History of the Station
Did you Know?
By the Numbers
South Station is comprised of over 2,500 tons of granite, 1,500 tons of glass and 500 tons of terrazzo.
The 8-foot-high, 8-foot-high granite eagle perched on the top of South Station weighs 160,000 pounds.
The four air conditioning units in the Grand Concourse each move 300,000 cubic feet of air – the equivalent of 30 Olympic-size swimming pools.
The glass wall in the Grand Concourse is 200 feet long and 45 feet high and weighs approximately 4,000 tons.
Serving Passengers Since 1899
The first train departed from South Station on New Year's Day 1899 bound for Newport, Rhode Island.
The South Union Terminal was designed by Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge. Built in the Neo-Classical Revival style, it is rumored to have been inspired by World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
The original South Station building was designed to hold 613 rail cars at one time.
In 1899, the seating capacity of trains parked at platforms was 28,104.
During the early 1900s, South Station served over 36 million passengers a year – distinguishing it as the busiest in the nation.
At the peak of rail travel in the 1930s, South Station had 28 tracks; today, there are 13 tracks serving the terminal.
South Station's busiest year was wartime 1945 when 46 million passengers used the facility – averaging 125,000 per day.
South Station at various times has housed a chapel, bowling alley and movie theater.
South Station was listed on The National Register for Historic Places in 1975 saving it from the wrecking ball.
South Station features its original clock, manufactured by the E. Howard Clock Company of Roxbury, MA.
Long a symbol of the railroad industry's reliance on punctuality and speed, the clock is still wound by hand.
The clock features a double, three-legged escapement mechanism – the same mechanism that powers London's Big Ben.