Several months after it’s public opening. I finally got to explore the new Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge inside Union Station Chicago. Many long time riders will say this upgraded facility is long overdue.
My first visit was for only a couple of minutes. Just a bit after I checked in at front desk my train was called for boarding. No priority board was offered for Hiawatha – like it had been in years past. So after leaving lounge – I was stuck in usual very long line to board that train.
Video was recorded next day on my journey home ( August 26 2016 ). Recording is a combination of separate videos taken.
When entering lounge next day I was greeted by a familiar face who asked me if I had explored the new location. I told her I’d been there for just a few minutes the day before.
First stop in tour was a shower pass. I was given a lanyard to wear with a RFID or near field communications tag – that you hold up to “lock” by shower room door. I wasn’t aware that showers were located inside bathrooms – I was looking for separate room. Very nice looking shower with large hotel style showerhead. I wish it was possible to have this quality onboard sleepers.
When entering lobby of Union Station Chicago Metropolitan Lounge – front desk is in front of you – 2 seating areas to your left and right. Next to desk on right is a large baggage room. Some reviews state this room isn’t large enough. I could see how it could fill up fast but seems larger than baggage area that Amtrak employees use to run in old lounge. Compared to Washington DC Metropolitan Lounge I say baggage storage is same size or maybe bigger. Chicago has several advantages over DC – room has video surveillance and has more storage racks. Los Angeles lounge has no baggage room.
To left of main desk you will find restrooms. These are larger and offer more stalls. This is where you will find the shower facilities. You will need previously mentioned shower pass to access them. I almost forgot to give mine back – I had to be asked. Brain blip moment unfortunately.
There are another set of doors to left of check-in desk. These are were you will enter lounge main area. As you step in you will see seating and snack beverage area to right. You will immediately notice all the new big screen TV’s – some of which are train status boards – both are easily found in all areas of lounge. New status screens are a much needed and welcomed upgrade.
After entering you will see rooms off to your left and right – in front of you – you will see a large staircase leading to second floor. Yes there is now a second floor for Union Station Chicago Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge. There is an elevator for those who don’t want to hike up stairs. For security this elevator has video surveillance.
In room to left there is a glass wall that I’m told is soundproof. This separates waiting area – room behind glass is kid / family friendly. I was told some have referred to it as looking like a romper room. Which I’d assume is what it is suppose to be – thus soundproof glass.