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Top 10 historic train stations

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Point of Rocks station

Train stations are the perfect nexus of transit and architecture geekdom. Obviously, I love them. Since I also like to make lists, and since the DC area is fortunate enough to have several excellent examples of historic depots, here is a list of what I think are the best ones:

Number 10: Manassas
I’m a sucker for turrets and covered platforms, which help this otherwise unextraordinary station squeak in at number 10. Used by VRE and Amtrak.

Number 9: Chesapeake Beach
Click the link and look at the picture with the station all prettied up for Christmas. Isn’t that adorable? Too bad it’s no longer a functioning depot.

Number 8: Harpers Ferry
Solid all around, and it gets bonus points for being next to an awesome mountain tunnel. Used by MARC and Amtrak.

Number 7: Rockville
B&O Railroad architect Francis Baldwin designed a ton of great Victorian stations in Maryland. More will appear further down. Rockville’s is no longer in use as a depot.

Number 6: Fredericksburg
This big brick station is best remembered for its industrial looking covered platforms. We don’t have much of that steel look in DC, so it’s fun to find nearby. Used by Amtrak and VRE.

Number 5: Martinsburg
It used to be common for hotels and train stations to co-locate (especially out west). This is the only local example I know of. Used by Amtrak and MARC.

Number 4: Gaithersburg
Another of Francis Baldwin’s B&O depots, this one seems straight out of a fairy tale. Used by MARC.

Number 3: Frederick
This vintage 1854 building is reminiscent of Washington, DC’s old B&O station, which was demolished when Union Station was built. No longer in use as a depot.

Number 2: Point of Rocks
The best of Baldwin’s B&O stations, this one is just gorgeous. Used by MARC.

Number 1: Washington Union Station
Really, could there be any other answer?

Honorable Mentions: Fairfax Station, Laurel, Kensington (the latter two are Baldwin stations). Also note that I excluded the Baltimore area, which has a ton of good stations as well.

October 5th, 2010 | Permalink
Tags: architecture, commuterrail, intercity, preservation, top10, transportation



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