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LaSalle Street Station is a commuter rail terminal at 414 S. LaSalle Street in downtown Chicago, Illinoismarker, serving Metra's Rock Island District. It was a major intercity rail terminal for the New York Central Railroad until 1968 and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad until 1978. The present structure is the third station on the site. The previous structure was demolished in 1981 and was replaced by the current station and a new office high-rise for the Chicago Stock Exchange. The Chicago Board of Trade Buildingmarker, Willis Towermarker and Harold Washington Librarymarker are close by.


The first station on the site opened on May 22, 1852 with the completion of the Northern Indiana and Chicago Railroad. On October 1, 1852, the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad began using the station. The two railroads later became the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway (New York Central Railroad) and Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. North of a junction at Englewood Stationmarker, both companies' lines ran parallel to the terminal.

In December 1866 a new station opened. The Great Chicago Fire of October 1871 destroyed the station, which was rebuilt. The station that stood until 1981 opened July 1, 1903. This station was a set for Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 "North by Northwest," starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint, and in the 1973 movie "The Sting" starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.

From its completion in 1882, the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad (Nickel Plate Road) ran over the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway from a junction at Grand Crossingmarker neighborhood north to downtown Chicago, where it had its own terminalmarker south of LaSalle. The LS&MS quickly gained control of the Nickel Plate, and later allowed it into its LaSalle Street Station as a tenant. In July 1916 the LS&MS sold the Nickel Plate to the Van Sweringens, but it continued to operate into LaSalle until the end of Nickel Plate passenger service.

On January 18, 1957 trains of the Michigan Central Railroad started to use LaSalle, running over the New York Central Railroad's Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway from their former crossing at Porter, Indianamarker to Chicago. LS&MS and Michigan Central trains (both part of the New York Central system) last used LaSalle on October 26, 1968 (soon after the merge into Penn Central); the next day they began running into Union Stationmarker via a connection in Whiting, Indianamarker and the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway.

Most intercity rail service at La Salle ended on May 1, 1971 when Amtrak consolidated long-distance services at Union Station. Rock Island opted out of Amtrak and continued to operate intercity service from LaSalle until 1978.

A connection at Englewood Stationmarker was completed October 15, 1971 to allow the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad to also operate over the PFW&C to Union Station, but the failing Rock Island decided to continue using LaSalle. Now only commuter train on Metra's Rock Island District serve the station.

Among the most famous name trains that terminated at LaSalle were the New York Central's 20th Century Limited from 1902 until 1967 and the Rock Island-Southern Pacific Golden State Limited from 1902 until 1968.

Although only Metra Rock Island District trains currently serve LaSalle the future of the station is not in question. Metra's planned SouthEast Service would terminate at LaSalle, and Chicago's massive CREATE infrastructure improvement program would allow trains from other lines to access the terminal.


LaSalle was a terminal for the following lines and intercity trains:

LaSalle still serves commuter train on Metra's Rock Island District. Approximately 17,000 people board Metra trains at LaSalle each day.

Bus Connections

  • #1 Indiana/Hyde Park * #7 Harrison * #22 Clark (Owl Service) * #24 Wentworth * #36 Broadway * #126 Jackson * #129 West Loop/South Loop * #130 Museum Campus (Summer Service Only) * #132 Goose Island Express * #145 Wilson/Michigan Express * #151 Sheridan (Owl Service) * #156 LaSalle

ChicaGo Dash
  • Shuttle service between Downtown Chicago and Valparaisomarker (Rush Hour Only)


  1. On the Bi-Level, October 2007.

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