Posts Tagged ‘Cincinnati Union Terminal’

Cincinnati RR Club to Return to CUT

December 16, 2021

The board of directors of the Cincinnati Railroad Club has approved a move back to Cincinnati Union Terminal.

The board approved spending $50,000 to renovate and lease a 1,883-square-foot space on the third floor north below Tower A. The club also will need to pay an additional $16,000 in annual rent.

The club will have access of the Newsreel Theater and other spaces to hold monthly programs and meetings.

It is unclear if access to Tower A will be included in the lease. That may be a longer term project.

The space the club is leasing overlooks a portion of a railroad yard.

One Day at Cincinnati Union Terminal

February 3, 2021


It is August 1970 at Cincinnati Union Terminal. A pair of Chesapeake & Ohio passenger locomotives are being moved in the terminal. perhaps for servicing or perhaps to be put onto a train.

At the time, C&O passenger service to Cincinnati was just one trains, the George Washington to Washington and Newport News.

However, C&O passenger equipment was sometimes assigned to Baltimore & Ohio trains of which there were three out of Cincinnati at the time.

Those included the Metropolitan to Washingon, the Cincinnatian to Detroit and a section of the George Washington to St. Louis.

These locomotives could have handled any of those trains. In less than a year, all of them except the George Washington to Washington and Newport News would be discontinued with the coming of Amtrak

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Another One From Cincinnati

September 3, 2020

It is either 1969 or 1970 in Cincinnati where Cincinnati Union Terminal No. 24, a Lima 750 horsepower switcher, is in storage along with some sister units. You can tell what part of Ohio someone is from if you ask them to describe the initials CUT. It could be Cincinnati Union Terminal or it could be Cleveland Union Terminal.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Museums Inside Cincinnati Union Terminal to Reopen

June 9, 2020

Museums located inside Cincinnati Union Terminal plan to reopen on July 17.

The museums are Cincinnati Museum Center and the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center.

In a news release, the museums said admission will be via timed tickets to enable social distancing.

Signs and floor markings will also be used to maintain a 6-foot distance among visitors inside the museum.

Staff will be required to wear masks while visitors are asked to do so.

The museums have been closed since March 14.

A CUT Memory. No, Not That CUT

February 16, 2020

In Northeast Ohio railroad enthusiasts are apt to say that the initials C-U-T stand for Cleveland Union Terminal.

But in Southwestern Ohio C-U-T means Cincinnati Union Terminal.

Cincinnati Union Terminal EMD SW8 No. 34 is shown working in Cincinnati sometime between 1969 and 1971.

The top photograph is a close crop. The bottom image is the original.

From left to right are CUT 34, and Penn Central 4231 (E7A), 4265 (E8A), 4210 (E7A).

Photograph by Robert Farkas

One Day at Cincinnati Union Terminal

August 13, 2019

The 1960s may have been the decade that the woes of the American intercity passenger train became most acute.

For those who paid attention to the trains, the canary in the mine shaft was the bare bone liveries that some railroads were applying to their passenger locomotives to cut costs.

And yet many of us would love to be able to go back in a time to that era for a few days to photograph it because while the passenger trains were vanishing there were still a lot more of them.

In the images above, it is early in the Penn Central era at Cincinnati Union Terminal.

Former Pennsylvania Railroad Nos. 4231, 4265 and 4210 are still in full PRR paint and markings. The 4231 is on the point of an E7A, E8A, and E7A lashup.

Visible in the bottom image are the same locomotives plus Cincinnati Union Terminal switcher No. 34.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Cincinnati Union Terminal Set to Reopen

November 14, 2018

A restoration of Cincinnati Union Terminal will wrap up this week when the 85-year-old art deco station reopens.

The $228 million restoration project took 30 months to complete after getting underway in July 2016.

The project was funded by a sales tax approved by Cincinnati and Hamilton County voters in 2014.

Amtrak’s Cardinal stops at the station and it is home to several museums.

The restoration effort involved rebuilding the structure down to its substructure and restoring the class murals in the rotunda to look the way that they did when the depot opened in 1933.

The neon-lined clock on the front of the building also was rehabilitated.

“This is a monumental achievement for our staff and volunteers and for the entire community” said Cody Hefner, a representative of the Cincinnati Museum Center.

“Everyone who works here, and really everyone in the community, has a story about Union Terminal, either as a train station or as a museum. So to be able to restore a place with such a personal connection, and to do so in such a grand, visible, breathtaking way, is really incredible.”

Amtrak moved its waiting room to an adjacent building during the restoration. It returned to CUT during the first week of November.

During the public reopening on Nov. 17, Hefner said projectors will be used to light the terminal’s exterior with different exhibits each evening.

A large Christmas train display, a tradition at CUT since 1946, will open to the public on Nov. 16.

Cincinnati Union Terminal Tribute Programs Set

October 20, 2018

Two programs featuring photography of Cincinnati Union Terminal by former Trains magazine managing editor Wallace W. Abbey have been set in early November.

The programs will be presented by George W. Hamlin.

Titled Wally Abbey Visits Cincinnati Union Terminal, the programs will feature background on CUT and the railroads and trains that served it.

Abbey, who died in 2014, wrote an article about CUT that was published in the May 1953 issue of Trains.

His collection of 25,000 black and white negatives and 8,000 color slides is now housed at the Center for Railroad Photography & Art.

One presentation will be given during the Nov. 1 meeting of the Cincinnati Railroad Club at Harmony Lodge. More information is available at

Another presentation will be hosted on Nov. 2 by the Miami Valley Railfans at the West Carrollton Civic Center at 7 p.m.

During that presentation, club member David Oroszi will show photos of CUT from his collection. For more information, go to

More Opposition to Cincinnati Ticket Office Closing

June 9, 2018

The Hamilton County transportation improvement board has passed a resolution urging that Amtrak keep its ticket office at Cincinnati Union Terminal.

However, the office closed on June 5. Cincinnati is served by Amtrak’s tri-weekly Chicago-Washington Cardinal. It handles about 11,000 passengers a year in Cincinnati.

Amtrak has hired a caretaker to open and close the waiting room and assist passengers with their luggage and boarding.

Because of construction at CUT, Amtrak is using a temporary facility adjacent to the iconic station.

The Cardinal stops in Cincinnati in both directions in the dead of night. The city will be one of the largest Amtrak cities in the county to lack a station ticket office.

Amtrak now has ticket offices in Ohio in Cleveland and Toledo.

Cincinnati Fighting to Keep Ticket Agents

May 7, 2018

Cincinnati officials are eyeing providing assistance in an effort to keep open the Amtrak ticket office at Union Terminal.

The action came after Amtrak said it would remove its two ticket agents from Cincinnati on June 5.

“The city administration is glad to assist in these efforts should that be the desire of the mayor and City Council,” acting City Manager Patrick Duhaney wrote in a memo to the Cincinnati City Council, which must approve any expenditures.

Duhaney responded after being contacted by passenger rail advocacy groups Friends of the Cardinal and All Aboard Ohio, which asked elected officials and city administrators to help keep the ticket office open.

Cincinnati is served by the tri-weekly Chicago-Washington Cardinal. No. 50 arrives in the Queen City on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday while No. 51 stops on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Both trains arrive in the middle of the night.

“While there are other stations on the Cardinal route that are unstaffed, Cincinnati is a popular, multi-level station which makes assistance by Amtrak staff for handicapped and elderly passengers very important,” Duhaney said in his memo.

He said that any loss of station services will degrade ridership and jeopardize continued service.

Aside from selling tickets, Amtrak’s two agents in Cincinnati assist with boarding and checked baggage.

Amtrak plans to hire a caretaker to open and close the waiting room before and after trains arrive.

The situation in Cincinnati is complicated by the fact that renovations at Union Terminal have forced Amtrak to temporarily locate to an adjacent, station facility on Kenner Street behind the Terminal.

The renovations at CUT are slated to be finished this fall.

Amtrak has cited an overwhelming preference by passengers to buy tickets online rather than at ticket offices as well as a desire to cut costs as motivating the closings of 15 ticket offices between mid May and late June.

“This is in no way a reflection on them,” Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said in reference to the performance of the agents in Cincinnati.

He said that the agents might be able to transfer to a different position within Amtrak.

After the Cincinnati ticket office closes the nearest Amtrak station with a ticket window will be Indianapolis. Amtrak also has ticket offices in Ohio in Cleveland and Toledo.

Magliari said the caretaker the passenger carrier plans to hire in Cincinnati will do more than open and close the waiting room.

He said that person will also assist passengers and receive training in how to operate the station.

The 15 stations set to close reportedly handle 40 or fewer passengers per day, yet rail passenger advocates content that Cincinnati should not be measured by that criteria due to the limited service and ongoing renovations of Union Terminal.

“Cincinnati is an outlier,” said Derek Bauman, the southwest Ohio vice chair for All Aboard Ohio.

“If you look at the other places where this has happened, [these are] basically smaller burgs,” he said. “I think that if it had not been for Union Terminal being under construction for the past year, that we would probably not have been in a position to lose our two people.”

Bauman expressed optimism that once the construction if completed at Union Terminal that Amtrak ridership in Cincinnati will increase.

“If anything, especially during this time of Union Terminal being rehabbed and the location and security and difficulty for (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance, we need the assistance of the full-time Amtrak employees,” he said.