On November 26, 2013, city officials, residents and representatives from Amtrak, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and the Hermann Area Chamber of Commerce gathered for a ceremonial ground breaking to mark the start of construction on a new Transportation Museum and Amtrak Station. The building will replace the existing shelter, constructed in 1991 when Missouri Service (now the Missouri River Runner) trains began making regular stops at Hermann.
Designed by architects with CM Archer Group, the one story, 820 square foot building will feature a random rubble stone veneer base, walls clad in traditional clapboard siding and a hipped roof. Through groups of windows, natural light will flood the waiting room, meant to hold approximately 40 persons. The space will be trimmed in warm bead board wainscoting, and there will also be accessible restrooms. Displays will trace the area’s rich transportation history to include the river, rails and roads. Construction should be completed by May 2014.
The depot is funded through various sources, including a federal Transportation Enhancement (TE, now called Transportation Alternatives) grant matched with local funds. Administered by MoDOT, TE grants are meant to “help expand transportation choices and the transportation experience” through a dozen activities such as landscaping and scenic beautification, historic preservation and creation of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. The Dierberg Educational Foundation, a local non-profit organization that supports projects to preserve the region’s cultural heritage, also contributed funds for depot construction, as did the city of Hermann.
Hermann, founded by German immigrants in the 1830s, remains proud of its origins and hosts numerous cultural festivals throughout the year. Due to its close proximity to St. Louis, the city is popular with day-trippers, many of whom take the train. The Missouri River Runner is financed primarily through funds made available by MoDOT.