Montgomery Union Station is a historic former train station in Montgomery Alabama.
It was originally built in the year 1891 by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, and the actual train service to this historic station ended in 1979.
Since then, it has been adapted d for use by the Montgomery Area Visitor Center and commercial tenants.
The Montgomery Union Station is located on 300 Water Street, in Montgomery, which is just a few blocks away from the Rosa Parks Bus Stop and Museum, the Freedom Rides Museum, and the First White House of the Confederacy.
This piece of transportation history was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, as well as becoming a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
It is erected of brick and limestone on a high bluff sitting above the beautiful Alabama River.
The station also served passenger trains, besides the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, from the following railroad lines.
The Louisville and Nashville trains using this historic station included the following:
The Southern railroads Crescent and Piedmont Limited were also serviced and routed through the Montgomery Union Station.
At its historic peak, it was servicing as many as 44 trains a day.
The station itself has six tracks that set under a 600-foot shed with a coach yard on the south end of the station.
The south end also had a railway Express Agency facility.
Because of the early years that it was built and the segregation laws that were in the South at the time, the stations main design segregated passengers by race.
It incorporated Romanesque Revival elements in its overall design.
The number of passengers trains the used the Montgomery Union Station started to decline in the late 1950’s, and early 1960’s.
However, when Amtrak came into existence and started to serve the southern states, the pressure was really put of the Montgomery Union Station to react.
It did by servicing a single passenger train through Montgomery, named the West Wind, which was later changed to the Floridian.
Its main rout of operation was between Chicago and Miami.
However, because of the very stiff competition from the government ran Amtrak, it could no longer be competitive, and the train was terminated in 1979.
Once the train route of the Floridian was terminated, the Montgomery Union Station was closed.
The Montgomery Union Station went through a down period after its closing, but was renovated by the city for commercial tenants.
The train sheds still stand, but the tracks that sat under it have been replaced by asphalt parking lots.
Something that really hurt the Montgomery area was that after Amtrak put it out of business, it quit servicing the area.
However, it did return in 1989 with an extension of the Crescent called the Gulf Breeze that ran for Birmingham to Mobile.
However, the Montgomery Union Station was not used for any services.
Amtrak instead contracted with a travel agent who occupied a former grain silo nearby.
This Amtrak service was eliminated again in 1995, and the since then, there has been to passenger rail service through the city of Montgomery.
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