Union Terminal returning to it's heyday - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Union Terminal returning to it's heyday

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX10) - The good 'ol days of hopping on a train headed to another part of Ohio could be a reality in less than two years.

Union Terminal is the odds-on favorite as far as stations go right now. But many local leaders say it would take a big chunk of federal stimulus money to make it work at that location.

Despite there being other choices, Union Terminal has history and nostalgia on it's side.

"I heard this morning that high speed rail would get you from Cincinnati to Cleveland in 6 hours for something like that for 38 bucks?" said the Director of Cincinnati's History Society Library, Ruby Rogers. "You can't beat that!"

The 3-C service would link Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton and Cincinnati by rail.

"You'll be in the comfort of your own seat, you could work, you could read, you could sleep, none of those things you're supposed to be doing driving I-71," Rogers said.

The train station was at it busiest during World War II, with as many as 34,000 people passing through the train station every day. It was incredibly busy, handling as many as 200 trains per day. Then, by the late 1950's it was down to 50 trains a day and in the fall of 1973, Amtrak shut-down it's operations at Union Terminal.

"At the same time, CSX purchased the rail yards and wanted to run the double decker cars," Rogers said.

So they tore-down the old concourse, where passengers got on to their trains behind the station.

"Cincinnatians were successful in raising something like 400-thousand dollars to move the worker murals if you've been in the airport," Rogers said. "You've seen those incredible mosaic murals? Those were here in Union Terminal."

An $80 million question remains - the cost to build about five new miles of rail line.

"The building was made for rail traffic and there's plenty of room!," Rogers said.

President Truman was at Union Terminal at least five times. At one point, he was traveling incognito, and came into the concourse to buy a newspaper. The woman who sold it to him had no idea he was the President. Once she found out, Truman came back and signed the dollar he'd given her for that paper. 

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