Posts Tagged ‘Railroad stations’

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.

Group Presses to Preserve Hamilton Depot

May 20, 2021

The former Baltimore & Ohio station in Hamilton is no longer used by owner CSX.

Effort to preserve the former Baltimore & Ohio passenger station in Hamilton, Ohio, were pushed this week by a local preservation group.

The Citizens for Historic And Preservation Services group asked the Hamilton City Council to spend $600,000 to move the depot two blocks onto city-owned property.

The group also wants the city to buy the structure, which was constructed by the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton.

The station, the group said, “can be the catalyst for extending the revitalization of downtown” into the area with the station.

The station, which is owned by CSX, is actually two buildings, one of which was built in the 1860s and another in the 1880s.

The preservation group said both are worth preserving due to their “unique architectural qualities.” Although council members have expressed support for the project some also have expressed concerns about not knowing how much more it would cost to renovate the structure for a yet-to-be-determined purpose.

One Day at Akron Union Depot

April 18, 2021

It is the late 1960s and the wayback machine has landed us on the Akron Union Depot passenger platform looking railroad west.

In the far center is Erie Lackawanna’s McCoy Street Yard and on the right is EL’s passenger station. The siding in front of us was often used for mail cars.

The tracks are from left to right: Penn Central siding to switch industries, PC branch from Hudson, Baltimore & Ohio eastbound main, B&O mail car siding, B&O westbound main, and the EL eastbound main.

On the other side of the EL platform are the EL westbound main and a siding reaching a few places including Quaker Oats.

This image provides a rich amount of detail. Take, for example, the B&O mail siding. Notice the steam line coming out of the ground, a throwback to its former role as a set out track for passenger cars.

At one time this track was used for set off or pick up sleepers to and from trains arriving in Akron in the middle of the night.

Passengers could board the car at a decent hour and go to sleep well-ahead of train time, or remain on one that had arrived and been set out in the middle of the night until daylight. 

In later years it came to be where mail cars were left for pick-up.  There was a similar siding on the other end of the platform for eastbound trains.

At one time these set off sleepers were a common passenger railroading practice.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Conrail Monday: Two Bygone Relics in Ravenna

March 29, 2021

Conrail SD60 No. 6812 leads an eastbound manifest freight in Ravenna in June 1986. It is passing the since removed former Pennsylvania Railroad passenger station.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Where Bobcats Used to Board in Athens

March 23, 2021

With Ohio University winning a thriller over the University of Virginia in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday night, I had to look through photos from our trip to Athens in July 2018 to visit our niece Hannah, who was attending the OU medical program.

She has since graduated and our nephew Justin is now studying at OU.

Here is the Baltimore & Ohio station in private use adjacent to the campus.

The last Amtrak train to stop here was the Cincinnati-Washington Shenandoah, which was discontinued in 1981.

Eventually CSX abandoned the route and the tracks are gone but evidence can still be found highlighted by the station.

As for the OU men’s basketball team, the Bobcats lost on Monday night to Creighton University, thus ending their magical season.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

I Always Looked for the Springville Station

March 11, 2021

Over the past 40 plus years I’ve visited the Arcade & Attica Railroad either by myself, with family members, or with friends. I’m guessing I’ve visited the A&A at least 15 times.

On all of those trips I’ve passed through Springville, New York, on New York Route 39.

I always watched for the crossing of the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh (Baltimore & Ohio) railroad line.

In the route’s last years it was owned by Genesee & Wyoming’s Buffalo & Pittsburgh. 

During the years of my travels to the A&A, the Springville station was a highlight and is still intact and in use, although not as a railroad station.

It has been restored and remains in very good condition.

I’ve read conflicting stories of when the last train ran and when the track was ripped up.

A few stories I found say the last train was in 1996 and was possibly pulled by Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 No. 261. These reports say the rail was removed around 2010.

The PCC coffee shop called A Streetcar Named Dessert was added in the late 1990s and remained in business until 2011.

The car is former Toronto Transit Commission No. 4434. Based on what I’ve read, the PCC was possibly scrapped after it was removed.

All of the photographs that accompany this post were made on June 1, 2008.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Buffalo Developer Seeks Ideas for Uses of Station

February 23, 2021

Developer Samuel J. Savarino is seeking ideas about how to use vacant space in a Buffalo, New York, railroad station.

Savarino has approached officials in government, businesses, and other interested parties on what uses could be made of vacant space in the 103-year-old Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Terminal for which he has paid a $36,000 “pre-development agreement fee” to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.

NFTA operates yards and shops at track level at the terminal for its light rail system.

The developer is looking to redevelop 60,000 square feet of indoor space that is located on the building’s second floor and 40,000 square feet of outdoor platform area.

Among the possible uses Savarino has identified are a public market, museum space and restaurants

Savarino estimated the terminal needs $10 million in plumbing and electric work, roof stabilization, and other modifications before redevelopment can proceed.

Indiana City Moves to Preserve C&O Depot

January 12, 2021

An Indiana city will spend $50,000 for a new roof and rafter repairs on its former Chesapeake & Ohio depot.

Officials in Richmond, which is located on the border with Ohio in the east central part of the Hoosier State, said the funding is a first step in stabilizing and restoring the structure.

Built in 1901, the tracks that once served the station have been abandoned and removed.

North of the station the former right of way is a trail known as the Cardinal Greenway.

The trail is named after Amtrak’s Cardinal, which once ran over the route and served Richmond.

The city purchased the station and 13 acres of land from CSX in 2016.

Parks superintendent Denise Retz said she has advocated for the roof work for two years to stop damage to the building’s interior, which she calls “a historic piece” with beautiful architecture.

The next step in restoration will be an environmental study to determine if any contamination is present.

It Just Looks Like Fall

November 11, 2020

My day of railfanning in east central Illinois was winding down as I drove north on Interstate 57.

As I crossed the Canadian National tracks at Pesotum I looked to the north and saw a headlight of a southbound in the distance on the former Illinois Central mainline.

There was time for one more train. I got off the interstate and drove into town, parking next to a former IC passenger station in a park that is bisected by the CN Champaign Subdivision.

There was still some fall color left, although much of it was muted. Still, that color combined with the fallen leaves gave the appearance of autumn.

Being late afternoon, the some sunlight was being blocked by a line of trees on the west side of the track that resulted in shadows being cast over the rails.

Yet the resulting shadows in their own way showed that it was late day and created visual tension in the scene.

The image above showed the most sunlight on the nose of the lead CN locomotive.

The muted colors, the light and shadows, the leaves on the ground all combine to say “it looks like fall.”

Had this been my last image of the day I would have been quite pleased with it.

But it would turn out that I still had one more train to catch and it would yield what might have been my favorite photograph of a day that had been, overall, quite productive and enjoyable.

You’ll see that image tomorrow.

Hamilton Still Seeking to Save B&O Station

April 17, 2020

Hamilton County interests are still working to save from demolition the former Baltimore & Ohio railroad station.

CSX has told the city it will raze the abandoned structure unless it pays to move it away from railroad property.

The city has not yet announced how it will fund that, but Mayor Pat Moeller said he is looking into how much moving the building would cost and how it could be funded.

The coronavirus pandemic has slowed that effort, but Moeller said the city has told CSX that it wants to preserve the building.

The depot dates to the mid 19th century. Abraham Lincoln gave a speech there during his 1859 run for president and President Harry Truman spoke there in 1948.

Hamilton was a stop for Amtrak’s Chicago-New York Cardinal, between 1980 and 2005.

The station will need extensive rehabilitation as it is poor condition.

If the city is able to find the funding, it plans to move the station several blocks away.

Among the ideas discussed for what to do with the depot are using it for a museum, restaurant or event space.

The station is currently located at the junction between CSX routes to Toledo and Indianapolis. The latter route is still used by the Cardinal.