Better Than Most Unstaffed Amtrak Stations


Like so many Amtrak stations in small and medium sized cities, there is no ticket agent in Bangor, Michigan.

Unlike some of those stations, the Bangor station offers a warm and dry place to wait for the train.

Shown is the waiting room of the depot used by the Chicago-Grand Rapids, Michigan, Pere Marquette. It is housed in what used to be a portico of the original brick station.

The Pere Marquette Railway built the depot in 1926 to replace a wood structure destroyed by fire.

The site was used through the end of Chesapeake & Ohio passenger service in 1971 but sat vacant before a model railroad manufacturer occupied the structure in 1981.

Amtrak’s Pere Marquette began using the building in 1984, but vacated it in 1991 when the model railroad company, known as the Kalamazoo Toy Train Factory, closed.

The city of Bangor purchased the station in 2001 and sold most of it in 2004 to a health care provider.  The attic was converted to a second floor and the south portico was enclosed to make a waiting room for Amtrak passengers. The city still owns this portion of the depot.

Just off the waiting room is a restaurant, The Railroad Cafe and Coffee Bar. I don’t know if it is open at train time, but if it is passengers have a place to get something to eat or drink.

The restaurant occupies the original station waiting room. The benches in the station appear to have a railroad heritage and might be original to this depot.

There are ample copies of Amtrak schedules in the racks against the wall, including a stack of the last Amtrak national timetable ever printed.


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