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Manhattan, Kansas depot: through the years

The Union Pacific depot in 1979.

I went there a few times as a child, but did not hang out there. It was too unfriendly a place, and I'd have to wait several hours for the next train. But I did take a couple of trips from there.

Looking South from the old viaduct. UP tracks in the foreground. The Rock Island crosses the UP tracks on the far side of the station. Click for larger photo.


1979: a famous diesel switches the yard.
Looking the other way from the previous photo shows the yard for local businesses and the start of the branch line north to Marysville. It is being switched by a famous, or perhaps infamous, GP30 - No. 844 the one who 'stole' the number from a much more famous steam loco.


The station in 1980. GP30 872 switches.

The deterioration in the station is easy to see now, but I don't remember it. Amtrack had long since come and removed the six passenger trains a day that used to call.

But 1980 was both the worst of times and the best of times for American railroads. Deregulation was coming and Wyoming coal would fuel the revival of the industry.

The station in 1991.

Rebuilding finally came to Manhattan after a long, long wait. A mall was built downtown and some of the industries that now blighted the main southwest entrance to town were removed. The Rock Island was long gone, and so was the little UP yard at Manhattan. The UP main had been moved east to make room for a much needed southern arterial connector. The station had been kept with a bit of track, but it sat unused as no one could figure out what to do with it or why it should be preserved.


2005: cleanup in progress

Finally they decided to fix up the station and it got a new roof and handicapped access and bright paint job that I hope is authentic.

The viaduct had been replaced by now also, this is taken from the new one that was located slightly to the south of the old bridge.

Last modified 2/10/08; posted 1/1/2004; original content © 2008, 2004 John P. Nordin