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New Iberia, LA (NIB)

Founded by Spanish colonists in 1779, New Iberia is famous for its annual parades and balls, including the Sugarcane Festival and World Championship Gumbo Cook-Off.


Station Facts

New Iberia, LA Station Photo

New Iberia, Louisiana

402 West Washington Street At Railroad Tracks - Downtown New Iberia, LA 70560

Annual Station Revenue (2013)
$88,810
Annual Station Ridership (2013)
1,920

Ownerships

Facility Ownership Louisiana and Delta Railroad
Parking Lot Ownership Louisiana and Delta Railroad
Platform Ownership BNSF Railway
Track Ownership BNSF Railway

Features

5 Short Term Parking Spaces Accessible Payphones Accessible Platform
Accessible Waiting Room Dedicated Parking

Routes Served

  • Sunset Limited

Contact

Todd Stennis
Regional Contact
governmentaffairsnol@amtrak.com
(202) 906-3918 (ph)

Local Community Links:

Station History

The New Iberia station is a brick structure constructed in 1900 by the Texas and New Orleans Railroad, a predecessor to the Southern Pacific Railroad. It also serves as headquarters for the Louisiana & Delta Railroad, which was established in 1987. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the depot exhibits characteristics of the Romanesque style popular at the end of the 19th century.

Thanks to the efforts of local historian Shane K. Bernard, Ph.D., the platform at the New Iberia depot received new benches, trash receptacles and potted plants in late 2013. The project, which creates a more welcoming impression for rail travelers, was financed by a $1,250 grant from the BNSF Railway Foundation. Community members stepped in to help Bernard install the benches and fill the planters. In addition, depot owner Louisiana & Delta Railroad fixed platform lighting, and Amtrak plans to install new signage.

The town of New Iberia is located in South Louisiana, a region rich in Cajun culture which conjures up images of bayous with Spanish moss draping over cypress trees. New Iberia dates from spring 1779, when it was founded by Bernardo de Galvez and a group of 500 Malaguenian colonists who named it in honor of the Iberian Peninsula. It is the only town in Louisiana founded by the Spanish during the colonial era. The Spanish colonists reached New Iberia via Bayou Teche and settled around Spanish Lake. While the Spanish settlers referred to the town as “Nueva Iberia,” the French called it “Nouvelle Ibérie,” and the American settlers dubbed it “New Town.” It was not until 1847 that the Louisiana state legislature officially named the town New Iberia.

In late 1879, the first passenger train pulled into New Iberia from New Orleans, the biggest event for transportation and the economy since 1819, when the Attakapas Steamboat Co. was organized and began bringing merchandise from New Orleans to New Iberia, greatly increasing commerce in the town. The railroad was planned to be built in 1859, but the start of the Civil War delayed the project 20 years. Once the railroad was completed, within the next few years New Iberians could travel by rail to Houston, Avery Island, and Abbeville. Products from these cities began flowing into New Iberia. and were then shipped throughout the nation.

The railroad became even more important for New Iberia once lumber companies discovered the cypress forests surrounding the town. Saw mills and factories sprung up in the area, greatly aiding the ailing post-bellum economy. New Iberian cypress tress provided roof tiles as well as cisterns for Midwestern homes.

New Iberians enjoy frequent festivals and parades. The town fetes Mardi Gras with extravagant parades and balls. In late September, townspeople celebrate a three-day annual Sugarcane Festival and Fair, which includes a boat parade on Bayou Teche as well as street parades. In October the town enjoys the annual Gumbo Cook-Off, a contest in which local contestants compete to see who cooks the best version of this local dish.

Other cultural attractions include the McIlhenny Tabasco factory. This famous hot sauce, found on tables worldwide, was born right outside of New Iberia on Avery Island. For fans of antebellum history, Shadows-on-the-Teche, an antebellum home that is the property of the National Trust For Historic Preservation, is open to the public for events such as exhibitions, lectures, children's programs, and re-enactments. New Iberia’s historic commercial district won a 2005 Great American Main Street Award, sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, for its successful revitalization efforts.

Amtrak does not provide ticketing and baggage services at this facility, which is served by the tri-weekly Sunset Limited (Westbound: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday; Eastbound: Tuesday, Friday, Sunday).