Posts Tagged ‘Railroad depots’

Hamilton Accepts Donation of B&O Depot

June 11, 2021

The city council of Hamilton, Ohio, voted 5-2 this week to take possession of the former Baltimore & Ohio passenger station.

But the building’s fate is far from decided and some council members are opposed to spending city funds to move and preserve the depot that is more than a century old.

Preservation supporters have urged the city to move the building 500 feet away and renovate it into a community and business center.

However, moving the building is estimated to cost $600,000 and the cost of renovating the station and the site on which it would sit has been put at $1.5 million.

“I struggle with the cost to relocate the historic depot,” Hamilton mayor Pat Moeller said. “I really, really struggle with the loss of a historic building that connects Hamilton to Lincoln, Truman and Eisenhower.”

Council member Susan Vaughn argued against spending city funds to move and preserve the building, but seemed open to some sort of city matching donation.

 “We received thousands of signatures on petitions,” she said. “Maybe if each one of those came with a $100 commitment, maybe we would’ve raised $200,000. Maybe that would help with the moving.”

Another council member, Carla Fieher, said the money that might be spent on saving the depot would be better used for other purposes.

Yet mayor Moeller countered that no other building in town has the history the depot has. “We seem to get more and more convenience stores, but less and less historic buildings.”

The council ultimately voted to accept the depot as a donation from owner CSX, which no longer uses the structure located along the Toledo Subdivision.

The council will discuss at its next meeting what to do with the depot it has now agreed to accept.

Hamilton Gets Another Year to Save Depot

March 31, 2021

Officials in Hamilton will have a little more time to save the city’s former Baltimore & Ohio passenger station.

CSX has agreed to give Hamilton a year to raise money to move the depot to another location.

Officials have discussed moving it two blocks away to a site near the CSX Indianapolis Subdivision.

CSX had indicated that it will raze the historic structure if local officials do not move it off site.

Estimates are moving the station will cost $300,000 and restoration will cost another $300,000.

Michigan Depot Turned Home For Sale

November 24, 2020

A former railroad station converted to a home in northern Michigan is for sale.

The 2,750-square foot home in Negauee is on the market with an asking price of $324,900.

The former Chicago & North Western depot was converted to a private home in 2001.

Many of its original station-related features have been retained including the ticket windows having been converted into pass-through windows between the kitchen and dining room.

Kentucky City Selling C&O Depot

September 25, 2019

A Kentucky city is seeking to sell a former Chesapeake & Ohio passenger and freight station that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mt. Sterling said it is seeking sealed bids to buy the depot, which is located on Railroad Street.

The buyer must buy the building and adjacent property, which is less than a third of an acre.

The winner bid will be “conditionally accepted” and the bidder will have six months to submit a proposal for refurbishment of the depot to the city.

Final acceptance will only become effective once the city approves the renovation plan.

More information is available by calling the city at 859-498-8725. Bids are due by Oct. 15.

Mt. Sterling is located on the former C&O Lexington Subdivision, which was abandoned in the mid 1980s.

The station was built in 1910 and active through the 1970s. It was listed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

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.

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.

Railroad Space in Conneaut

March 5, 2018

I’d never photographed a CSX train in Conneaut from this particular angle until last fall.

The crew of westbound Q145 probably paid little attention to the former New York Central depot, which is now a museum. They’ve passed it dozens of times.

As I looked through my lens, I also noted the two-story red brick building to the right of the station.

I suspect that at one time it might have been a hotel. It was common back in the day for hotels to be placed next to or near railroad stations.

If this was a hotel at one time, it has been decades since the last guest signed the register. The NYC last picked up passengers in Conneaut on Oct. 25, 1962.

That building probably had ceased being a hotel well before that. I’m not sure what use is made of that building today. It might be an apartment building.

Winter Afternoon in Peninsula

January 30, 2018

It had been a while since I’d been able to get out with my camera. Car troubles and other matters had kept me at home as winter fell on Northeast Ohio in early January.

More than a week into the month, I finally got everything squared away and was able to get out of the house to go do some winter photography.

I had plans to go watch a college basketball game in Akron on a Tuesday night so I left the house early and stopped by Peninsula to see what I might find.

I knew better than to expect to catch a train on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. That operation was on hiatus until later in the month. But you can still do a lot without a train.

Several years ago I photographed the Peninsula train station during winter when it had icicles hanging on it. That was not the case on this day because the sun had melted them.

A step box on the platform had accumulated some snow and the platform area had footprints made by visitors to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Snow no longer covered the rails, but in the late day sunlight the ties on the siding were barely visible as the snow had that sunken look.

At the far north end of town sat a baggage car that had been used as a prop when the Polar Express trains were operating before Christmas. Beneath that car was bare ground.

There weren’t many people around on this day. It was still cold and winter is not a time of year when many people want to visit the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

 

More Former Erie Passenger Stations

December 13, 2017

The Park Ridge Station of the Erie Railroad.

In June I did a series on Erie Railroad mainline stations from Hoboken, New Jersey, to Port Jervis, New York. Here are some other stations on some lesser known Erie/Erie Lackawanna branches.

The New Jersey & New York Railroad was leased by the Erie in the 1880’s. The railroad served Bergen County, New Jersey.

Even though the Erie took control of the line, it was still the NJ&NY on paper right through the EL days.

There are some beautiful old stations on the NJ&NY RR. Here are (in order) River Edge, Oradell, and Park Ridge.

Today the line is New Jersey Transit’s Pascack Valley Line and all these stations still serve passengers in their waiting rooms. Ticket machines sell the tickets rather than agents.

Another Erie Line was originally The Northern Railroad of New Jersey.

This railroad started before the Civil War and was bought outright by the Erie about 1940.

The EL ended passenger service on this line in 1966. Today CSX owns the line and only a couple industries are served on the lower end of the line.

This line served some very affluent New Jersey communities and their stations demonstrate that. In order, we have Tenafly Station, now a restaurant, and Demarest Station, which looks more like a church.

The railroad is pretty much dead in these parts, although there is talk about making part of this line a light rail system, which still won’t reach these locations.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris

The Tenafly station of the Erie Railroad

The River Edge station of the Erie Railroad

The Demarest Station of the Erie Railroad

The Oradell Station of the Erie Railroad

The Agent’s Bay Window

August 26, 2017

The Arcade & Attica depot in Curriers, New York, is in part a museum. Although not restored to its former glory, there are exhibits of historical significance.

One room in the one-story wood station resembles old school railroading when small towns like this had agents.

Many depot had bay windows so that the agent could look down the tracks in both directions to watch for arriving trains.

The restoration of this agent’s desk is incomplete. I doubt that the agents back in the day had three red lanterns. The typewriter might be authentic but the agent would have had other tools as well.

Nonetheless it has a historical feel that harkens back to a time when steam locomotive power was a daily regularity and not a novelty for tourists.