Hamilton eyeing options for saving historic CSX station: What could it be?

CSX is considering shutting the former train depot in downtown Hamilton, which remains a workplace for about 20 CSX maintenance workers.
CSX is considering shutting the former train depot in downtown Hamilton, which remains a workplace for about 20 CSX maintenance workers.

Credit: Greg Lynch

Credit: Greg Lynch

Mayor Pat Moeller plans to call a meeting of people interested in saving the historic CSX railroad station along South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

“I cannot give any update which is exactly where we want to be, but I do know that there is great interest amongst citizens as well as historic groups,” Moeller said.

Former city Clerk Nick Garuckas, who recently took a job elsewhere, had been working on seeking potential grants, Moeller said. Moeller and Garuckas had taken the lead in pursuing the possibilities of saving the building, which likely would include moving it, but keeping it in the same general vicinity.

“I hope to pick up some of those avenues and see what we can do to continue the talk of making it a special place in Hamilton,” Moeller said. “I’m obviously going to need help, and I know there’s interest among council members, there’s interest obviously among citizens, interest among historic groups.”

Moeller has proposed calling it the Lincoln-Truman-CSX Train Station because he noted Abraham Lincoln spoke about the “curse of slavery” in 1859 close to there shortly before becoming president, and Harry S. Truman also gave a speech near the station in 1948.

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“Probably what I should do is this,” he said in an interview with this media outlet. “Just call for a meeting of interested parties,” to see who might be interested in exploring grant possibilities and community partnerships.

“I’ll definitely call one,” he said, adding he will announce a meeting date in the future.

Plan A is to move the station not far from its current location, he said. “It’s in a difficult location for being open to the public,” he said.

Kathy Creighton, executive director of the Butler County Historical Society, has one possible use for the station.

“I would love to see the building saved and turned into a railroad museum,” Creighton said. “Because people love trains, and people watch trains. And people come to see trains. We had a couple of good train wrecks in Butler County, and that kind of stuff. I really think it’d be a cool train museum, or since it’s right there, sitting near where the canal was, make it a train-canal museum, or a Butler County transportation museum.”

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