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Photo of the Month - November 2009
Five Railroads with Passenger Service
I remember riding on High Street past Columbus Union Station in the 1950's and seeing the Union Station sign. It always made me want to take a train ride. The camera is looking north with High Street on the left, the Union Station Arcade straight ahead and the actual station off camera to the right about 500 feet. At the far end of the arcade walkway was the Columbus "O" Gauge Model Railroad Club. The tobacco/newspaper store, facing the camera, occupied the space that was the Columbus Railway Power & Light Co. waiting room when the arcade was built in 1897.
The wide drive divided by the island supporting the sign once held the main arch and a smaller arch that covered the carriage ways that led back to the station proper. Those two sections of the arcade were removed in 1928 to improve automobile traffic flow to the station entrance.
Behind the parked automobile is a wall blocking the view down to the track level. When the station was new this was open. Pedestrians could look down on the tracks as they walked back to the station.
In the mid-1950's passenger trains were being removed from service. The B&O was the first of the five to end all passenger train service through Columbus. The "Baltimore & Ohio" neon tubes were removed and the white letters painted over. Next the "Norfolk & Western" was removed in 1959. Then came Amtrak which continued to abandon passenger train service through Columbus until it was all gone.