Rugby is known as the geographical center of North America. The Great Northern Railway built the red brick depot in 1907, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Rugby, North Dakota
201 West Dewey Street Rugby, ND 58368
- Annual Station Revenue (2015)
- Annual Station Ridership (2015)
|Facility Ownership||BNSF Railway|
|Parking Lot Ownership||BNSF Railway|
|Platform Ownership||BNSF Railway|
|Track Ownership||BNSF Railway|
|20 Long Term Parking Spaces||Accessible Platform||Enclosed Waiting Area|
|Restrooms||Short Term Parking Spaces||Ticket Office|
- Empire Builder
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
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Rugby is known as the geographical center of North America. The Great Northern Railway (GN) built the one-and-a-half story Tudor-style station in 1907. The waiting room features glazed tile wainscot on the lower third of the walls, a beautiful yet utilitarian design choice since it was durable and easy to clean. Wood framing accentuates the single and grouped windows, and handsome wood benches welcome passengers.
In 1987, a multi-year restoration project was begun by the city, Lions Club, Amtrak, local businesses and citizen groups. By 1988, they had begun painting the entire station interior, which had not been painted since the 1960s. They also completely refurbished the terrazzo floor, cleaned the original oak benches, rewired the original brass electric light fixtures and hung large railroad photographs. Many railroad artifacts are also displayed.
Rugby's Great Northern Railway depot was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. It was once awarded "Station of the Year" by Amtrak as a testament to the dedication of the citizens of Rugby who are avid proponents of rail travel.
The GN, considered to have been America’s premier northern transcontinental railroad, ran from St. Paul, Minn., to Seattle. The company was formed in 1889 by James J. Hill, who orchestrated the merger of the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad with the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba Railway. Hill holds a special place in railroad history and lore, and is known as the “Empire Builder.” Whereas most transcontinental lines were built with federal assistance in the form of federal land grants, the GN did not utilize this method.
Hill’s business acumen guided the planning and construction of the GN. Much of the upper Midwest and West was sparsely settled, so instead of racing across the continent, the GN developed the regions through which it traveled as it steadily moved toward the Pacific. This action helped settle the land and created a customer base. Hill the businessman actively sought to establish trade links with Asia, and the railroad is credited with putting sleepy Seattle on the map and transforming it into an important and powerful Pacific Ocean port after the railroad reached the west coast in 1893.
Amtrak provides ticketing service at this station but does not provide baggage service. Rugby is served by two daily trains.