The New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal replaced five railroad stations that served the city in the golden era of rail travel. The eight railroads that served the city agreed to consolidate in one location in 1948, and the terminal opened in 1954.
Before the terminal was built, rail stations doted the city for more than a half century, including the Southern Railway Terminal at Canal and Basin streets, on the edge of Storyville; and the Louis H. Sullivan-designed Union Station on S. Rampart Street.
The Union Passenger Terminal was built on what was the turning basin of the New Basin Canal for $2.225 million. At first, 44 passenger trains served the city each day, but by the 1979, all of the railroads quit serving passengers and some lines were turned over to Amtrak. Today three passenger lines still serve the city – the romantically named “City of New Orleans,” “Crescent” and “Sunset Limited.”
Greyhound buses started using the terminal in the 1970s, and in 2013, a $52 million streetcar line was built to serve the station.
The terminal features a 120-foot long mural of New Orleans and Louisiana history painted by Conrad A. Albrizio.