Waterloo station (Indiana)
Waterloo station building in June 2016
|Location||485 West Van Vleek Street
|Owned by||Town of Waterloo|
|Line(s)||Norfolk Southern Railroad|
|Platforms||1 side platform|
|Parking||90 free spaces|
November 11, 1990
June 24, 2016
Waterloo is an Amtrak train station in Waterloo, Indiana. Waterloo is a small town of under 2,500 people; the station primarily serves the vastly larger population of Fort Wayne, which is some 25 miles (40 km) to the south. The station opened in 1990; in 2016, the former New York Central Railroad station building was moved and reopened for passenger use.
In 1858, the Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana Railroad completed its Northern Indiana Air Line from Toledo, Ohio to Elkhart, Indiana. A number of towns had been platted along the route, including Waterloo in 1856. The first passenger office for the town was merely a boxcar placed along the track.
In 1883, the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad built a new wooden depot, serving both the east-west Air Line and the north-south Fort Wayne and Jackson Railroad. By 1914, both lines were under control of the New York Central Railroad. A freight derailment in 1957 destroyed a trackside bay window. Passenger service on both lines was discontinued in the mid-20th century, and the north-south route was abandoned altogether.
The line passed to Penn Central in 1968 and Conrail in 1976. In 1984, the station building was moved 1,000 feet (300 m) east to protect it from Conrail's intentions to demolish it. The town renovated it as a community center.
From May 1971 to January 1972, Amtrak operated the Lake Shore through Waterloo.:19 The Lake Shore Limited resumed service on the route on October 31, 1975.:21 Neither train stopped at Waterloo or the other small towns along the line.:35
On November 11, 1990, Amtrak rerouted the Capitol Limited and Broadway Limited off the former Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway so that Conrail could abandoned the lightly-used line. The Broadway Limited was rerouted onto a former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad line through Garrett, while the Capitol Limited was moved to the Lake Shore Limited route. The changes meant that Fort Wayne lost rail service, so stations were established in nearby small towns on the new routes; Waterloo station was opened with a single platform and a small plexiglass shelter.:46 An Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach bus connection to Fort Wayne ran until April 2, 1994.:48
The town received a $420k federal grant (supplemented with $153k in local match and $100k in other funds) in 2005 to renovate the station for rail use. The work included replacement of the roof, windows, and doors; installation of accessible restrooms, and repainting. The renovation was completed in September 2010.
In October 2010, the town of Waterloo received a $1.8 million federal TIGER grant to construct station improvements including a new platform, a canopy, lighting, and the incorporation of the restored building. The full-length platform would eliminate the need for the long Amtrak trains to stop twice at the station. However, Norfolk Southern (which owns and operates the line) was concerned about the platform location.
A second proposal was created to built a modern station building and platforms east of North Center Street, on the opposite side of the grade crossing from the existing station. This station was to cost $6 million, funded by the 2010 TIGER grant plus $4 million from Amtrak, and begin construction in early 2013 for a 2014 opening. Waterloo accepted the agreement in June 2012, but the 2013 budget sequestration reduced Amtrak's available funds and the project was canceled.
In early 2015, the town began a smaller project funded by the original TIGER grant, which included additional lighting and walkways, a new parking lot, and electronic signage. On March 30, 2016, the station building was moved 700 feet (210 m) west, adjacent to Center Street. On June 24, 2016, the station building was reopened for passenger use.
- "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2016, State of Indiana" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2016.
- "Waterloo, IN (WTI)". Great American Stations. Amtrak.
- "Gravy train for Waterloo". The Journal-Gazette. October 23, 2010. Archived from the original on March 16, 2012.
- Sanders, Craig (2006). Amtrak in the Heartland. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. pp. 19,21,35,46,48,76,78. ISBN 0-253-34705-X.
- Amtrak National Timetable. Amtrak. October 29, 1995. p. 19 – via Museum of Railway Timetables.
- Amtrak National Timetable. Amtrak. October 27, 2002. p. 27 – via Museum of Railway Timetables.
- "Waterloo, IN (WTI)". Great American Stations. Amtrak. Archived from the original on March 11, 2013.
- Gong, Dave (January 30, 2015). "Waterloo rail station upgrade revived". The Journal-Gazette. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015.
- "Waterloo Depot's Big Move" (Press release). Amtrak. March 30, 2016.
- "Enhanced Waterloo Station Unveiled" (Press release). Amtrak. June 24, 2016.
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