Posts Tagged ‘Memphis Central Station’

Waiting to Highball Memphis

February 9, 2021

Amtrak P42DC No. 60 is on the point tonight as the northbound City of New Orleans does its station work in Memphis.

This is a crew change point so a new locomotive engineer will board here to take Train 58 to Carbondale, Illinois, where another engineer will board for the final leg into Chicago.

The station here was built by the Illinois Central and was once known as Grand Central Station.

Nighttime on the City of New Orleans

May 3, 2018

If you are familiar with lyrics of the Steve Goodman song City of New Orleans, then after you read the headline of this post you know what comes next.

Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee.

I once thought Goodman meant moving from one car to another, but that didn’t seem to make a lot of sense. Why would a passenger en route to New Orleans want to get up and move to another car?

It was later that I realized he probably was referring to the process of switching cars in Memphis.

This included removing head-end cars that came in from Chicago and adding cars that operate from Memphis to New Orleans.

Railroads used to do a lot of switching of cars in and out at major intermediate stations. Diners, sleepers, coaches, lounges, RPOs, and mail and express cars were added and subtracted.

It has been decades since the Illinois Central or even Amtrak has “changed” cars in Memphis.

Today Nos. 58 and 59 change operating crews in Memphis, but that is the extent of it.

In the photo above, the northbound City of New Orleans is shown making its Memphis station stop in March 2012.

Tunnel Being Built at Memphis Station

September 6, 2017

Work has begun to develop an underground walkway beneath the platforms at Memphis Central Station.

The pedestrian tunnel will link Main Street with a farmers market on Front Street. It is expected to open in summer 2018.

Alex Turley, vice president of real estate for developer Henry Turley Company, said the tunnel is part of a Central Station redevelopment project that includes a 124-room boutique hotel, a seven-screen Malco cinema, 182 residential units, the Memphis Farmers Market, and retail and restaurants.

Amtrak will continue to use the depot, which was built 113 years ago by the Illinois Central Railroad and serves the City of New Orleans.

The station project is being funded by a $3 million grant. “The idea is that this becomes a transit hub to a larger neighborhood, not just South Main and the South End but also South City,” Turley said. “We want this to be a demonstration of how transit can work in Memphis.”

Further up the line of the City of New Orleans the city of Newbern, Tennessee, will celebrate its 25th Newbern Depot Days on Sept. 16.

The festival will feature music, food, prizes and operating model train layouts.

Proceeds from the event are used for maintenance of the Newbern depot, which was built in 1920 saved from destruction 27 years ago.

Among the prizes are Amtrak tickets for two aboard the City of New Orleans to Chicago or New Orleans (winner’s choice).

Memphis Station to Get Hotel

June 23, 2017

Developers plan to create two hotels to serve Memphis Central Station, one of which will be contained within the 103-year-old depot.

The latter will be a boutique hotel within the historic station while the other will be a 115-room Holiday Inn Express to be built on what is now a parking lot at the corner of Fourth and Union.

Developers for both hotels have applied for building permits for work totaling $24.5 million.

The hotel inside the station will transform what are now apartment into the 124-room Central Station Hotel. Plans show that it will have a lobby, bar, ballroom, guest rooms, restaurant and retail.

McLean Wilson, an executive with Kemmons Wilson Companies, said the objective is to make the hotel “an extremely special experience.”

The hotel’s full name will be Central Station Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton.

Wilson said this includes transforming the station’s waiting area into a large bar that will be like a “living room”’ for the South Main neighborhood.

The Amtrak lobby and ticket office will be used to create the hotel lobby. Replacement facilities for Amtrak will be moved further east within the depot.

The existing ground-floor meeting rooms and offices will become a 3,500-square-foot restaurant and 6,000 square feet of retail that will likely include a coffee shop.

Memphis is served by Amtrak’s City of New Orleans.

Memphis To Celebrate Its Railroad History

September 17, 2014


The railroad history of Memphis will be on display during the grand opening of Memphis Central Station on Oct. 4.

The occasion is the 100th anniversary of the station. The event is being sponsored by the Memphis Railroad & Trolley Museum.

A ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. with free admission for the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Amtrak Exhibit Train will be  on hand and open for tours by schools and groups between noon and 5 p.m. on  Friday (Oct. 3) and to the public on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

A Norfolk Southern exhibit car will be on display during the same hours as the Amtrak train. A Canadian National locomotive cab will be open for visitors on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. BNSF, CSX and Union Pacific will all have locomotives on display.

“The 100th anniversary of the opening of Memphis’ Central Station marks a major event in the railroad history of the Mid-South,” said museum President Mike Fleming. “Preserving the ‘Rich and Colorful Railroad History of Memphis and the Mid-South’ is the goal of the Memphis Railroad & Trolley Museum.”

For additional information, call 901-590-3099 or go to Museum entrance fees will be waived on Saturday.

Memphis Central Station is served daily by Amtrak’s City of New Orleans between Chicago and New Orleans.