Bachmann Message Board

Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: M1FredQ on September 26, 2012, 10:08:27 PM



Title: Saving a Train Station
Post by: M1FredQ on September 26, 2012, 10:08:27 PM
This may be off topic

BUT it is train related.

last tuesday the newspaper had an article about how the CN Railroad wants to tear down the

trainstation in our town of Valparaiso Indiana. It was built in 1903-04 by the Grand Trunk Railroad.

2 of the CN reps were there and they wanted to tear it down in 30 days. The meeting was packed

with residents of our town and a lot of ideas were kicked around. CN is saying it will cost them 50,000 dollars or more to tear down but construction folks there said with asbestos and lead paint

it will cost upwards of 75,000-100'000 to tear down. It was suggested why not CN donate to

preserve the station. Turn it into a tourist center, partial restaurant, In Skokie Illinois one person has a Starbucks coffee place very tastefully down with a railroad theme throughout

the place. and it is always packed with people.

What I am seeking is information of Railroad preservation historical groups that can helpus

or give us ideas. CN has given us 60 days to come up a plan to save the railroad station.

Any help would be appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: Doneldon on September 27, 2012, 02:40:29 AM
Fred-

I would appreciate it if you would keep me up to date on what's going on with the Valpo Grand Trunk station. I lived in Valparaiso (well, a couple of miles outside of town) through most of my childhood and I know that station very well. In fact, my brother and I nearly killed ourselves (Actually it has he who nearly killed us. I just happened to be along for the ride.) chasing a GTW Northern fan trip one day years ago. 1959, I think. That station is a classic early 20th Century station. It would be great for a community center, teen hang out (is the YMCA still across the street?), museum or home for a model railroad club.

I'm open to assisting with your effort whether that means writing grant applications or contributing to a tax-free effort. You know, it's much cheaper to encapsulate asbestos in place than to remove it. The CN probably knows that but it wouldn't hurt to remind them of it repeatedly. Asbestos abatement is a really expensive proposition.

Doneldon
 


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: utdave on September 27, 2012, 04:40:52 AM
i live in layton utah     heres our old station     and its old location   which is down the street from me .  our commuter train stops by the old station  but does not use it  they want to tear it down  saying it cost to much to move it for the second time.   it has history  alot of our men went to war from this station and never came back
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rampant-photos/6951320869/
http://www.laytoncity.org/public/depts/parksrec/cityparks/veterans.aspx

in my layout  i tried to match this station close as possiable  with the front runner communter train stop not matching whats  really there,  some day ill get it closer some day        DAve


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: rbryce1 on September 27, 2012, 09:22:00 AM
You can try the National Historical Society, and, as a possible twist, contact the Building Department and find out if your area has a Zone called Historical Districts.  If it does, and this can be re-zoned, it makes reconstruction extremely difficult without strict adherence to the historical rules.  However, bear in mind, many times local zoning as well as building regulations do not apply to railroads and/or their property.


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: poliss on September 27, 2012, 09:49:53 AM
Don't you have Listed Buildings status like we have in the UK? Any building here that has listed building status, because it is considered to have historical importance, can not be demolished.


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: Terry Toenges on September 27, 2012, 10:39:40 AM
In my area, the city (Park Hills MO) took over the train station for city offices. In Bonne Terre, theirs is a restaurant. In Bismark, they use it for a library.


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: M1FredQ on September 27, 2012, 06:49:00 PM
To ALL who have responded!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't thank you all enough. I have been out of town. And plan to go over all that has been sent

suddenly 60 days doesn't seem like a lot of time. One of the CN reps said he was a Train Buff so I appealed to him to give us time to at least present a plan ..
Thanks everyone I hope to follow through on all your ideas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: M1FredQ on October 08, 2012, 09:23:40 PM
So far we have a direct decendent of the Grand Trunk West who is trying to solicit  help

to save the Train Station. Another meeting is coming up I will post any news I hear


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: glennk28 on October 09, 2012, 03:17:11 PM
I used to be in the Salinas CA area--the City Redevelopment Agency took over sevedrfal blocks--and spproached ouir club with an offer of a building (we selected the Railway Express Building)--we supplied the labor and the city supplied materials.  The Amtrak Coast Starlight stops right in front of the building.

Of course, this presupposes that the building can remain where it is.  If the RR insists it be moved, you have problems.  I had experience with HazMat remedciation--having the costs of dealing with asbestos and lead remediation, if those could be eliminated by sealing over the building (a couple of good coats of paint??) and get the building on a donation or a long-term low price lease that would save the building and eliminate the railroad's liability--this mighe be a route to take.

Oh, yes--it can help to have suitable professionals  in the group that can steer things--we had two architects and an engineer in our group--and a couple of contractors--

glenn joesten


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: Doneldon on October 09, 2012, 08:09:55 PM
I had experience with HazMat remedciation--having the costs of dealing with asbestos and lead remediation, if those could be eliminated by
sealing over the building (a couple of good coats of paint??) and get the building on a donation or a long-term low price lease that would save
the building and eliminate the railroad's liability--this mighe be a route to take.

Fred-

It's worth it to make a big deal of the hazmat. Often the cost of removing asbestos or lead can be high enough to discourage the railroad from
wanting to remove the building all together, especially since there may also be hazmat in the soil under the building. However, sealing hazmat
in isn't generally anywhere near as expensive as removing it so you may well be able to handle that.
                                                                                                                                                        -- D


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: ebtnut on October 10, 2012, 01:36:09 PM
Hazmat is essentially what befell the WM roundhouse in Hagerstown, MD.  The local museum group tried hard to covince CSX to save the structure, but they determined that the cost and potential liability overshadowed preservation. 


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: Joe Satnik on October 10, 2012, 07:06:48 PM
Dear All,

The turntable and roundhouse shown in my thumbnail and website no longer exist.  (1419 Lake Rd. 54720)

The building used to house the pictured Soo Line 2719 (4-6-2) Pacific, plus Soo Line 1003, (2-8-2) Mikado, both restored and operating steam locos.

UP said the risk was too high for trespassers falling into the turntable pit, or breaking in and falling into the roundhouse loco servicing pits.

Joe Satnik

   


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: M1FredQ on October 13, 2012, 05:12:16 PM
UTDAVE

Your station looks a lot like the one we have here in Valparaiso!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

I spent the last 2 days in Skokie, Illinois my original home town. They saved and preserved

the train station that was built in 1903. The planning committee has agreed to share there

plans with me. The station houses a Starbucks done in a nice "Train" motiff with North Shore Line

information and posters. I spent time with the managers who have offered some suggestions.

It's amazing how many people and developers came forward to help and preserve the Skokie

station.

Tonight or tomorrow I will read the posts many of you have sent. I hope to have a bunch ideas

on paper for the CN reps to read when they come back for the next meeting. I have been look-

ing at a magazine called "Rail Fan" for Railroad preservation groups or societies. Next wekk

I have a couple of light days and will do some web searches. If any one has ideas feel free to share.

I am learning a lot!!!!!!! What's impressive are the people I meet who want to help or share information. I find that people in general seem to have some interest in Trains or "preservation

of our history". I will be in touch


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: Doneldon on October 14, 2012, 02:12:45 AM
Fred-

Check to see if Indianapolis has any rails-to-trails money which might help.

                                                                                                      -- D


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: M1FredQ on October 15, 2012, 12:55:40 PM
I like the Haxmat suggestion as that point was brought up at the meeting with CN.

CN thinks it will cost $50,000 to tear everything down and haul it away and clean up the area.

A couple of the developers there brought up that was a very low estimate.

In Skokie it turns out the CTA(Chicago Transit Authority) owned the Train Station

at the time "their" issue of preservation came up. It sold the station to a developer

who was working with some preservation groups for $1.00 !!!!

The Station had to be moved which it was then restored. Apparently Starbucks had

a hand in it.

The city has a deal that no taxes will be charged for 50 years. Thus investors and et al can recover their money

So far the Starbucks is doing well so well that another Starbucks will be going up a mile away from the current location. I came away with some phone numbers and contact people. I will keep all informed.Thanks for all help and ideas!!!!


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: M1FredQ on October 15, 2012, 01:03:59 PM
Like I said I am learning a lot.

If I am successful I hope we can find someone or some preservation group that will

use this information as some type of blueprint or template for saving other RR historic sites.

As for Rails to Trails. They were involved in converting a railline that ran through

Skokie, Illinois into a really nice bike trail--Ihad forgot about them. Thanks for the suggestion.

I have the business card of the executives. I had sat next him on a return flight

from the Georgia Bicycle races back in 2006. I 'll make some calls this week and post some info when i can

THANKS!!!!!!


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: richg on October 15, 2012, 06:42:38 PM
Good luck.
Our train station in Easthampton, MA was preserved many years ago.
A private school nearby owns it but don't know how this came about. The railroad was still in use but not for passengers up to about the 1960's.
Now the Manhan Rail trail runs right by it and it is being converted from an artist studio/living quarters to a bagel and sandwich shop for the town and school students, plus people on the rail trail. Not near as big as the one you are concerned with.
About twelve miles away in Northampton, MA, the Union Station, beautiful restaurant, closed right now, is still in place and might become a real train station again or a small part of it when Amtrak starts coming though the city again.

Rich


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: M1FredQ on October 20, 2012, 01:06:34 PM
Sorry for the delay

I was without a computer since last posting.

Very productive week. Finally after MANY referrals made my inroad to Corp Headquarters

at Starbucks. I was told they are very interested in Historic Sities. I was told to submit a formal

request of what we want to do with the Train Station and how it would benefit the local

community. They became interested when I told them the station is in the middle of our downtown area, is a distance away from a nearby Starbucks( The train station is on the

North Side of town whereas the Starbucks in Town is on the South end of town near the

college campus). A village official in my former home town offered to share the procedures they used to preserve , move and  rehab to "original" the train station as it was back in 1904

which now has a Starbucks. The manager has a nice Train motiff theme very tastefully done

with reference to the "North Shore Line". In my I hope to do recommend something similar

where we would make reference to the "Grand Trunk West" which was absorbed by

Canadian Nation which now runs and operates the line.through our town.

The meeting date is about 40 days away. I was able to make contact with the National

RR Preservation Society. The contact person is on vacation through next week so I have to wait to hear what they can do.

Apparently preserving Train Stations railroad switch buildings and structures is of interest

but making the right connections is a real task. i can't tell you much telephone time I have
used up!!!!!!!!!

I will be in touch!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: Doneldon on October 21, 2012, 02:58:52 AM
Fred-

I have quite a bit of experience writing and editing both formal and informal writing. I'd be happy to do some writing if you give me the
information and the direction you want to go, or I can edit (for content and language) what you and your people on the site have written.
Much of my experience involved persuasive reports for the judiciary so I understand polemics and the importance of ensuring that
grammatical and stylistic problems don't reduce the effectiveness of what is presented.

                                                                                                                                     -- D


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: M1FredQ on October 22, 2012, 03:24:45 PM
Thanks "D"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will get back with you later today when work is done and the kids settlled in!!!!!!!!!!


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: M1FredQ on October 28, 2012, 03:02:56 PM
Doneldon

I heard from CN and they want me to put forward a proposal of how the Station would be used, what ideas we have for its use and how it would impact or benefit the local community.

The city is hoping maybe it can be moved closer to the bike trail and can be used as a

bike and runner stop with snacks, bathroom and coffee, and  cappucino etc. That sounds good too. There is another meeting coming up soon. Sadly there are a few at CN that keep bringing
up bottom line and stockholders and just want to tear it down!!!!! In the latest TRAINS or RAILFAN
there is an article about how CN recently smoothed a curve in Illinois on the route that comes through Valparaiso and they have spent a lot of money!!!!!!!!!!!! What would it take to help restore
and use for their PR that station.

Let me know if you can help. I leave Wednesday for a conference if you don't hear from me right away give me a couple days to get back with you as I'll be preparing for my board
certification presentation.

Thanks everyone!!!!!!!!!!!


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: Doneldon on October 29, 2012, 01:01:27 AM
Fred-

I'm not completely sure that I understand your question but I'll give it a shot.

One place to start would be the local historical society. There's a good chance that they can give you at least a ball park idea of the cost per square foot for renovations to older buildings. They can't give you a hard figure since that would require a detailed inspection, engineering and architectural assessments, etc. I would guess the cost per foot wouldn't be too high since the building is, presumably, in good structural condition and it's not like you are installing fireplaces, cherry cabinets, granite counters and a spa bathroom to turn the place into a residence.

Then there would be the cost of moving the building. That's hard to guesstimate from afar because there's a lot more that goes into it than just the distance. Clearances, power lines, weight capacities of the necessary streets and so on all affect the cost a lot.

I'd check with the city planning department to see what help they can be (it is important to enlist them as allies) and if they know anything about the cost of similar projects in town. Let me also suggest that you see if Charles Pellar is still around. (I think he is.) He's an engineer who might either be able to help or send you in the right direction to someone else. He and I were next door neighbors, age mates and in the same grade in school (when Hayes-Leonard had just enlarged to three rooms!!) a million years ago when his father was the Valpo city engineer and a professor at the university. I haven't seen him for a very long time but I did maintain communication with his mother until she died and his younger sister, who is now a judge in Gary, remembered me when we ran into one another at a conference in Hawaii a long while back. His parents were good people and I'm sure he would have enough concern with this to at least talk with you a bit and give you some other contacts. Use my name. It's so bizarre that no one ever forgets it, and a connection that goes back 60 years, even if it has been dormant, is likely to be respected.

Please give me a clearer idea of how I can help. I'll be in this with you to the extent I can be.

                                                                                                                                       -- D


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: M1FredQ on October 30, 2012, 12:12:04 PM
Thanks "D"

I am off to a conference until next tuesday

Tyler Kent is Planning Director here in Valpo he is in charge of overseeing the

Train Station. I met with him last friday.

Tom Thompson is in the Planning Department in Skokie Illinois he has offered to share

all they did to preserve the station there which did involve moving it over 25 feet.

If my friends bring their computers I will try to stay in touch while out of town.


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: Doneldon on October 30, 2012, 01:44:09 PM
Fred-

I'm familiar with the Skokie station because my last relative on my mother's side of the family lived in Evanston and the best exit
to his home from the Edens was Dempster Avenue which ran right through Skokie past the station. They did a really nice job.

                                                                                                                                           -- D


Title: Re: Saving a Train Station
Post by: M1FredQ on October 30, 2012, 09:35:51 PM
What a small world"D"

Our home was a couple blocks west of Skokie Library on Oakton St. not far from that Dempster

exit. There used to be a Hobby Shop not far from the Dempster Exit that had a great train section.

There is a really nice shop with lots of train stuff off of Northwest Hwy not to far from Skokie.

That Train Station in Skokie has a really nice Starbucks, The lawyers who were renting the

back half have moved out and the Landlord told me they will expand to use the whole station

for a Starbucks Restaurant with tables and chairs so people can use the Wi-Fi sit and relax.

He plans to add more Train related things!!!!!!!!!!!!