With the arrival of the railroads in the late 1800s, the railroad station became the center of each community. From going to school, to work, vacationing, waiting for visiting family, perhaps waiting for a package, railroad stations were the heart and soul of our towns. As dependence shifted from the railroads to independent travel in our own automobiles, so did our focus on the railroad stations in our communities. Many were lost to the wrecking ball or the tests of time, but some have survived today either reused as a home or business or as a museum.
Depot vs. Station? • Stations are locations along a rail line while the buildings at stations that were utilized by the public for passenger trains were typically known as depots. Other train facilities like roundhouses, freight yards, maintenance facilities, freight depots or freight houses were also located at stations. While it may seem odd, it is possible to have a station without a depot.