A question for train station experts

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A question for train station experts

  • I had a question and who would know better than the experts right? I am a novelist working on something new and I need help. I have a story where the characters are going to remodel a small train station no longer in operation into a house or bed and breakfast. I was thinking of a small place set in the country somewhere. It would be great if I could find some pictures or blueprints or something of a place like this. Does anyone have any idea where I could locate something like this or if it exists? I would be really grateful. Thanks

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  • Hello, and welcome to the forums [#welcome]

    I have several pictures of a small Santa Fe depot of Augusta, KS. At my old website at my railfan page: http://www.kansaspacific.mysitespace.com/railfan.html you'll find these pictures. Then at the bottom of the page I've indexed my other pages which are accessable from any other page on my website. Look for the pages Stations & Depots and Museums and possibly some other pages to see some old, small depots. These arn't exactly out in the country, but they're probably about the size you are thinking of.

    Please be aware that though an unfortunate incident with website host www.mysitespace.com for which I was not to blame, a disgruntled employee locked me out of my website so that I cannot make any updates changes anymore. Someday the website will disappear. Again, this will not be my fault. I can't help it the sales staff of www.mysitespace.com are mean-spirited and nasty toward users with questions and refuse to help those with accessing problems.

    Also, I have no idea where you are, but assuming you're somewhere in North America there should be pleanty of small depots still around. The Santa Fe depot in my town is still used by the railroad. The Frisco depot is now a pawn shop. The depot in Independence, MO is used, I think, by a local model railroad group as well as Amtrak. A depot in Guthrie, OK is used by a restaurant, the UP depots in Abline, KS is the Chamber of Commerece and a signage business. The SF depot is used by BNSF and the one in their old cowboy town is a museum.

    Also you might want to check out Trains Magazine and Model Railroader Magazine. Model Railroader had blueprints of a depot once but I'll have to go throuh all my issues to find which one it was. Trains Magazine had an article in the November 2003 issue called "Honeymoon Depot." It was quite interesting about a station master in Battle Creek, MI in the 1950s and he talks about his honeymoon, working at the depot, and how he had to chase down the train once when he forgot to put on the mail bag. January and Februrary's issues had a story about a guy who worked at the summit of Cajon Pass in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s and essitially lived and worked out of the depot.

    These magazines are great resources for anything railroads.

    You might also look at the "Great Stations to Little Depots" topic I started a while back over in the Classic Trains Forums.

    yad sdrawkcab s'ti

  • MR has published a great number of depot plans over the years.

    On the other hand, take a ride around your area. Unless you simply had no railroads, I'm sure you can find a fair number of depots of all sizes. As far as the floor plan, there were many variations, but most smaller depots had a waiting room, office, and a freight/baggage room. Some had living quarters (or offices) upstairs, if they had an upstairs.

    I think the NRHS has a database of existing railroad structures. You can check their website.

    Best of luck with your efforts!

    Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
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  • Can't tell you where to find pictures other than there have been several books published that are nothing but station pictures but the Reading railroad in particular built nearly all their stations with a station agents apartment on the second floor where he and his family would live. the farther out the station the more likley this arrangement would occurr so there is even some railroad precedence for a station being a private bed and breakfast from inception.
  • The reading railroad sounds like what I am looking for because it has the rooms already there. I appreciate everyone's input. Thanks