Alabama February 21, 2017
You’ll Never Forget A Visit To These 9 Historic Railroad Towns In Alabama
There’s no denying that Alabama has a great history, including its railroad history. In Alabama, railroads have been operating since 1832. Today, there’s less rail activity throughout the state than there was 100+ years ago. However, there are several train depots located throughout the state that allow us to learn what railroad life was like during Alabama’s railroad days.
Listed below are nine historic railroad towns in Alabama. Their depots are a must visit for all train enthusiasts.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Fort Payne - DeKalb County
The Fort Payne Depot was built by the Alabama Great Southern Railroad in 1891. It's one of Alabama's last surviving nineteenth-century railway terminals. Today, this historic depot operates as the Fort Payne Depot Museum.
2. Tuscumbia - Colbert County
The Tuscumbia Railway Co., which was established in 1830, was the first railroad on the American frontier. It connected Tuscumbia with the Tennessee River, which was located nearby. During Tuscumbia's railroad days, as many as 18 passenger trains stopped in town daily. Tuscumbia's historic 1888 depot has been fully restored and now operates as a museum.
3. Greenville - Butler County
Greenville's historic train depot was built in 1910 and is currently used by the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce. At the height of its railroad days, Greenville became a center of commerce between Montgomery and the southern region of Alabama.
4. Foley - Baldwin County
In 1905, Foley's first railroad depot was built. Unfortunately, it burned down in 1908. It was replaced with its current building in 1909. Today, the historic Foley Depot operates as the Foley Depot Museum. This unique museum features a variety of displays outside, in addition to an extensive model railroad display inside. It also contains exhibits that explain the history of the city.
5. Stevenson - Jackson County
Stevenson Railroad Depot and Hotel, located within Stevenson's downtown area, were built in 1872. In 1982, this historic duo of buildings were converted into a history museum. It's currently operated as the Stevenson Railroad Depot Museum, featuring a variety of railroad and Civil War artifacts.
6. Maplesville - Chilton County
Maplesville's original depot was built in 1853, which was during a time when the town was a shipping area for cotton. During a raid in 1865, the depot was destroyed. Following the Civil War, it was rebuilt. After the depot was destroyed by fire in 1911, it was rebuilt again in 1912. Today, the depot is being used to hold documents and photos that tell all about Maplesville's past and present.
7. Huntsville - Madison County
Completed in 1860, the Huntsville Depot is Alabama's oldest surviving railroad depot. It's located on the Norfolk Southern Railway and currently operates as a museum.
8. Guntersville - Marshall County
The Guntersville Railroad Depot, which was built in 1892, currently operates as a railroad museum. Through artifacts, maps and photos, museum visitors get a glimpse of what the railroad life was like between the late 1800s to early 1900s.
9. Montgomery - Montgomery County
Montgomery Union Station, which is located along the Alabama River, was built in 1898 by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. During Montgomery's railroad days, this historic depot was a major hub for passenger trains. In 1979, rail service ended. Montgomery Union Station became a National Historic Landmark in 1976, and it's currently being used for the Montgomery Area Visitor Center.
For a unique dining experience, check out our previous article:
This Train Restaurant In Alabama Will Make You Feel Like A Kid Again. It’s a must visit for train enthusiasts of all ages.