Fort Madison station

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For the former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway station in Fort Madison, see Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Passenger and Freight Complex Historic District.
Fort Madison
Fort Madison station.jpg
Location 1601 20th Street
Fort Madison, IA 52627
Coordinates 40°37′21″N 91°20′15″W / 40.6224°N 91.3375°W / 40.6224; -91.3375Coordinates: 40°37′21″N 91°20′15″W / 40.6224°N 91.3375°W / 40.6224; -91.3375
Owned by BNSF Railway
Platforms 1 side platform, 1 island platform
Tracks 2
Other information
Station code FMD
Passengers (2013) 7,246[1]Increase 3.5%
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
toward Los Angeles
Southwest Chief
toward Chicago
Location of the Fort Madison Amtrak Station.
Location of the Fort Madison Amtrak Station.
Location within Iowa
Amtrak station in Fort Madison, Iowa, photographed in October 2011.

Fort Madison is an Amtrak train station in Fort Madison, Iowa, United States. The current Amtrak station was built in 1968 by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway—commonly referred to as the "Santa Fe." Located at the east end of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF—successor to the Santa Fe) freight yard, it replaced a downtown Santa Fe complex that included a 1910 depot, Railway Express Agency (REA) building, and freight office.[2]

Original station restoration[edit]

The city, in collaboration with BNSF, Amtrak, the Iowa Department of Transportation, the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission, and the North Lee County Historical Society (NLCHS), has worked since 2006 to restore the old Santa Fe station to accommodate an Amtrak waiting room and ticket office as well as exhibition and storage space for the NLCHS museum, which moved into the old depot in 1972.[3] Unfortunately, the depot remained susceptible to high water and was flooded several times in the late 20th century. Eventually, the city decided to sponsor a project to lift the depot off of its foundation, construct a new five foot high concrete base, and lower the building back into place; this work occurred during 2011.[4]

The total cost of the depot raising and restoration project is estimated at $3.2 million, and the city obtained funds from a diverse array of grant programs, including $1.5 million through the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Enhancements program and $1.13 million through I-Jobs, a state investment program designed to renew Iowa’s infrastructure, promote long-term economic growth, and help create and retain jobs.[5] Once the renovation is completed, Amtrak plans to move the Fort Madison stop to the depot, which will also continue to house the NLCHS museum.[6]

Trails & Rails and APRHF Rail Rangers program[edit]

Between May 18, 2013 and July 19, 2015, volunteer rangers with the National Park Service provided commentary for train passengers between Chicago, Illinois and La Plata, Missouri on Amtrak's Southwest Chief, including through Fort Madison. This Trails & Rails program was a partnership between Amtrak, the National Park Service, Texas A&M University, and the American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation (APRHF) in La Plata, Missouri. Volunteers were on board for two round-trips per week during the busy summer and winter holiday travel periods. Despite volunteers no longer being on the train, the reference manual used by Trails & Rails volunteers is still available for passengers at Outside The Rails. After the National Park Service ended its partnership with the APRHF in July 2015, the APRHF launched its Rail Rangers program, which continues to provide a similar service on private railroad car excursions across the Midwestern United States, including through Fort Madison on the BNSF line.


  1. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2013, State of Iowa" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Great American Stations. Accessed April 7, 2013.
  3. ^ Great American Stations. Accessed April 7, 2013.
  4. ^ Great American Stations. Accessed April 7, 2013.
  5. ^ Great American Stations. Accessed April 7, 2013.
  6. ^ Great American Stations. Accessed April 7, 2013.

External links[edit]

Media related to Fort Madison (Amtrak station) at Wikimedia Commons