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Dayton Memories > Were You Ever In Union Station?
Were You Ever In Union Station?
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Riverdale Ghost
248 posts
Nov 03, 2011
7:33 AM

I know younger people could not ever have been in the train depot, Union Station (Union Depot), and they missed something special.

I thought if you were in it at some time maybe you could post some recollections for them. I thought the place was awesome.

(Incidentally this topic was prompted by pie8me's "Penny Postcards" topic.)

Avatar 1 Honest Communications Is The Foundation of Civilizations.
26 posts
Nov 03, 2011
3:32 PM
Hi Riverdale. Yes, I remember it well. A group of us would stop there in the afternoon on way from school to the bus on 3rd st. It was a big lonely place. We would play the pinball machines or stop at the food counter. With school getting out about 2:30, there were some days that I didn't get home till about 5 PM. At that time there was never any fear that a weirdo would stop us. Those were good times.
393 posts
Nov 04, 2011
8:17 AM
When I was about 10 years old, my brother came home on leave from the USAF and we picked him up at the station. I remember a huge model train set which interested me more than seeing my brother.

Last Edited by on Nov 04, 2011 8:17 AM
2 posts
Nov 06, 2011
7:06 PM
I made a record inside the train station with my grandfather about 1944. Still have the record, but it won't play anymore, as it's all worn down. Does anyone have any idea if it's possible to hear it again and where I would take it to get that done?
Thanks for your help!
336 posts
Nov 06, 2011
9:00 PM
If you have a recording studio near you they might have some type of laser technology that can read the grooves and translate them back into sound. If they don't they may be willing to try and find a way to do it, maybe by overlaying the disc with some kind of reflective material. If it's something that hasn't been done before they may even do it "free" if you sign of on the rights, and they may even be willing to cut you in.

Not promising anything, though. I know a guy who runs an indie studio here, when I see him again I'll ask him about this.
3 posts
Nov 07, 2011
8:01 AM
Thanks for the tip, Allen! I'm still in the Dayton area so I don't know of any recording studio around here. There are no "grooves" left in the record itself. It would be awesome to hear my grandfather's voice again, and little girl "me". If you get a lead, I'd love to know about it. Thanks so much!
550 posts
Dec 05, 2011
6:27 AM
My best memory of the place was the time we took the 'Spirit of St. Louis' from Dayton to NYC on vacation. I was 13 Yrs old at the time and I can remember my Father saying that the place was only a ghost of what it once was. If memory serves the train we rode was operated by Penn Central Railroad. Does anyone remember the old Green REA Express trucks that used to run out of their depot on the East side of the station near the bridge?
17 posts
Dec 06, 2011
4:58 AM
Yes, I remember the REA Express trucks very well. The UPS of that era. At one time, just about every town in the country had a Railway Express office.

I also recall the mail trucks that used to load and unload just east of the station entrance near where Sixth St. curved to become Wilkinson.

Even though there weren't that many trains in the late 60's, they still hauled a respectable amount of mail and express shipments in and out of Dayton. That included full cars loaded with magazines printed at McCall's.

You could see in those days that passenger trains were becoming a thing of the past. I rode a number of trains out of Dayton to Cincinnati, Columbus and Indianapolis just for the experience of riding them. I'm glad now that I did.

76 posts
Dec 09, 2011
11:08 AM
I don't remember too much about the station itself except that it was busy. My mother and I took a B&O in 1965 from Union Station. I actually remember the Cincinnati Union Terminal station more since we changed trains there and had to wait for our L&N train to Memphis. I remember the inside there being cavernous with a lot of people.
79 posts
Dec 09, 2011
8:54 PM
I remember the huge paintings both in Dayton and Cincinnati. I think hey were a result of the WPA to create jobs during the Great Depression and artists were given the job(s) of decorating train terminals. In Cincy, the art had been relocated to the airport the last time I flew in there. Most of the paintings were much bigger that life-size, I think. I''m talking about the 50's through early 60's. My Mom used to like taking the train whenever we could.

8 posts
Dec 14, 2011
9:27 AM
To Allen and Perry....Thanks for taking the time to give me your information. I haven't played this record for many years, but kept it because it was my grandfather and me saying "Hi" to my mom and dad coming home from New York on the train; must have been 1947 now that I try to pin the year down. I have it in my "to do" stack...."to do" sometime when I know where to take it!
6 posts
Oct 13, 2012
6:03 AM
I remember taking my older brother to board a train to New York for his senior class trip at Belmont High School in 1963
luv my dayton
154 posts
Oct 15, 2012
2:37 PM
Was very young when there. We would pick up granma and Pa coming in from Wisconsin and also our neighbors who would be heading away and returning home from a vacation. Mother told me of the numerous trips I made as an infant heading with her to the Great Lakes to visit my father in the navy. Only memories I have of it all are pictures that were taken. Children of today will have no knowledge of trains as a source of transportation from many years ago.
4 posts
Nov 03, 2012
2:02 PM
I was in Union Station once back in the late 70s. We took a train trip to Indy. It was one of the last Amtrak passenger trains stopping or even coming through Dayton. The station itself still looked you just stepped into the 40's or 50's as far as the decor. I know its been closed for years. But is the building still there?
3 posts
Nov 03, 2012
5:11 PM
The station was built underneath the elevated tracks at Ludlow St. In the late 80's they tore out the walls, leaving an empty shell under the tracks. You can still drive by Ludlow St and see remnants of the station underneath the elevated tracks. The original Union Station stood next to the tracks, and was torn down in the 60's I believe. You are lucky you got to ride to Indy, as that line has long been removed west of Trotwood.
6 posts
Nov 07, 2012
5:57 PM
That's right! I forgot about it sitting under the elevated tracks. Yes, that line ran right through Trotwood where we lived behind the old high school (where it used to be). The line is long gone and is now a bike trail. I need to drive down Ludlow and take a look at what's left.
4 posts
Nov 29, 2012
2:04 PM
And I remember....back in the 60's my aunt would ride the train up from South Carolina for the holidays and we would pick her up there. Like so many others, I remember the gigantic train display they had during the holidays there...it was GREAT!!! One year when I was still very little, my Dad took me up to the platform and the train engineer obliged my request and lifted me up and into the cabin of the engine and gave me the grand tour...it made a lifetime impression on me and I have been fascinated with trains ever since. One other interesting note.....my aunt that would visit from SC left after one holiday visit with a gift of bourbon balls from my Mom on her lap. Unfortunately the air conditioning went out somewhere south of here, and my aunt reported that the other passengers were "eyeballing" this old lady that reeked of bourbon! Absolutely hilarious!
4 posts
Jan 27, 2013
2:51 PM
28 posts
May 21, 2014
6:36 PM
I remember being there with my family waiting for a family member to come visit, I think it was a great-uncle.
310 posts
Jan 08, 2015
2:05 PM
The powers to be had to expand sixth st.and desided to tear down the pretty part of the station.Then several years later blocked off the st.for the empty convention center.Its hard to feel sorry for Dayton now because of self interest and pure lack of vision and leadership however all is not lost the lights on the bridges and the fountain will bring back Dayton?
94 posts
Jan 08, 2015
2:10 PM
The one and only time I was in the station was a time when myself and some school mates ditched out of Chaminade, jumped the wall and went through the station.
We were heading for the Keith theater to see Goldfinger
131 posts
Jan 08, 2015
5:37 PM
The first time I was in Union Station was in 1956 when my dad and I came to pick up my older brother who was arriving from a visit with family friends in Middletown. The operating part of the station was by then confined to the under track area and an extension that connected to the old station proper to the north. The doors to the operating part of the station were in the extesion area and you could look into the old Italianate station with its distinctive tower. You couldn't go into the old station area, it was roped off but not torn down until about 1964. I used to cut through the station during my freshman year (60-61) at Chaminade as we moved from morning classes in the old Sacred Heart School building on Maple St. to Chaminade HS on Ludlow Street. You could enter the station from Wilkinson Street and exit on Ludlow St. The old station and the connector building were torn down at the same time and made way for Sixth St. to connect Ludlow with Wilkinson. Only the under the tracks section was left as a station after that. I used the station fairly often to get back and forth to OU in Athens (B&O RR with transfer in Cincy). After graduation (69), I lived in Columbus and used Amtrak to visit family in Dayton. It was a nice alternative in the days before I-675 and I-70 were completely built. During the Amtrak days, only one train east (8 pm) and one train west (10 am). The old Pennsylvania RR line from Dayton to Columbus through Xenia, Cedarville, S. Charleston and London is now a bike path.

Last Edited by rdebross on Jan 09, 2015 11:08 AM

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