Union Station, also known as Montgomery Union Station or Montgomery Union Station
and Trainshed, in Montgomery, Alabama was
built by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and opened in 1898. Erected of brick and limestone on a high bluff along the
Alabama River, the station also served passenger trains of Atlantic Coast Line, Western Railway of Alabama, Seaboard Air Line,
Central of Georgia, and Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad. The station had six tracks under a 600-foot shed, with a coach yard
on the south end of the station as well as a Railway Express Agency facility. The station's design segregated passengers by
race and incorporated Romanesque Revival elements.
The number of passenger trains using Union Station declined during the 1950s and 1960s. When Amtrak came into existence in 1971, it continued passenger service through Montgomery with a single train (the South Wind, later renamed the Floridian), operating between Chicago and Miami. However, this train was terminated in 1979 and Union Station was closed.
After a period of disuse, Union Station was renovated for commercial tenants. The train shed, although tracks under it have been replaced by asphalt parking, is significant in that it shows the adaptation of bridge-building techniques to shelter structures, an important step in the history of American engineering.
The Union Station was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
I have admired the Union Station for years, but never took the time to go inside until this visit. I was pleasantly surprised once I went inside.
The main center of the building (picture above) has been turned into a museum and gift ship. There is a lot to see including some well-preserved fixtures, including the wood banisters on the second floor.
You just do not know what you are going to find or who you are going to run into out touring the trails. As you would have it, the hostess at the Welcome Center and I got to talking about all the history Montgomery has to offer. Come to find out, she and her husband once ran a towing service in Sylacauga, Alabama. As we talked she described some of her adventures as they would drive to Talladega (my home town) to pick up automobiles. Very small world!
300-A Water Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36104