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Author Topic: Saving a Train Station  (Read 6191 times)
M1FredQ

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« 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!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Doneldon

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« Reply #1 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
 
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utdave

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« Reply #2 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
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rbryce1

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« Reply #3 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.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 09:24:47 AM by rbryce1 » Logged
poliss

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« Reply #4 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.
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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #5 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.
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Feel like a Mogul.
M1FredQ

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« Reply #6 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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M1FredQ

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« Reply #7 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
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glennk28

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« Reply #8 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
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Doneldon

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« Reply #9 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
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ebtnut

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« Reply #10 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. 
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #11 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

   
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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
M1FredQ

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« Reply #12 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
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Doneldon

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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2012, 02:12:45 AM »

Fred-

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

                                                                                                      -- D
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M1FredQ

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« Reply #14 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!!!!
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