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Author Topic: Saving a Train Station  (Read 7896 times)

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« Reply #15 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

« Reply #16 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.


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« Reply #17 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2012, 02:58:52 AM »


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

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« Reply #19 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!!!!!!!!!!

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« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2012, 03:02:56 PM »


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!!!!!!!!!!!

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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2012, 01:01:27 AM »


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

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« Reply #22 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.

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« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2012, 01:44:09 PM »


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

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« Reply #24 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!!!!!!!!!!!!
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