Posts Tagged ‘Railroad stations’

NS to Donate Depot to East Palestine

May 31, 2023

An artist rendering of the restored East Palestine depot.

Norfolk Southern said last week that it will renovate a former Pennsylvania Railroad passenger depot in East Palestine and donate it to the town.

In a news release, NS said it will provide a $100,000 grant for the renovation, which the Class 1 carrier said will restore and upgrade the exterior of the building.

The depot’s interior will be turned into a “blank space” that the community can use in whatever manner it desires.

The depot is thought to have been built in the 1890s and has sat unused for the past few decades.

In an unrelated development, NS also said last week it has signed a two-year lease to continue operating a family assistance center in East Palestine that it established shortly after a Feb. 3 derailment forced the evacuation of hundreds for several days.

The FAC opened at its new location at noon on Tuesday. The center was moved from the Abundant Life Fellowship Church in New Waterford to Rebecca Place, located at 191 East Rebecca Street in East Palestine.

The center will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center is closed on Sundays.

Another Find From the Slide Box I Bought

April 11, 2023

This image was inside a slide box that I purchased at a thrift shop. An unidentified photographer caught the original ex-Hanover Junction Railroad passenger station in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in the mid-1960s.

Collection of Robert Farkas

Stamp Release Set March 9 in Cincinnati

February 15, 2023

A March 9 first-day-of-issue event has been set at Cincinnati Union Terminal by the U.S. Postal Service to release its “Railroad Stations Forever” stamp series. The event will begin at 11 a.m.

CUT is among the five stations being recognized in the series. Others include stations in Point of Rocks, Maryland.; Richmond, Virginia; San Bernardino, California; and Tamaqua, Pennsylvania.

All of the stations are on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places.

The postal service has printed 30 million of the stamps.

Cincinnati Union Terminal to be Honored on Stamp

November 1, 2022

Cincinnati Union Terminal will be among five railroad stations featured on postage stamps to be issued in 2023 by the U.S. Postal Service.

Other stations to be portrayed will be Point of Rocks, Maryland,; Richmond, Virginia, Main Street Station; the San Bernardino, California, Santa Fe station; and the Tamaqua station in Philadelphia built by the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad.

All of the depots except the one in Philadelphia still serve passenger trains.

In a news release, the Postal Service said all of the stations being depicted have been preserved and are open to the public. All also are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Grand Opening Set for Renovated Indiana Station

June 9, 2022

Indiana tourist railroad Nickel Plate Express and officials in Noblesville, Indiana, will hold a grand opening on Saturday to celebrate the renovation of the historic Hobbs Station.

The depot is in Forest Park where it has stood since being moved there in 1967.

It was built in 1948 to serve the Nickel Plate Road in Tipton County and was for several years part of the now defunct Indiana Transportation Museum.

The Noblesville Parks & Recreation Department spent $1.6 million to renovate the station, which officially opened on June 6.

The renovation included landscaping and walking paths, a restroom addition, historic signs and paved parking. A covered platform was constructed in the boarding area.

The station will serve as the southern terminus of the 12.4-mile Nickel Plate Express, which operates between Noblesville and Atlanta, Indiana.

During the grand opening on Saturday, the Nickel Plate Express will have departures from Hobbs Station at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person for the 45-minute excursions.

The first 200 passengers will receive a commemorative Hobbs Station lapel pin.

Opening the 2022 Photo Season

March 27, 2022

Whether it is a sports team, a theater company, or a musical ensemble, there is something special about opening day or opening night. The players or performers have been putting in hours of practice and planning as they pointed toward the moment when the season, run or concert series would begin.

There is much anticipation and hope for an auspicious start that will herald great things to come.

And so it was as I made my way to east central Illinois back on Feb. 20 for my first railfan photography outing of the year.

That day proved to be far from a promising beginning. Shown above is the only train I wound up photographing.

Amtrak’s northbound Saluki passes the former Illinois Central station in Arcola, Illinois. There is still some snow lingering from a previous storm and Train 390 was more than a half hour late. On the point was a P42DC rather than the usual SC-44.

I would spend the rest of the day hanging out in Tuscola but train traffic was minimal and I ended up going home feeling disappointed. It was just one of those days.

Opening day is never the only game or performance of a season and this won’t be my only outing of this year. More and better days lie ahead. I’m looking forward to them because you never know what you will see, what you will find.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

Detroit Depot Restoration Moving Along

January 16, 2022

Restoration of the former Michigan Central station in Detroit is well along and project managers expect it to be complete by the second quarter of 2023.

Once completed, you’ll be able to eat, drink, work and even get married in the longtime Detroit icon and symbol of urban decay, but you won’t be able to catch a train.

The depot’s days as a train station ended in early January 1988 when Amtrak ceased using it and the beaux arts building’s new owner has other plans for the area where passengers once boarded trains.

The 18-story MC station has been owned by the Ford Motor Company since 2018. For decades before Ford bought it, the structure, which opened in 1913, had seemed destined to be razed.

Nearly all of its windows had been broken and anything of value had been stolen or removed.

During a news media tour last week of the station complex, project managers said the building was missing everything imaginable when workers began their renovation five-year work.

Ford plans to locate restaurants and a luxury hotel on the upper three floor of the station.

Offices for Ford and its partners in the mobility and autonomous vehicle endeavors will be housed in the next 10 floors.

The bottom floors will be devoted to public gathering spaces, a coffee shop, a food court, and events space with a capacity of 1,000.

The former boarding area will become a mobility testing site to be named The Platform.

During the media tour, Ford’s project manager, Rich Bardelli, said the project remains within its $740 million budget. Ford bought the building and its adjacent properties for $90 million.

Much of the early restoration work at the station involved restoring infrastructure that had vanished during the years when the structure sat vacant and was a target of vandals, thieves and squatters.

This included installing 300 miles of electric wire; 20 miles of heating and cooling duct work and piping; 6 miles of plumbing pipes; and 8.6 miles of grout in between 29,000 terracotta tiles along the arching ceiling of the front waiting room.

Some of the station’s original architectural features had to be recreated and painstakingly installed.

More than 1,700 of the Guastavino terracotta ceiling tiles had to be replaced, which involved building 252 tons of scaffolding to place them 65 feet above the floor.

Engineers used 3-D printing and resin to recreate 560 new lightweight ornate floral rosettes and leafs that adorn the windows.

Most of the original iron rosettes had been removed and during the restoration process some individuals who had possession of some of them dropped them off at the construction site so they could be reinstalled.

Located in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, the station is the centerpiece of a campus Ford is creating that will cost $950 million.

Ford plans to move 2,500 of its employees in autonomous and electric vehicle development departments to the campus. There will be space for 2,500 more Ford workers from suppliers and partners in the mobility sector.

Aside from the station itself, Ford is renovating the adjacent Book Depository building for use as offices and plans to construct a third office building on the campus.

Bardelli said dining options in the station complex will be located on the top floors of the tower; the former carriage house on the west end of the building along Vernor Highway; and a food court in the concourse.

Negotiations are underway with potential retail, hospitality and hotel vendors and contracts are expected to be reached later this year.

Over the next 18 months craftsmen will be recreating some of the other historic features of the station, including wood wainscoting panels, crown molding, marble borders and wood floors in the former waiting rooms.

“We’re in the midst right now of just starting to put all of that back,” Bardelli said.

The former waiting areas are being repurposed into events space and Bardelli said Ford has already received inquiries from couples who want to get married there.

Rail News Items From Ohio, Indiana

January 3, 2022

Various railroad related news items of note:

Cargill has taken over the switching of its grain plant in Sidney, Ohio. That work had been done by CSX.

Two switchers in Cargill’s green and white livery have been assigned to the Sidney facility which reportedly will see its yard expanded and realigned.

The Sidney facility is an integrated soybean crush and refined oils plant that is located along the CSX Indianapolis Line (former New York Central).

No injuries occurred on Dec. 23 when a CSX train derailed nine cars at Ansonia, Ohio, also on the Indianapolis Line. The cars were empty auto racks and one turned over.

The derailment occurred as the train was shoving cars around the connection to an R.J. Corman line to Ansonia from Greenville, Ohio.

A story on Dec. 10 damaged the former Pennsylvania Railroad passenger station in Effner, Indiana.

The structure was subsequently razed. Since the Conrail era the former PRR line that once extended from Logansport to Effner has been operated by the Toledo, Peoria & Western.

Grant to be Used to Move Historic Rail Depot

December 17, 2021

The Berks County (Pennsylvania) Redevelopment Agency has awarded a $75,000 grant to the Longswamp Township Historical Society, which plans to use the money to relocate an 1870s era railroad station in Mertztown, Pennsylvania.

The grant will supplement $195,000 raised locally thus far to move the depot to Longswamp Township Park. The project cost is estimated at $310,000.

Once moved, the depot will serve as a museum and historical library.

Located 12 miles southwest of Allentown, the Mertztown depot was the last standing, original remnant of the East Pennsylvania Railroad Company.

SEPTA to Rehab 19th Century Depot

December 16, 2021

The Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvanian Transportation Authority plans to restore the interior of the nation’s oldest surviving passenger station.

Railfan and Railroad magazine reported on its website that SEPTA expects to award a $1.25 million contract to rehabilitate the Shawmont station, located along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia’s Roxborough section.

It is not clear what use will be made of the Greek Revival-style depot, which opened in 1834, after the restoration is completed.

Shawmont was a SEPTA flag stop through the 1990s. It is located adjacent to the Schuykill River Trail and is on the list of Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.

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