rock are still open and the Hilton hotel is still very much a going concern. The Hilton bar upstairs in the old waiting room area with its arched/vaulted ceilings is spectacular.

 

Glad to hear that the shopping mall space is being repurposed. As I recall it had been dying for quite a few years prior to being closed. I can't remember when I last was there, but it was probably about 5 years ago and at that time there were many, many vacancies - which, given the trend among urban, indoor shopping malls, is perhaps not surprising.



#11 Guest_adanish_*

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 01:21 PM

Thanks to Marylee and ehbowen for the additional information about making a point to visit Union Station.  After seeing this recommendation, I spent some time looking at the current and future plans for that site.  Wow!  If St. Louis follows through with the plans for Union Station, and especially the proposed Aquarium scheduled for 2019, that will make Union Station a worthy stand-alone tourist destination - one that I would consider warranting another Amtrak trip by itself.  I will definitely visit it on this trip just to appreciate the architecture and the "work-in-progress".

 

I want to take a minute to extend a heartfelt thank-you to all of the Railfans here - the FAQ's and advice you dispense to those of us who are first-time Amtrak customers in invaluable and very much appreciated.  It has enabled me to look forward to this trip as an adventure and I have adjusted my attitude to go with the flow and accept glitches if they occur while enjoying the experience.  

 

PS to ehbowen:  Your info re: bag storage at the lounge in St. Louis is good to know.  I only have one carry-on, (I believe in packing light), but it is still too heavy to drag around with me easily.  Also, I will raise a glass to you and everyone else here while appreciating the Hilton Bar!

 

 



#12 Lonestar648

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 08:18 PM

If 21 is running on its normal track from Chicago to STL, there will be minimal delays, but if there is a detour because the UP is working on the 110mph track they will by pass all stations and generally get into STL an hour or two late.  You can check the Amtrak web site for notices.  I don't see any issues coming up.





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