Thursday, August 30, 2007

Once people came here to catch a train and travel to faraway places, not to pay their electric bill

Recycled Train Depot in a City That No Longer Has Passenger Rail Service
Now you have to drive to Columbus, about 30 miles from Madison, to catch an Amtrak. It used to be so nice to catch the train to Chicago or Milwaukee to spend a day in the city -- no parking hassles, etc., and a nice relaxing ride each way. There are periodic efforts to bring it back, but so far -- nada.

In 1915 this was the New C. & N. W. R. R. Depot (Chicago & North- western Railroad) from vfm4's 1915, Madison, Wisconsin Set. Back then, it had some of the aura that a major airport has today. It was a busy terminal and a portal to adventure. As a kid I took the train to Boston from this depot. It was one of the great experiences of my life. Since then, I've driven there and flown many times. Neither comes close. The building still exists, looking pretty much the same, but it's no longer a train depot, and we no longer have passenger rail service in Madison. Now it's part of the headquarters of Madison Gas & Electric, which is handy, since their power plant is in the background. That's great for MG&E -- but life without train service sucks.

NOTE: This is part of the Madison 1915 rephotography project tied to the poscard set mentioned above. Some are blog posts, and you can access them all by clicking on the label below. A few appear only on my Flickr account. (See above, right.) By clicking on the Flickr set Madison 1915 vs. 2007, you can see them all displayed together. In addition, you might want to read the viewer comments or leave one yourself.


JSE said...

The romance isn't the same, but the Van Galder bus still does provide a nice relaxing ride to Chicago and back.

Wren said...

Thanks for the evocative post. I love trains and train stations. I've traveled by train more in Europe than in the US, but it's always been an adventure. I miss it -- and I've written about it.