Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak signs’

Signs that Harken to a Past Era of Train Travel

April 13, 2017

There was a time when every large city in America had one or more “union” stations, meaning depots used by multiple railroads for their passenger service.

There remain quite a few union stations in America, but most of them either are no longer served by passenger trains (e.g., St. Louis) or just see a couple trains a day (e.g., Indianapolis).

Photographs that I’ve seen of these stations back in the days when travel by train was more pervasive than it is now have featured certain types of signs that directed travelers to boarding areas.

Shown are two such types of signs at Chicago Union Station, which is, arguably, the last great train station left in the Heartland of America in terms of frequent use by rail passengers.

The top sign is carved into the masonry work of the station and isn’t going anywhere. The bottom sign, though, is portable and may not longer be in use at CUS.

Both have an old-fashioned quality about them that suggests an era long ago and well before anyone thought there would someday be an Amtrak.

The ‘Pointless Arrow’ Still Lives at Amtrak

December 31, 2016

durand-station-july-13-02-x

In April 1971, the National Rail Passenger Corporation unveiled its new logo, an inverted arrow that many wags came to call the “pointless arrow.”

It symbolized Amtrak for several years before the current herald was adopted. Although the arrow logo has been more or less retired, it continues to greet the public at some Amtrak stations.

One of those is Durand, Michigan, where it looms over passengers entering the former Durand Union Station. Aside from serving Amtrak, the Durand depot also houses the Michigan Railroad Museum.