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Riding To The Top Of The Gateway Arch In The Tram Car: What It's Like & What You Can See Of St Louis

Gonna go up in the Arch today! It's been years since I've been up in the Arch.

I used to go all the time when I was a kid and I lived across the river in Cahokia.

So I'm gonna do it again today.

You used to go in by walking to either one of the legs.

But those are just exits now.

Since they've redone the Arch, you actually

enter from the top of the hill.

Downtown St. Louis is that way.

There's the Old Courthouse.

So across from there. this is the actual entrance to the Arch.

And before you get on the tram ride to the top of the Arch, right near the entrance

to the Arch is a replica of the cars that you'd be riding in. So you can

actually get in, sit down,

try the seats out to see if it would be comfortable for you to go up in the ride.

It's about a four minute ride up, three minute ride down. And you could be

sharing it with four other people...the cars hold five people at the most.

If you're a claustrophobic, you can figure out if this is too close for you, maybe

too cramped.

And you take the escalator down after you go through Security.

Everybody goes through Security. And you walk through the museum area first to

get to the north or south leg of the train.

And my ticket is for Adult, North Tram.

And before you get on the tram, this kind of gives you an idea what you

might see once you get up there. Looking east to Illinois and looking west over

to downtown St. Louis.

This is the entrance that goes underground to the start of the tram.

As you're waiting in the queue to board the tram, there's some facts

about the Arch. Arch height is equal to the Arch width.

Now we're going to be heading right down this way. If you have any questions, feel free to ask,

and I will be happy to answer them, because I am, after all, a tour guide.

And as such, a virtually endless font of mostly useless information.

Now we'll be heading the rest of the way into this room.

The Finnish-American architect, Eero Saarinen submitted the design for the Gateway Arch.

The Arch is 630 feet tall, that's 192 meters, 210 yards, 7560 inches, or about 63 stories.

It cost $13 million dollars to build,

That was big money in the 1960's, but in today's currency, that would be closer to $200 million dollars.

They take your picture against a blue screen, give you a card, and we go downstairs.

I got Tram Car 5. There's not too many

of us, so I may be by myself.

And that compares the height of the Arch to other

things, other monuments.

There's different things showing on each door, but I

imagine eventually everything will show on your door.

And you can hear the tram

coming down now.

So those people will get off and go up the stairs and then we'll get in.

Please keep clear of the door. The Tram door is now closing. Enjoy your trip to the top.

Here we go!

No windows on the sides or the back. But out the front door where you came in

there is a window.

Not much to see.

And the capsule adjusts

itself to level every once in a while.

It goes up a little ways, starts to tilt,

and then adjusts back to level.

A little bit different feeling.

There's stairs that go up. There's somebody's workbench area.

And the capsule's a little small...not real big. But unless you're very

claustrophobic, I think you can probably handle it.

Here's a quick look around. I'm sitting in the back seat, and

there's two seats on the left,

two on the right.

That's just some vents up there.

Those are vents.

And if there was five people in here, we'd probably be elbow to elbow.

We're slowing down.

It's only about 17 feet wide at the top.

And we're adjusting

more frequently as we're getting towards the top.

Here we go.

We're heading up to the top.

So you can see there is room for a lot of people up here.

And this is the Missouri side.

Missouri side.

And there's where we entered in the Arch complex right there.

There's the Courthouse.

And there's the St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium.

Way out there is

the Enterprise Center and Union Station.

That's Kiener Plaza right there where

the skating rink is.

There's the dome...America's Center.

You have a really good view

up here. Wow!

And if it wasn't a cloudy, hazy, foggy day,

whatever that is out there, you could see even further.

This is the Illinois side.

Down there is the riverfront, St. Louis Riverfront.

There's the Gateway Arch Riverboat.

There's the Casino Queen right across the river.

There's the Gateway Geyser.

There's the Poplar Street Bridge and

that's interstate 64 going across.

Over there is East St. Louis. Back that way is Cahokia.

And of course the mighty Mississippi.

And plenty of windows for everybody to

get a chance to look out.

And you can stay for a while, or as soon

as you come up, you can go back down on the next Tram, whatever you want to do.

So it's a great view of the sights of St. Louis from up here.

I'm gonna go down now,

and I was supposed to go to car #4, and stand on the yellow paint.

So there will be another car coming up soon.

And the trip down is faster.

Three minutes versus four minutes.

So should be a pretty good ride. What with the extra speed and the shifting back and forth.

And we're headed down.

And it does feel a lot faster.

It's a little bit more of a thrill-ride going down.

A little more speed. A little more fun!

And when I was up in the Arch,

I didn't really feel like I was way up high.

It didn't trigger any fear of heights or anything like that.

I guess it's because you're just

enclosed in this big metal structure,

and you feel pretty safe.

I enjoyed my look around at the top. I was there maybe 15 minutes, and

then I came back down.

Shift.

Shift.

Shift.

That was fun!