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Union Station has a secret Presidential railcar, and more behind-the-scenes pics

Everyone loves a good secret, and Union Station has a ton.

Areas of the historic station typically closed to the public were opened up May 31 to a select group of Instagram users by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation (which advertises with Elevation DC). The photographers got to go above the netting in the main hall to get up close and personal with the statues of the Roman legionaires that look down on commuters. They also checked out the Presidential reception room (which was most recently the restaurant B. Smith's) and a Pullman train car that Franklin Delano Roosevelt used until 1940.

That car is parked on Track 7, the station's westernmost track, and it's not open to the public except on rare occasions, so your best bet is to win an Instagram contest or be a VIP--Amtrak sometimes entertains dignitaries on this 74-foot-long railcar.

At any rate, USRC and the National Trust took four groups of photographers on a 90-minute tour. Some photographers, like Laurie Collins (@DCCityGirl) were locals. Others, like Miriam DeLeon (@NYCMiri) traveled to DC for the occasion. "I love to photograph beautiful architecture and its details," DeLeon told Elevation DC by email. "I'm glad I made the trip because I got to see the station in a completely different light."

"I think my greatest point in the tour was seeing the American Flag, draped in front of one of the building's arches, from behind," Collins said. "I felt so patriotic and now every time I go to Union Station it will remind me that I saw this from a very special angle."

That photo, along with more of our favorites from the tour, are below. Look for new views of spots you may know, as well as three shots of the Pullman car that you've probably never seen before. Have fun exploring.

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