Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

RAILROAD DEPOT NEEDS COMMUNITY HELP

Morning Star, June 12, 2011, pg. 5

Bravo to Amtrak for recently upgrading our rail passenger stop here at much cost. A handicapped accessible ramp was installed, new signage was placed, and stones were laid for landscaping. I hope this bodes well for the future when high-speed rail service is instituted along the route. Trains have to slow down through Albion anyway because of the big curve by Albion College. They might as well continue to stop here, too. Let our Congressman Tim Walberg know that Albion needs to be included as part of any high-speed rail service plans and not dropped.

Back in 1986, our 1882-built Michigan Central Railroad depot was restored and renovated as a result of much local effort and funding. Many prominent people donated to this project. For several years our Chamber of Commerce rented the main room. Since they moved out it has been rented continuously by an insurance agency. The east end still serves as a rail and bus passenger facility.

As with any building, there are normal routine maintenance costs and repairs that have to be made. It is now time for new shingles to be laid on the roof of our depot. Take a look at the roof yourself. In addition, the two decorative spindles on each end of the roof have deteriorated and need to be replaced and painted. Furthermore, the building trim and window areas need normal painting after twenty-five years.

Our railroad depot is a showpiece for Albion and needs to be maintained. It is a money-maker, as rent is being paid, and the facility is regularly used by bus and rail passengers. I would hope that funds from the rent have been set-aside by wise landlord management through the years to accomplish the aforementioned repairs, roofing, and painting. If not, then there needs to be some philanthropic efforts made to maintain this building in a presentable condition before it deteriorates and has to be "restored again.” We wouldn’t want that to happen, would we?

This would be a wise funding project within reach and reason that people could donate to. Other buildings in town have not been maintained as we all know, and it can get very, very expensive when they’re not. Let’s not let that happen with our railroad depot. Too much local effort and funds went into the 1986 restoration project to let it be for naught.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a 1993 photo of our railroad depot. When was the last time you boarded a train here in Albion?


Albion Railroad Depot in 1993

Next: THOMAS G. PRAY


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