Friday, December 2, 2011

North Bennington Depot

(Architectural Napoleon complex: Very large station. Very short platform. Hmm.)

Built in 1880 as a piece of crazy American Victoriana, this is the station in my mother's home town - North Bennington, Vermont. We've seen in once before, back in March this year. As "A Travellers Library" points out, North Bennington is now featured in a new book entitled "America's Great Railroad Stations" - a fitting tribute, I think. 

(Looking northbound. I also never understood why the name is facing the driver -
I'd hoped that they'd know where they were...)

The station's survival is also a very American story; not the story of the big corporation, or of the large foundation, but of local benefactors in small towns bringing their community together. The notice board on the station sets out the story eloquently...

The sad thing is that the last passenger trains to North Bennington ran in 1953 or so: it looked something like this from Jim Shaughnessy's 1981 book Rutland Road

(New York bound in the capable hands of one of the four gorgeous Rutland 90-series 4-8-2s)

So the good news is that the the states of Vermont and New York are conducting a study into returning passenger service to Albany and New York, potentially as soon as 2014-15. Our friends at the Vermont Rail Action Network are doing good work with the VT congressional delegation to get this done. Good!

(Looking south, it somehow reminds me of an aircraft carrier...)

The photo I really want a copy of the station is at Kevin's Sports Pub in North Bennington- it has the view below, but with a very early (probably a '79 or '80) Saab 900 GLs. This is one picture that I'd be happy to replicate- with Amtrak preparing to depart in the background of course...

 (Cute. Much cuter with a Saab 900 outside the station, though...)

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