Posts Tagged ‘railroad station restoration’

Stately Station in Galion

January 11, 2018

The former New York Central passenger station in Galion, Ohio, is slowly being restored. The different colors of the siding is evidence of this being a work in progress.

Galion, Ohio, is one of many countless towns across America that the railroads have left behind.

Not literally, though, as there are still CSX trains passing through Galion, although fewer of them.

When railroads scale back operations in a town, they typically rip out unused tracks and raze abandoned buildings.

Somehow, though, the former New York Central depot in Galion has escaped that fate.

The last scheduled passenger train to serve this station halted on April 30, 1971. Penn Central served Galion with a nameless pair of trains between Cleveland and Indianapolis, and another pair between Cleveland and Columbus.

Since then, there has been a lot of talk and numerous studies about reviving intercity rail passenger service between Cleveland and Cincinnati over the 3-C corridor.

But those efforts have been blocked by anti-passenger train sentiment in the Ohio legislature and within the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Amtrak has operated some chartered trains that stopped for passengers in Galion, but otherwise these rails have been freight only.

During a visit there last July, it was apparent that the NYC depot in Galion is in a state of transition.

There was evidence of a restoration project in progress, but it seems to have a long way to go.

One of the more intriguing artifacts at the station site is a former station sign post.

NYC stations had brass plates with the name of a town affixed to a pole somewhere along the passenger platform.

The one in Galion has been moved away from the tracks and is missing its name plate.

But seeing it took me back to the days when such trains as the Ohio State Limited, Southwestern, Missourian, and Knickerbocker would pause here to pick up and discharge passengers.

Oh, the passenger history that this pole and lamp fixture have seen.

This post once told passengers that their train had stopped in Galion.

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Ex-Erie Station in Fair Lawn Being Renovated

April 18, 2017

The former Erie Railroad station in the Radburn section of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, is closing for four months for some badly needed TLC.

It is getting a new roof, ceiling and interior renovations. The station was built by the Erie in 1929 and replaced a small wood building.

The station sees about 1,500 commuters a day and is one of only a couple of former Erie stations that still has an agent, albeit only for morning rush hour Monday through Friday.

The station is styled in the Dutch style that matched many of Fair Lawn’s early homes.

Since the station is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places the appearance of the depot will not change.

The only significant change to the station was the addition of a platform canopy in the early 2000s. Compare the 1950s postcard view with the picture taken at the same angle in 2012.

The Radburn-Fair Lawn station has a special meaning for me; It is where I became a railfan.

In the ‘60s, when I was old enough to start wandering around town on my own I would go to the station every day after school and watch the trains roll by.

The Erie Lackawanna’s commuter trains were hauled by RS-3s and geeps. The train to Port Jervis was hauled by an E8.

In the early 1970s the commuter trains were replaced with brand new U34CH diesels and push-pull train sets.

The E’s would last on the Port Jervis runs a few more years. In those days the station still had a full-time agent who was there until 4 p.m.

I had many pleasant conversations with the gentleman. There was also a full-time section gang that had an office in the station, including a a kind old Italian gentlemen who would always talk to a young railfan.

My daily railfanning would end at 6:15 p.m. when the train pulled in and brought my father home from his job in New York City.

We would get in the car and drive home to become a complete family once again.

At 9:30 a.m. on Friday, April 14, the agent closed up the office and New Jersey Transit started removing the office equipment.

On Monday the station’s cozy waiting room fell silent. In about four months the refurbished building should be reopened and the waiting room and agent will be welcoming travelers once again.

I can’t wait to walk through her doors once again.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris

A contemporary view of Radburn station.

Historic post card view of Radburn station.