Many depots were turned into a restaurant and bar, others into little shopping malls with locally made items in them plus a couple of small restaurants. Several were turned into antique shops. One advertises that the mood of the railroad days has returned. That depot is a restaurant and bar, “you will go back in time to a more genteel era that includes fine cuisine and your favorite beverages.” Train memorabilia and local historical items are throughout the building.
At one time, even before our depot was built, there was “a locomotive roundhouse that was a major repair terminal in line between Cincinnati and Indianapolis. But the roundhouse lost its usefulness when diesel engines replaced the slower starting steam engines.” That’s a quote from Jerry Kitchen’s excellent history of railroads he wrote for the 1984 Decatur County History.
Jerry also wrote that from the 1890s to the 1930s there were 20 passenger trains converging upon Greensburg from five different directions. That brought more than 500 railroad jobs to our county. Many people love to hear a train whistle. I still do.
There was no train within hearing distance where I grew up but when I stayed overnight at my much older sister there were trains going by fairly regularly. At about five years of age I can still remember thinking that one day I would be on one of those trains. I knew that I would go to all kinds of wonderful places when I grew up. Alas, by that time autos had taken over and there was no reason to go by train.
Contrast the demise of our railroad depot with the building from which the Interurban entered and left. It’s still standing and in use. The Interurban was a popular and convenient mode of transportation here from 1907 to 1932. You could hop the Interurban and go to Indianapolis at about any time of the day. Some say that a car left every hour from the station that was just one block east of the Courthouse Square on East Main Street.