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Best of Wyoming
Fri November 9, 2012
Laramie Historic Railroad Depot
The Laramie Railroad Depot was built in 1924 to replace the town's original Union Pacific Depot/Hotel that was destroyed by fire in 1917. It served as Laramie's Union Pacific passenger depot until 1971 and as an Amtrak depot until 1983. In 1985, the Union Pacific Railroad gave the Depot to the Laramie Plains Museum, which transferred ownership to the Laramie Railroad Depot Association in 2009. Currently, the building houses an expanding museum of railroad memorabilia and is used for various community functions such as concerts, art exhibits and public meetings. The building is also used to raise revenue to maintain itself through rentals for weddings, banquets and other events. The Depot is the only remaining building left from the once large Union Pacific presence in Laramie and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The railroad is the reason for the City’s original existence, and the Depot is an integral part of Laramie’s historic legacy.
Railroad Heritage Park, located just south of the Depot, brings together a snow plow, steam engine, bunk car and caboose. It recreates a 1950s Snow Train which kept the rail lines open for passenger and freight trains in the fierce Wyoming winters and is a tribute to the hard working men and women of Laramie and the West who braved the elements to do so. The Snow Train is in the process of being nominated for the National Register of Historic Places.
The Laramie Railroad Depot Association oversees the operation, maintenance and restoration of the Laramie Depot in accordance with the Association’s mission: “To preserve Albany County's railroad heritage, to educate and promote the importance of the railroad to the history, culture and economic development of the local area, the State of Wyoming and the nation, and to preserve this history for posterity.”
For more information, visit http://laramiedepot.org/ .