No Destination: Catlettsburg Depot

Catlettsburg, Ky.
Railroad Depot, Catlettsburg, Ky.
Catlettsburg was once called where the "river meets the rail." The Catlettsburg Rail Depot, originally part of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, is no longer an active station. Until 1998, Amtrak used to stop at CAT on its Chicago to NYC Cardinal train, but the line now stops in Ashland. Amtrak also utilized Catlettsburg as the termini of the Hilltoper line (a line that operated from 1977 to 1979 - check out this story (and pics) of riding the line in 1979) It served as an active C&O passenger station from 1904 to 1958.

In his rail journal dated 2004, Dan Chazin called the abandoned Catlettsburg station a "small, unattractive station." To be sure, it is an old (1904) station and its yellow brick is certainly not the most asthetically appealing rail station I've ever seen. That said, it is a classic rural rail station from that era. Given the loss of rail traffic - and rail stations - nationwide, the structure is significant. This is why I'm so glad to see that it has been, since 2006, the Russell E. Compton Civic Center and Museum. From the picture, you can see that work is being done to expand the role of the center in the community.

At the time of my visit, a rusty caboose sat next to the station. Within months, the caboose was restored and painted a bright red with sharp yellow trim. From the pictures at Ashland's Daily Independent, they've done a great job restoring the caboose.

A number of my flickr Catlettsburg photos were taken at the depot.