Edwardsville’s historic train depot to be restored

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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Some rusted train axles tell the story of the Nickel Plate Station from 1883. But Edwardsville Alderman S.J. Morrison also likes to tell the story of this old train depot and its bright future.

"I love this train station," says Edwardsville 4th Ward Alderman SJ Morrison. "My great grandfather worked for the railroad here in Edwardsville. But he actually served in World War One and was one of the troops to go off and serve in the war."

A familiar Metro-East train stop will make one more stop next spring. First built by the Toledo, Cincinnati, and St. Louis railroad, it's seen thousands of visitors over the years.

"The city of Edwardsville, over the last 20 years, we've restored some of our most important buildings like the Wildey Theatre and the Benjamin Stevenson house, and so on and so forth,' says Morrison. "We have great structures over 100-years-old and the train station was one of the last structures that had to be restored and preserved."

Saved from the wrecking ball in 1989, it was moved to a safe location. It has received structural and cosmetic fixes throughout its 135 years and is on track for renovation and relocation.

"Our hope is not just to restore it, but that it's a satellite location for the growing Edwardsville Children`s Museum," says Morrison.

The city of Edwardsville owns the train station and a lease was signed to relocate it closer to the Lewis and Clark Community College's Edwardsville campus entrance in the Leclaire historic district. Morrison estimates the cost of the project around $100,000 and will be seeking additional funding to begin work this fall.

"We actually, just last night, approved a lease agreement with Lewis and Clark to move the station to South Buchanan street near the Nickel Plate trail where it`s going to have better visibility," said Morrison. "It needs air handling units, an ADA restroom and we're going to put a new skin on it, with new siding and windows, and it`s going to be an exciting useable space for our community."

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