1827 Front Street Slidell, LA 70458
- Annual Station Revenue (2013)
- Annual Station Ridership (2013)
|Facility Ownership||City of Slidell|
|Parking Lot Ownership||City of Slidell|
|Platform Ownership||Norfolk Southern Railway|
|Track Ownership||Norfolk Southern Railway|
|12 Long Term Parking Spaces||12 Short Term Parking Spaces||Accessible Platform|
|Accessible Restrooms||Accessible Waiting Room||Dedicated Parking|
|Enclosed Waiting Area||Restrooms||Wheelchair Lift|
(504) 528-1639 (ph)
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The brick Olde Towne Railroad Depot in Slidell was built around 1903 for the New Orleans & Northeastern/New Orleans & Great Northern railroad, supplanting an earlier wooden passenger depot which was located on the west side of the tracks between Maine and Pennsylvania Streets. In the early 1990s, the city of Slidell submitted a grant application to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD) to receive funding under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Enhancement Act (ISTEA) of 1991 to renovate, preserve, and operate the depot.
Before renovations began, the Norfolk Southern Railway donated the depot and about two acres of land to the city, and resolutions were made authorizing the mayor to enter into agreements with the LDOTD for depot renovation. Later that same year, the building was put on the National Register of Historic Places, protecting the historic character of the building.
Renovations to the depot were made in three phases. Phase I funding consisted of the $204,000 ISTEA grant matched by $56,000 of city sales tax funds, and was completed in less than a year. N-Y Associates Inc. /Architects, Ltd. performed the design and Edel Construction did the work, including replacement of the roof and support beams, replacement of windows, lead paint abatement, new electrical service, and installation of the trunk line for the fire suppression sprinkler system. Additionally, 90 years of neglect was cleaned from the interior. Phases II and III were funded by $200,000 from the state and $200,000 in city funds, and continued the gutting and rebuilding of the station to compliment the Olde Towne street landscaping that was underway. The Amtrak office, waiting room, and rest rooms take up about 1,000 square feet of the station today. Also currently located in the depot are the Slidell Art League Gallery and Slidell Cultural Center, as well as two restaurants, the Times Bar & Grill and the Beignet Station.
The city successfully established an Olde Towne–Train Depot–Robert’s Landing Park connection that served to revitalize the city’s older core. However, it was fall of 2006 before the city had recovered sufficiently from Hurricane Katrina’s ravages to begin to pick up with its cultural life in Old Towne as before.
About three miles from the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, scattered houses had been built near Robert’s Landing as early as 1852; the landing allowed the Spanish, French, and later, Americans to travel by boat along the bayou Bonfouca to Lake Pontchartrain. The need for better overland transportation to the north and east of New Orleans, however, encouraged the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad to build through the present site of Slidell, at Roberts’ Landing, and continuing on to Jackson, Mississippi. The first survey team came in 1881 and the first train traveled along that line through the area on October 15, 1883.
In 1883, railroad surveyors mapped the town and named it Slidell Station in honor of John Slidell, a U.S. Senator and Confederate official. The Town of Slidell was incorporated on November 3, 1888, and it enclosed about 2,320 acres. The railroad, from 1903 through 1946, formed the mainline of Slidell’s prosperity. In the thirty years after its founding, Slidell developed a creosote plant, one of the country’s largest brick manufacturing facilities, a large lumber mill, and a shipyard—which contributed significantly to the national efforts in both world wars. Slidell boomed in the 1960s due to the location of NASA’s Slidell Computer Complex there, in 1962, to support the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the Michoud Assembly Center in New Orleans. Today, Slidell is still the largest city in St. Tammany Parish.
Bayou Liberty, near Slidell, was featured in a boat chase scene in the 1973 James Bond film, Live and Let Die. East of Slidell is the Honey Island Swamp, a river swamp nature preserve which can be visited through guided boat tours.
Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, the world-famous instrumentalist and Grammy Award winning blues musician, lived in Slidell from 1983 until shortly before his death in 2005, days after Hurricane Katrina passed through Slidell.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this facility.
Slidell is served by two daily trains.