Crawfordsville, IN (CRF)
Laid out in 1823, the town is home to Wabash College and was once known as the “Athens of Indiana” for its resident literary figures.
400 North Green Street
Crawfordsville, IN 47933
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 5,774
- Facility Ownership: Amtrak
- Parking Lot Ownership: CSXT, N. Morrison
- Platform Ownership: CSXT
- Track Ownership: CSXT
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
The Amtrak stop in Crawfordsville is an enclosed shelter on the platform. It sits close by the original station building, a modest brick hip-roofed structure constructed in 1926 for the Monon Railroad. It was served by Monon passenger trains until 1967. The original station is currently owned by Crawfordsville resident Nancy Morrison, who purchased it from CSX in 2004. Since then, she has renovated the station, with $20,000 of funding assistance from the Crawfordsville Historic Preservation Commission. She later opened a restaurant, the Right Track, in the historic building, which is still in operation.
In the spring of 2005, Dr. Helen Hudson’s class of Crawfordsville High School Honors English students undertook the renovation of the Crawfordsville Amtrak station as a class project. During this first year, more than 40 students cleaned the interior of the shelter, removed more than 50 bags of trash from the exterior and parking lot, and started renovations including landscaping, painting the shelter and reglazed the windows. They also printed brochures promoting rail travel and produced and installed a “Welcome to Crawfordsville” sign at the station.
In April 2006, the students were honored in Washington, D.C., by the National Association of Railroad Passengers D.C., for their efforts to beautify the station. They also received the Jolene M. Molitoris Golden Spike Award from the Indiana High Speed Rail Association. They were named Champion of the Rails in 1996 and were presented with the award in Amtrak’s 1996 President’s Service and Safety Awards ceremony. In April 2008, as part of an Earth Day project, Dr. Hudson’s students returned to the station to continue maintenance and improvements. Their efforts have paid off in ridership, increasing by 31 percent in the quarter immediately following their first cleanup.
The site of present-day Crawfordsville was an attractive area with arable, forested land on a substantial creek, which came to be known as Sugar Creek, that fed into the Wabash River, with a smaller creek to the south, both providing plenty of water. In 1823, Major Ambrose Whitlock laid out the town naming it for Colonel William H. Crawford, the cabinet officer who had issued Whitlock’s commission as Receiver of Public Lands. The small town, with its tavern, stores, and grocery, was incorporated in 1834.
Wabash College, one of the few remaining men’s schools in the U.S., was founded in Crawfordsville in 1832 as the “Wabash Teachers Seminary and Manual Labor College.” This college, which was served by the Monon Railroad, maintains a football rivalry with Depauw University. This is one of the oldest rivalries (beginning in 1892) of all college sports in the U.S. In 1932, the Monon Railroad donated a 300-pound locomotive bell as a trophy to the winning team each year; the Monon Bell Classic is one of the best-watched games in collegiate football even today.
Once known as the “Athens of Indiana” for its resident literary figures, one of the city’s prominent citizens, Major General Lew Wallace, a veteran of the American Civil War and once governor of the New Mexico territories, wrote Crawfordsville’s most famous literary work, Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ in 1880. Ben Hur has been continuously in print since it was first published, only surpassed by Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. Wallace’s novel has been made into movies three times and into an animated film once.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this facility. Between the Hoosier State and Cardinal, Crawfordsville is served by two daily trains. The Hoosier State is financed primarily through funds made available by the Indiana Department of Transportation and communities along the route.
- 10 Short Term Parking Spaces
- 10 Long Term Parking Spaces
- Accessible Payphones
- Accessible Platform
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Pay Phones