Mystic station (Connecticut)
Front view of Mystic Depot
|Location||2 Roosevelt Avenue
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Passengers (2015)||23,816 1%|
Mystic is an intercity train station on the Northeast Corridor, located off Roosevelt Avenue (US 1) east of downtown Mystic, Connecticut. It is served by a limited number of trains on Amtrak's Northeast Regional service, with three to five daily trains in each direction. Mystic is one of only three stations on the Northeast Corridor (along with adjacent stations Westerly and Kingston to the north) to be served exclusively by Amtrak, with no commuter rail service.
The current station building was built in 1905-07, replacing a station built half a century before. A classic small American train station, it was used as the model for American Flyer model stations for over 50 years. The station only has low platforms, unlike most Amtrak stations on the Northeast Corridor; however, a wheelchair lift is available for handicapped accessibility. The station building is used as a coffee shop and passenger waiting area.
The New Haven, New London and Stonington Railroad opened from Stonington to Groton in on December 30, 1858, and was shortly thereafter acquired by the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad. A wooden depot was built at Mystic; it may have been replaced later in the century.
A new station was built in 1905-07 by the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad. The station is primarily wood on a brown brick base, with Georgian Revival architectural elements such as Palladian windows on the east and west facades. It is clad in wood shingles, which had become popular in New England in the late 19th century as a result of interest in colonial history. The eastern half of the station was a waiting room for passengers, while the western half was a baggage room with few windows.
The station was built with a lengthy gabled canopy with which stretched both directions along the platform. The canopy was destroyed in September 1938 by the 1938 New England hurricane; the station was damaged but repaired. The station was used as a model for the American Flyer toy train station beginning in the mid-20th century and lasting over 50 years.
The New Haven Railroad folded into Penn Central in 1969, and passenger operations transferred to Amtrak on May 1, 1971. The station was in poor shape and closed to passengers; although ownership was uncertain, the property was claimed by Amtrak. It was resumed as a station stop in 1974, but no passenger facilities were available.
In 1976, a group of local residents formed Mystic Depot, Inc. to renovate and reopen the building. They received $40,000 from Amtrak, $15,000 from the state, and raised $36,000 from donations and memorabilia sales. Work began in late 1977 and the station was finished in April 1978. The Mystic Garden Club landscaped the station grounds. Amtrak leased the station to Mystic Depot, Inc. for $1.00 annually. A wooden shelter was built around 1986 for eastbound passengers.
In 2001, the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce began operating a tourist center in the station. The waiting room and a ticket machine were available to passengers, and the station was staffed by volunteers. After the Chamber's lease expired, the station building was closed on March 15, 2015, though Amtrak service continued. Three proposals were submitted for reuse; a Rhode Island-based company won the lease in June 2015 to use the building as a cafe and gift shop. The new leasees began renovating the exterior in late 2015; the Mystic Planning and Zoning Commission approved the interior plan in December 2015. The shop, Mystic Depot Roasters, has seating and a ticket machine for Amtrak passengers; it opened on September 30, 2016.
- "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2013, State of Connecticut" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- "Mystic, CT (MYS)". Great American Stations. Amtrak. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
- "Mystic, CT (MYS)". Great American Stations. Amtrak. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
- Roy, John H. Jr. (2007). A Field Guide to Southern New England Railroad Depots and Freight Houses. Branch Line Press. pp. 68–69. ISBN 9780942147087.
- "American Flyer Catalog". A.C. Gilbert Company. 1949. p. 14 – via Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop: Gilbert Catalog Archive.
- "All-America Schedules". Amtrak. 19 May 1974. p. 11 – via Museum of Railway Timetables.
- Souza, Michael (25 February 2015). "Mystic train depot to temporarily close". Mystic River Press. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
- "Sooner Mystic depot reopens the better (Editorial)". The Day. 28 June 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
- Souza, Michael (4 December 2015). "Depot in Mystic to reopen as retail-restaurant site". The Westerly Sun. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
- White, Brooke Constance (October 3, 2016). "Mystic train station gets a second act". The Westerly Sun. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
- "Mystic Depot reopening as a cafe". The New London Day. September 29, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
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