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Trains Could Roll Again Soon From Union Station

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The new owners of Union Station in downtown St. Louis say excursion trains could be rolling from its platforms this time next year.

St. Louis-based Lodging Hospitality Management purchased the 1894 train station and adjacent hotel in October and plans a $50 million upgrade of the property, though that does not appear to include the cost of rehabbing the canopies over the train tracks and any work that would have to be done to accommodate trains.

LHM chairman Bob O'Loughlin says the company has already booked five conventions in its newly revamped space, and says the private train trips are a perfect complement.

"Every major convention that comes in has a day when they want to do something," he said. "The whole convention can jump on the train and take a tour, or the board of directors, or whoever wants can charter out the train."

He said the company is in talks with the Rams about a package to pre-season games in Kansas City.

"We can do Cubs-Cards weekends, or trips to the winery," he said.

O'Loughlin says LHM will probably purchase two or three railcars, and contract with private companies for the rest. He did not know how much it would cost to purchase the rolling stock.

The last excursion train departed from Union Station 12 years ago.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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