This building is impressive and has that late 19th Century architectural beauty of some other historical train stations in America. Love them! Love this one! The grey coloured brick, red relief and roof really dominates the skyline near the ‘old town’ - Chinatown in Portland. It sits west side of the Willamette River and is a major hub of transportation services in/out of the city. You can’t miss the signature 150ft Romanesque Tower with the huge clock and signs ‘Go by Train’ and ‘Union Station‘!
The station is close to a TriMet MAX Yellow or Green Line stop and very easy to get here from just about anywhere in the local area. We had luggage but it was still an easy 5 min flat walk. The gardens at the front of the building are colourful with the forecourt area a little less inspiring providing good cover in the rain. Around the corner and up some stairs to a footbridge you can stand and watch the trains pulling in /out on the tracks. Wouldn’t feel that safe here at night though.
The interior is not overly ornate but ascetically appealing in its simplicity. Old wooden bench seating, lovely marble flooring and wall tiles, old wooden ticket counter, ornate rosette plaster work on the ceiling, eco friendly ceiling lights, bright neon signage from the 40’s and high windows that let in some light.
We were catching the Amtrak Cascades service and the staff at the reservation / ticketing counter were a little sullen and indifferent. The baggage guy was much more chirpy and picked up a mistake the ticket counter had made. Lucky for us! There is some signage for track/gate but confusing so keep an ear out for directions on the PA. Staff are around at the entry gates to help direct you but basically it's going to be left or right at the gate depending on travel class.
Wilf’s restaurant and Bar is the only dining experience at the station, a small kiosk and a well-stocked food / gift outlet on the way to the restrooms. It’s not as big as some city stations but was historically going to be the biggest in the world until plans were approved for the current size. Portland Union Station is a unique building in a very beautiful city. - come see it even if you are not travelling!
Enjoy your visit!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.