Posts Tagged ‘Passenger stations’

Indiana Monon Station at Risk

September 2, 2020

The former Monon depot in Bedford, Indiana, in July 1992. The track in the foreground connected the former Milwaukee Road with the former Monon. At the time, Soo Line operated two trains a day over this connection.

The former Monon passenger station in Bedford, Indiana, is at risk of demolition due to its dilapidated condition a preservation group has warned.

The station was built in 1926 of Indiana limestone. Bedford is the self-style “Limestone Capital of the World” and the Monon over the years shipped tons of the stone that was used to build numerous buildings across the country.

Passenger service at the depot ended in 1967, but the building housed an operator for several years afterwards.

After railroad use of the depot ended, Lawrence County officials began using it as a recycling center.

That use has since ended and the station has become a target for vandals. Deteriorating soffits are endangering the tile roof.

Community leaders and trail advocates have expressed interest in transforming the station into as a trail head for the Milwaukee Road Transportation Trailway, which is built on the former right of way of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul branch that once served Bedford.

The former Milwaukee Road passenger station has been preserved and converted into an information center, gathering space, and trail head for the Limestone Trail System.

Officials hope that saving the Monon Station could spur similar investment in the north edge of Downtown Bedford.

They have cautioned that preservation of the depot needs to occur soon before further deterioration makes preservation of the structure even more difficult and expensive.

New Perspective in Berea

May 19, 2019

Thousands of photographs of trains have been made in Berea over the years.

Most were probably made from or near the parking lot of the former Big Four depot, which is now a restaurant.

The photographer has stood just south of the CSX tracks to capture trains on those rails or the nearby Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern.

I know all about that because I’ve made countless such images.

Recently, though, I found a new angle I hadn’t considered before. I was walking on the bridge carrying Front Street over both railroads.

An eastbound CSX intermodal train came along and the idea came to me in a flash to get the train going past the depot.

Although I had a clear line of sight, there was a row of tall vegetation along the tracks. That hinders the image somewhat, but there was enough of an opening in it to get a reasonably open view of the lead locomotive’s nose.

This is, I believe, train Q020 and it has a distributed power unit toward the middle of the consist.

CSX Razing Historical Abandoned Facilities

June 20, 2018

CSX has been active of late swinging the wrecking ball and razing vacant stations and former interlocking towers along its right of way.

In a statement, CSX said it is considering safety and historical preservation in deciding which structures to take down.

However, in some instances the railroad has generated controversy by razing structures that local communities were seeking to preserve.

Such was the case last spring in Abbeville, South Carolina, where a station was razed even though preservationists contended that they had reached an agreement with CSX to save the station.

News reports in May said a state preservation society had negotiated with the railroad for the depot to be preserved and moved if $50,000 could be raised for the depot’s preservation.

However, CSX contended that the preservation group indicated it could not meet those financial requirements and the 128-year depot was razed.

Closer to home, the former New York Central station in Ashtabula was demolished on May 31, although preservation efforts in that case did not get to the stage of offering money for the building.

CSX has also removed Chesapeake & Ohio-built interlocking towers at A Cabin in Alleghany, Virginia, and CW Cabin in Hinton, West Virginia.

Also catching the wrecking ball was the C&O Balcony Falls, Va., station.

In a statement CSX said it has been identifying structures that are vacant, have structural issues and overgrown vegetation. It also contended that it decides what to tear down on a case-by-case basis.

Still a Kent Landmark

March 10, 2018

Kent still has three railroad stations standing and the one that served the Erie Railroad gets most of the attention.

That is understandable because it has been restored and converted into a restaurant.

Its location on a bluff overlooking the Cuyahoga River also means that it shows up a lot in images made of CSX trains on the New Castle Subdivision running along the river below the bluff.

And with its pleasing architecture and red brick exterior, the ex-Erie depot makes for a good photo subject.

Getting a lot less love and looking a lot less attractive is the former Baltimore & Ohio passenger station.

It’s a plain Jane frame structure located just off Summit Street. Many a photograph has been made of westbound trains passing this station, but it is not the “go to” shot to be had in Kent of CSX operations.

I’m not sure what use that CSX makes of this structure. Maybe it is used by the maintenance of way forces.

It hasn’t hosted a passenger since April 30, 1971, the last day that the B&O dispatched it own passenger trains.

Amtrak’s Broadway Limited and later the Three Rivers passed by this station for years, but never stopped to board or discharge passengers.

As can be see, vandals have used the depot as a canvass.

Yet on the day that I made this image, I noticed later a carload of Kent State students had shown up to use the station as a photo prop.

It is still something of a Kent landmark even if it isn’t the grand old lady in town.

At Last I Can Check Galion Off My List

August 19, 2017

Photographing an eastbound CSX train passing the former Big Four passenger station in Galion has been on my “to do” list for a long time.

How long? I was still shooting slide film when I first became interested in getting the image.

I’ve been digital since July 2011 so that is at least six years. And I know photographing in Galion has been on my mind for at least a few years before that.

I’ve driven through Galion numerous times while en route to Marion. But I never stopped to get the Galion photograph.

Marion has far more traffic than Galion. Yes, everything that passes through Marion on the Mt. Victory Subdivision also goes through Galion.

And Galion gets some traffic off the Columbus Line, which joins the Mt. Victory Sub in Galion a short distance south of the Big Four station.

But Columbus Line traffic has dwindled to a trickle. There is a stack train that originates in Columbus (Q022) and some other traffic here and there.

Getting the Galion image I wanted comes with a small window. It must be done in the morning and it works best for an eastbound.

It also takes determination and not giving into the temptation to say “the hell with it I’m going to Marion” after an hour of waiting and hearing nothing on the radio.

I arrived in Galion around 8:30 a.m., which I feared might be too late to catch the Q022. It must have been because I never saw it.

I waited for nearly an hour before catching a train, the westbound Q363. It was a monster freight that kept traffic waiting at the grade crossings for a long time.

It would be nearly an hour before another train came along. It was the eastbound U700, a coal train.

I debated about whether to photograph on the east side of the tracks or next to the umbrella shed that runs the length of the platform on the west side of the tracks.

I liked that view better, but it would mean one side of the train would be in shadows. I opted for the east side to get all of the train in sunlight.

After the passage of the U700 I headed for Marion. That was a wise decision. There would not be another eastbound go through Galion until around 3 p.m., by which time the sun had shifted to the west side of the tracks.

I’d still like to go back to Galion and get that umbrella shed shot and take my chances with the shadows.

One thing I know is that it will take some patience and maybe arriving earlier than I did on this trip.

Ann Arbor OKs Money for More Station Studies

September 22, 2016

The Ann Arbor City Council has approved a resolution to amend the city’s professional services agreement with AECOM, an engineering firm, which would provide additional funding to perform further studies on a new Amtrak station.

michiganHowever, some council members expressed discontent about how much money has already been spent on studies related to the new depot.

They noted that nearly a million dollars has already been expended on studies and environmental reviews since 2012 and yet a site for the station has yet to be chosen.

A study recently released identified several station options at three sites.

“This additional money is necessary because we have not narrowed it down to one site. The original agreement included the environment review for one preferred alternative,” said council member Jack Eaton. “If we were able to narrow it down to one alternative we would not have to spend this extra $196,000.”

Public Services Administrator Craig Hupy and Transportation Manager Eli Cooper said the additional city funding is needed for studies of the potential station sites because the project’s current funding grant from the Federal Railroad Association did not provide money for those studies.

Nine council members voted to approve the resolution, with Eaton the sole no vote.

Ann Arbor is served by six daily Wolverine Service trains between Chicago and Detroit (Pontiac).

Erie/EL Stations of the East: 3 in New York

June 3, 2016

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Erie Middletown Built 1896

Last in a Series

Our tour of Erie Railroad stations concludes with three stations in New York state.

The Tuxedo depot (top photograph) was built in 1882.

Although Middletown Station (middle photograph) is in its original location, the adjacent Erie mainline was ripped out by Conrail in the early 1980s. It was built in 1896 and is now used as the Middletown Library. Adjacent to the old Erie mainline right of way, the tracks were removed by Conrail in 1983.

Finally, there is Port Jervis station (bottom photograph), which was built in 1896 and served as home to the Delaware Division headquarters.

This station is now under private ownership and contains offices and retail. It is no longer in use by the railroad.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris

Erie/EL Stations of the East: Ridgewood, Mahwah

June 2, 2016

Erie Ridgewood Built 1918

Mahwah Station Built 1871

Part 4 of a Series

Today we look at two more stations along the former Erie Railroad New York Division in New Jersey.

The station at Ridgewood (top photo) was built in 1918 and features a unique mission style architecture, that was ruined (in my opinion) several years ago by the addition of high-level ADA platforms.

This was the suburban stop for most Erie long-distance trains. Although it had eastbound and westbound waiting rooms, only the eastbound building is used today by New Jersey Transit.

The Mahwah station was built in 1871 but retired by the Erie in 1904 due to right of way expansion.

The building was moved in 1904 to a dairy farm for use as warehouse. After the dairy farm closed, the station was moved again to this location where it is now an Erie Railroad Museum. Although the station is more than 145 years old, it only served the railroad for 33 years.

For more info visit:   http://mahwahmuseum.org/new-exhibit-at-the-old-station-museum-and-caboose/

Article and photographs by Jack Norris

Erie/EL Stations of the East: Radburn (Fair Lawn)

June 1, 2016

Erie Radburn Built 1929

Part 3 of a Series

Does Fair Lawn sound familiar? Did any of you ever send out Kodachrome slide film to Kodak for processing? Most of it was developed at the Fair Lawn Kodak plant.

Today Kodachrome is gone but the Radburn station, which serves Fair Lawn, still stands and is used by New Jersey Transit. The depot, which features the Dutch Colonial style, was built in 1929.

Photograph by Jack Norris

Erie/EL Stations of the East: The Stately Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken, NJ

May 30, 2016

DL&W Hoboken Terminal Built 1907

First of a Series

New Jersey is big on preservation and many communities have preserved and/or restored their train stations.

Except for Mahwah, Waldwick, Middletown and Port Jervis, all of these stations still provide their waiting rooms for daily commuters using New Jersey Transit trains.

Only Mahwah does not sit in its original spot. It is now located about 200 feet from the tracks it once served.

In this first of a five-part series, Jack Norris takes us on a tour of Erie Railroad and Erie Lackawanna passenger stations in New Jersey and New York on the former New York Division.

We begin with the Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken, New Jersey. This became the terminal for all EL passenger trains after the October 1960 merger of the Erie and the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western.

Lackawanna Terminal opened in 1907. The exterior is copper and the waiting room ceiling was made by Tiffany (yes, THE Tiffany).

The original clock tower was removed in the early 1950s due to it being unstable. The clock tower you see is a recreation that New Jersey Transit installed in 2008.

During Superstorm Sandy, 5 feet of sea water and mud filled this waiting room. That is about a foot or so above the ticket window counters.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris

Hoboken Terminal Entrance

Hoboken Ticket Windows

HobokenTiffany Ceiling