Depot Doings: LaCrosse, IN / Benton Harbor, MI / Breckinridge, MI / Greenville, MI / Newaygo, MI / Barboursville, WV / Marlinton, WV

Featured Chesapeake & Ohio depots on the blog this month are those in Indiana, Michigan, and West Virginia:

All photos courtesy of Old Time Trains.


Rock on Trains © 2022, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

Depot Doings: Athens, TN / Bryson City, NC / Charleston, TN / Danville, KY / Lexington, KY / Niota, TN / Oliver Springs, TN / Sweetwater, TN

Featured Southern Railway depots on the blog this month are those in Kentucky, North Carolina & Tennessee:

All photos courtesy of Tom Rock.


Rock on Trains © 2022, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

Depot Doings: Askov, MN / Breckenridge, MN / Libby, MT / Fargo, ND / Williston, ND

Featured Great Northern Railway depots this month are those in Minnesota, Montana, and North Dakota:

Askov, MNThe Askov depot was built circa 1894 by the Great Northern Railroad.  The combination depot was the typical design in small communities along the line.  The depot has been retired and is now part of the Pine County Historical Society Museum.  The tracks behind the depot remain active for the BNSF Railroad.

Breckenridge, MNBuilt in 1901 by the Great Northern Railroad, the depot currently serves as a division office for the short line Red River Valley and Western Railroad.

Libby, MTThe Libby depot built by the Great Northern Railway opened May 3, 1892.  It resembles a Swiss chalet with its romantic architecture.  Amtrak currently serves the depot.  In addition to a waiting room, a portion of the building is also used by BNSF Railway as a storage/staging area.

Fargo, NDFargo Station was originally built by the Great Northern Railway in 1920.  At the time of the station’s construction, Fargo was served by both the Great Northern Railway and the Northern Pacific.[2] The station was served by Great Northern trains, while Northern Pacific operated its own station along Fargo’s Main Avenue.  In 1970, the two railway companies merged to form the Burlington Northern. Freight trains used the Northern Pacific tracks, while passenger trains used the Great Northern tracks. All passenger service in Fargo began using the Great Northern depot. From 1971, passenger service was operated by Amtrak.[3]  Amtrak currently uses the former BNSF freight house as the station building, as the main building became unused in 1986. The former main station building is now used for retail. Various businesses have operated in the building, since 1995.[3] 

Williston, NDWilliston is a train station in Williston, North Dakota, served by Amtrak‘s Empire Builder line. The brick station was built in 1910 by the Great Northern Railway[2] and is located at the southern end of Williston’s downtown. An interior and exterior restoration, begun in 2010 and costing almost $2 million, has returned the station to its original look.[2]   With the recent opening of new oil fields in North Dakota in the 21st century, many oil production workers now also board and detrain in Williston, adding additional passengers to the route. Ridership at the station had a particular spike in Amtrak’s 2012 fiscal year, when ridership grew by almost 82 percent to 54,324 from 29,920 the year before (though 2011 ridership had been partly degraded due to flooding along the route).[3][4] Patronage tapered off in 2013 and 2014, however, partly due to worsening on-time reliability of the train during that period.[5][6] Until the end of fiscal 2016, Williston had been North Dakota’s busiest Amtrak station, and it had held that position since 2011 or earlier. It is still the state’s second-busiest station, behind Minot.

All photos courtesy of DepotMaps.com; historical data courtesy of Wikipedia and DepotMaps.com.


Rock on Trains © 2022, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

Depot Doings: Huntsville, AL / Louisville, KY / Mascoutah, IL / Foley, AL / Nashville, TN

LN-logoFeatured Louisville & Nashville depots on the blog this month are those in Huntsville, AL, Louisville, KY, Mascoutah, IL, Foley, AL, and Nashville, TN.

HUNTSVILLE, AL – The Huntsville Depot located on the Norfolk Southern Railway line in downtown Huntsville is the oldest surviving railroad depot in Alabama and one of the oldest in the United States. Completed in 1860, the depot served as eastern division headquarters for the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.[3] It is listed on both the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage and National Register of Historic Places.[1][2]

Huntsville was occupied by Union forces in 1862 during the Civil War as a strategic point on the railroad and the depot was used as a prison for Confederate soldiers. Graffiti left by the soldiers can still be seen on the walls. The Huntsville Depot saw its last regularly scheduled passenger train, Southern Railway’s The Tennessean, on March 30, 1968. Today the Depot serves as a museum, part of the Early Works Museum.

Information courtesy of www.wikipedia.org.

LOUISVILLE, KY – The Union Station of Louisville, Kentucky is a historic railroad station that serves as offices for the Transit Authority of River City, as it has since mid-April 1980 after receiving a year-long restoration costing approximately $2 million. It was one of three union stations in Kentucky, the other two being in Paducah and Owensboro. It superseded previous, smaller, railroad depots located in Louisville, most notably one located at Tenth and Maple in 1868-1869, and another L&N station built in 1858. The station was formally opened on September 7, 1891 by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. There was a claim made at the time that it was the largest railroad station in the Southern United States, covering forty acres (16 ha).[2]

Union Station provided the entrance to Louisville for many visitors, with its height being the 1920s, when it served 58 trains a day. As a Union Station, it served not only the L&N railroad, but also the Monon Railroad, the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Louisville, Henderson, & St. Louis, the latter eventually merging with the L&N. Many of those traveling to the Kentucky Derby would use the Union Station as their first place of celebration, with twenty special trains coming to the facility, and Pullman cars allowing overnight accommodations, a trend that continued until the mid-1960s. Three separate United States presidents arrived in Louisville by Union Station.

Information courtesy of www.wikipedia.org.

MASCOUTAH, IL – In 1870, the St. Louis and Southeastern Railway Company built a depot in Mascoutah, Illinois. On September 8, 1870 it inaugurated the town’s first train service. In 1879, the Nashville Chattanooga and St. Louis Railroad bought this railroad, which itself was taken over by the L&N Railroad in 1880. In June 1975, the town of Mascoutah bought the depot from the L&N for $1.00, and in early July moved it to Scheve Park. The depot soon became the centerpiece for homecomings and other activities.

FOLEY, AL – Located in the old L & N Railroad Depot is Foley’s Museum Archives. The first depot was built in 1905 when Mr. John B. Foley of Chicago used some of his own money to bring the railroad to the southern part of Baldwin County. This first depot burned to the ground, and a second station took its place in 1908. The railroad line was a spur from Bay Minette and ended approximately a mile south of Foley. At that end, there was a wye when the train could turn around.

The depot and the railroad became the center of activity for the growing town of Foley. At this time, the area was primarily agricultural so the railroad was vital to getting the produce to market. During “shipping” season, thousands of boxcars would pull out of Foley loaded with potatoes, corn, gladiolas, and many other types of produce that was grown in the area.

In 1971, the L & N Railroad discontinued their services to Foley. It was the intention of the company to tear down the depot. However, John Snook, owner of Gulf Telephone Company, bought the building for one dollar. He then moved the whole building to Magnolia Springs, a small community five miles West of Foley. For 24 years, Mr. Snook used the building as a warehouse for the phone company before deeding it to the City of Foley. In 1995, the depot was returned to Foley and placed back in its original location.

The City has since turned the depot into a museum. Here, you will find pictures and artifacts that depict the culture of South Baldwin County, especially the City of Foley. The Museum is open Monday through Friday from 10am – 4pm.

Information courtesy of Foley Railroad Museum.

NASHVILLE, TN – This National Historic Landmark symbolizes the power of railroad companies, specifically the Louisville and Nashville (L&N) Railroad, over the transportation and economy of turn-of-the-century Tennessee. Built between 1898 and 1900, and designed by L&N company engineer Richard Montfort, the building is a significant Tennessee example of Richardsonian Romanesque style. The magnificent passenger train shed, which measured 250 by 500 feet with a clear span of 200 feet, was an engineering marvel for its time. In 1900 it was the longest single-span, gable roof structure in the country. After a fire damaged the shed, and no viable preservation alternatives were identified, the shed was razed in late 2000.

For seven decades, Union Station served Nashville passengers as a massive stone gateway to the metropolitan corridor represented by the national rail system. In 1975 the station was condemned and closed; Amtrak continued to use the shed for passenger traffic until 1979. Metropolitan Nashville officials acquired the rapidly deteriorating structure in 1985; by the following year, Union Station had been restored as a hotel and restaurant. It has served that function ever since and once again is a prominent Nashville architectural and historical landmark.

Information courtesy of Carroll Van West, The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.

All photos courtesy of www.rr-fallenflags.org/.


Rock on Trains © 2021, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

Depot Doings: Mena, AR / DeQuincy, LA / Aberdeen, MS / Anderson, MO / Noel, MO / Stilwell, OK

Featured Kansas City Southern depots for this August post are those in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Oklahoma:

All photos courtesy of Railroad Picture Archives.NET.


Rock on Trains © 2021, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.