News & Reviews News Wire Norfolk Southern donates depot to East Palestine

Norfolk Southern donates depot to East Palestine

By Trains Staff | May 18, 2024

Renovation cost approximately $1 million

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Image of single-story wood-sided train station
A rendering of the Norfolk Southern depot in East Palestine, Ohio, from the announcement of plans for its restoration. Norfolk Southern

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — Norfolk Southern on Thursday donated its station in East Palestine to the city, following up on a pledge made last year in the wake of the February derailment and chemical release in the community.

The Times Leader newspaper reports that NS CEO Alan Shaw turned over the keys to the building to East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway. NS had announced plans to donate the building last March, but said first it would restore the structure’s exterior and turn the interior into “a blank space” for the community to develop as it chose [see “Norfolk Southern opens new assistance center, donates station …,” Trains News Wire, May 30, 2023]. That work is now complete; NS Director of Corporate Giving Kirstin Wong said renovations cost about $1 million; the railroad is also providing a $100,000 grant for the city to finish the interior. The city has yet to determine how it will use the structure.

“There are a lot of people here today that have spent the last 15 months focused on helping East Palestine recover and helping East Palestine thrive over the long term,” Shaw said, according to the newspaper. “Just like Norfolk Southern, this facility has been a part of this community for years and, with the improvements we’ve made to it and turning it over to the community, we are going to make sure this train depot will be part of the community for decades moving forward.”

The structure dates to 1905, when it was built by the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway, part of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Ownership eventually passed to Penn Central and Conrail before coming to Norfolk Southern in the division of Conrail in 1998

8 thoughts on “Norfolk Southern donates depot to East Palestine

  1. NS does have community sensitivity and reminds me of the grateful feelings I had towards Southern/NS for their public steam program. I wish for the leadership at NS to prosper, both physically and spiritually. Regards.

  2. Good job NS. Now will it be the impetus for Ancora, or the like, to start another takeover bid so they can. “take it down to the studs…” literally? Lets hope not. And lets hope Wall Street interlopers learned a thing or two from the ill fated Ancora mess. The first? Compromise is always better and cheaper than the “our way or the highway” approach that Ancora tried. Yet, some people will never learn… or listen!

    1. I wonder if the locals consider that “gift” as pouring salt on an open wound???

      Back in the late 80s when SPRR was demolishing all their nice old redwood depots along the Sunset route in se AZ and sw NM, they offered the city of Willcox, AZ the option of keeping their depot provided they moved it 40′ further back from the mainline RoW. They did just that by hiring a rigger to do that job and today it is one of their municipal buildings office with a museum and a tourist ability to play Rex Allen’s rendition of “The Railroad Corral”.

      I/we were the last (SPRR telecom) occupants in the old Willcox depot building, with a Lenkurt 71F2 MW radio spursite X-ceiver, in order to provide dial phone and slow speed TOPS terminal data for the roadmaster’s (MTM’s) office. And the MW equipment was transferred to a nearby prefab cabin.

      Likewise, a few years later under UPRR, the Deming, NM SPRR redwood depot was moved by a rigger, and filmed by the Discovery Channel documentry, to a distant location along the old Deming City WWll municipal industrial spur. Only some of the spur tracks along the city golf course remain as an asphalt containment for a city sidewalk.

      All the other SPRR redwood depots at Benson, AZ (replaced by a replica) and Bowie, AZ, as well as Lordsburg, NM were demolished.

    2. Gregg Spindler’s post and thread reminds me that I should add that both Lordsburg and Deming, NM have outdoor Amtrak shelters. Not sure about Benson, AZ, but I suspect it does have an Amtrak shelter as well, unless my above mentioned Benson depot replica serves that purpose???

    1. It stopped being a significant stop for the Pennsylvania Railroad even before 1940. That year’s Form 1 shows the only named train stopping at East Palestine was the westbound Akronite. The other trains were locals, usually terminating in Salem.

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