Hamilton’s CSX train depot could move as early as November

The relocation of a pair of buildings at the former CSX train depot in Hamilton could happen as early as November.

This project has seen several delays, including one that could have pushed the project into 2023, but everything appears to be on course to have the two buildings ― one single-story, one two-story ― in the 400 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. City Council elected to purchase the former train depot for its historical significance within the city.

“Wolfe House Movers is tentatively preparing to move the building in early November,” said City Engineer Rich Engle, adding that a firm timeline to get the company on site to move the two buildings is still be determined.

Wolfe House Building & Movers had been contracted to move the two buildings, which are connected by an architectural structure, to the southeast corner of Maple Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The buildings are being prepared for relocation by Coon Restoration, who’s been contracted to secure the windows and doorways. They were going to remove the historic tin room for storage, but Engle said that won’t happen. Engle said it was “strongly suggested” they remain in place.

“There would be more damage done to the tin ceiling (tiles), trying to remove them and then replace them after the fact than the risk of them damaged during the relocation,” said Engle. “We’re going to leave them in place as they exist today, and that way, there’s no danger or no risk of having them not put back in the right location, either.”

As Coon Restoration performed its work in bracing the doors and windows, crews discovered an entrance to the basement of the single-story building.

“We had thought that was a building that was on a concrete slab. Unfortunately, it’s not,” Engle said. “It’s wood flooring with a concrete cap on top of it, and there’s about a four-foot gap between the bottom of the floor and the ground below it.”

The city will have to remove the floor and replace it with gravel for Wolfe House Building & Movers to properly lift the structure and relocate it. The city will ask Coon Restoration for a price for that work.

Vickers Construction has been cleared to work on the property, which is still owned by CSX Transportation. They’ll remove the connecting structure, two chimneys, and loose material on the roof of the two-story building.

Engle will present a more detailed schedule and updated total cost to City Council next month.

City Council has allocated $2 million to relocate the buildings, however, it could cost another $44,000 to complete all necessary tasks, according to the city.

As of Aug. 5, a little less than $1.58 million (which includes firm and estimated costs) is earmarked to complete the move. However, several items need to be prioritized, and cost estimates would add another $859,000 to complete the project. Work that has yet to be prioritized by City Council includes electrical, plumbing and HVAC work for both buildings, rebuilding and replacing bricks after the relocation, and tuckpointing the brick walls of both buildings.

Once the buildings are prepared to be relocated, it’s expected each building will take a few hours to relocate.

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