MetroLink, Gateway Arch, a loaded coal train, and candied bacon

on Monday, September 24, 2018

An eastbound MetroLink light rail train arrives at Delmar Loop on Sept. 22, 2018. Angela Pusztai-Pasternak

And, let me tell you, that's a wicked way to spend a Saturday!

I had the pleasure of visiting St. Louis this past weekend and riding MetroLink. What a great service! It was easy to use, clean, and had a smooth ride. My husband and I took the Red Line from Delmar Loop to Laclede’s Landing to see the Gateway Arch. However, you can disembark at Eighth and Pine to be closer to the Arch. We bought one-day adventure passes for $7.50 each. You can actually take the Blue or Red lines to get to the Arch, but only the Red Line takes you back to Delmar. Trains run on 20-minute headways and the agency boasts 98-percent on-time performance. MetroLink made automated announcements about approaching trains and special announcements about possible delays due to the Cardinals game on Saturday. Fortunately, the service is fairly easy to figure out. If public transit isn’t intuitive to you, most of the operators were fairly soft spoken aboard the trains and you must listen closely or otherwise be mindful of your stop. Incidentally, no one asked to see our tickets during the day. The light rail vehicles were comfortably occupied; we always got a seat. Riders seemed to be an even mix of locals and tourists. There’s no eating or drinking onboard, however, a vendor was selling candy, snacks, and incense and incense burners. I found that curious. I’m guessing you can’t burn incense aboard MetroLink either.

An Amtrak train at Gateway Station as seen from my seat on a MetroLink Red Line train. Angela Pusztai-Pasternak

Looking up at the Gateway Arch. Angela Pusztai-Pasternak


Looking across the river from the inside the top of the Arch. Angela Pusztai-Pasternak

A MetroLink train arrives at Laclede's Landing station on Sept. 22, 2018. Angela Pusztai-Pasternak

At the Arch, parallel to the Mississippi River is Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis trackage. [Trains Contributing Illustrator Bill Metzger created a great map of the area for the October 2016 issue.]  I was fortunate to see one very long loaded coal train start to finish from above as it was going through a tunnel. The locomotives on the headend were blue and white (perhaps leasers?) and there was BNSF distributed power on the end. I took Instagram live video of it thus I can’t share it here. We also rode the Red Line later in the evening to Central West End and took a short walk to the BBQ Saloon on Laclede Avenue. If you go, you must get their candied bacon. It was heaven. Alas, I forgot to take a picture as I was on a spiritual plane while eating it. Definitively, this will not be our last visit to St. Louis. We had a great time and will make a point to go back and see more of the beautiful city. 

BONUS:

You can check out former Wabash Railway Delmar Station around the corner from the Delmar MetroLink station. Angela Pusztai-Pasternak



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