Monday, July 16, 2012

Normal: Old Amtrak Station Memories

Now that Normal has a new Amtrak station, I thought it might be interesting to find out about the former station. The "old" Amtrak station opened June 11, 1990, after a delay required to finish the roof, lighting fixtures, the solar energy system, and landscaping. The energy-efficient design was supposed to save $20,000 a year (compared to similar stations without this design). The design included double-pane windows, a solar room to collect heat, dark flooring tiles, and foam insulation, in addition to the solar panels. The building cost $700,000 (too bad there weren't online comments available at that time; I'm sure there would have been many comments criticizing the cost). When this station opened, a round-trip ticket to Chicago cost $31.

The last Amtrak train was scheduled to leave the old Union Station in Bloomington at 9:16 p.m. June 10. Union Station opened in 1913 and cost $84,000. They were selling an average of 4,485 tickets a month when it closed.

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