Gratiot to Bremen

From the junction at Gratiot (MP 2.5), where there is a tower on the south side of the line, the TRRA MacArthur Bridge District head east-southeast towards the eponymous bridge, with a flat crossing over the ex-MP tracks at the east end of its 23rd Street Yard, while the Merchants District turns away to the east on the north side of the ex-MP track. Amtrak trains to the east leave St. Louis over the Terminal Railroad Associationís Merchants District, now 2MT, TCS, which rises on steel viaduct with a speed limit of 15-10 and curves around to just east of due north at Poplar Street (MP 3.0), on the riverfront, where a track north from the UP (ex-MP) Leaperance Street Yard trails in from the south.

The Merchants District runs along the west bank of the Mississippi River, through three tunnels, one of them under the famous Arch, with speed limit now 15 mph, and onto another section of steel viaduct passing under the west approach to the Eads Bridge, now used by the light rail line, returning to ground level at Biddle Street (MP 4.1), in an area where there were once many railroad freight sheds, passing under the steel viaduct of the Railroad Switching Service of Missouri (formerly, the Illinois Terminal, an approach to the McKinley Bridge) that still has the supporting structures for the former Illinois Terminal interurban lineís overhead electrical supply wire, now heading just west of north (as the river bank curves) with speed limit 25-20, to North Market Street (MP 5.2), where the BNSF Hannibal line splits off on the east side, and there was once a similar connection on the west side to the erstwhile Wabash line now owned by NS.

The Merchants District continues through north St. Louis to the junction at Bremen (MP 6.3), south apex of a wye from which the east leg turns to go over the Merchants Bridge while the west leg turns northeast onto the West Belt District.