Hattiesburg, MS (HBG)

Named "Hub City" for its location at the crossing of rail lines, Hattiesburg boomed as the center of the local lumber industry. The historic 1910 depot underwent a full rehabilitation in the 2000s.

308 Newman Street
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Station Hours

Annual Station Revenue (2016): $712,854
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 9,552
  • Facility Ownership: City of Hattiesburg
  • Parking Lot Ownership: City of Hattiesburg
  • Platform Ownership: Norfolk Southern Railway
  • Track Ownership: Norfolk Southern Railway

Todd Stennis
Regional Contact
governmentaffairsnol@amtrak.com
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

The 14,000-square foot brick Hattiesburg Southern Railway station was originally completed in 1910. One of the larger and more elaborate surviving passenger depots in Mississippi, the station has been in continuous use since it first opened. It was built in an Italian Renaissance style with a hipped roof originally done in clay tile and tin, and was noted for its 924-foot canopy, which was partially removed in 1958.

In early 1998, the city of Hattiesburg began negotiating with Norfolk Southern Railway to purchase the depot. The transfer of the depot and surrounding 2.28 acres to the city took place in the summer of 2000. The first phase of construction was approved in March, 2002 and completed in the summer of 2003, consisting of a new roof and extensive structure repairs. Phase II completed exterior and interior restorations, repurposing the depot for use as an intermodal transportation center. This included restoration of the ornamental plaster, original flooring, and other historic features, particularly the Grand Hall.

The restored station was rededicated on April 21, 2007, celebrated by a Grand Gala black-tie event the night before. The construction project included restoration of the exterior envelope and rehabilitation of the interior, focusing on windows, doors, repairs, and repainting; roof, canopy and metal awning restoration; accessibility, new interior climate control and fire sprinkler systems; and passenger and other interior spaces. The platform canopy was also restored; and additional parking, grounds, street and traffic issues addressed. The restoration and extensive improvements cost $10 million overall, and took five years to complete. The station now also boasts a wireless network zone.

Funding for this project came through federal earmark allocations, grant funds from the original Great American Stations Foundation (a seed grant of $25,000), state funds through the ISTEA program and matching funds from the city of Hattiesburg.

The depot is located in the Newman-Buschman Railroad Historic District in Hattiesburg, the city’s oldest neighborhood and once the site of the Newman Lumber Company. The depot site links Newman-Buschman, a locally-designated historic district, with the Hub City Historic District-Downtown and Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhoods District.

Please see our in-depth case study on Hattiesburg as an example of how a depot rehabilitation can foster economic development in a community.

Hattiesburg, known as the “Hub City,” is the seat of Forrest County, though it sits in both Forrest and Lamar Counties. In 1882, William Hardy, pioneer lumberman and civil engineer, founded Hattiesburg in the fork of the Leaf and Bouie Rivers. Early settlers came from Georgia and the Carolinas, attracted by the vast areas of virgin pine timberlands. Hardy gave the city its name in honor of his wife, Hattie, when it was incorporated in 1884. The New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad, built from Meridian through to New Orleans, came through Hattiesburg in 1884. Completion of the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad from Gulfport to Jackson, Mississippi, crossed through Hattiesburg in 1897, ushering in the region’s lumber boom. It was this crossing of the rail lines that first earned Hattiesburg the title of “Hub City.”

In the twentieth century, the city benefited from the founding of Camp Shelby, two major hospitals, and, notably, the public University of Southern Mississippi where Brett Farve played his college football. Hattiesburg is also home to William Carey University, a private, Baptist university. Hattiesburg is where Bernard Ebbers and a group of investors, meeting over dinner, first sketched out the idea for MCI/WorldCom after the breakup of AT&T.

The city—and particularly the train station—are claimed by some to be the birthplace of rock and roll: The 1936 recordings, made in the station by Blind Roosevelt Graves, his brother Uaroy and pianist Cooney Vaughn, billed as the Mississippi Jook Band, were what rock historian Robert Palmer, in his 1976 book, felt to be the first fully-formed rock riffs and beat. Coincidentally, musicians Jimmy Buffet, Van Dyke Parks, Webb Wilder and Clifton Hyde have also been claimed as Hattiesburg residents.

Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this facility, which is served by two daily trains.

Features

  • 10 Short Term Parking Spaces
  • Accessible Platform
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Waiting Room
  • Accessible Water Fountain
  • Dedicated Parking
  • Enclosed Waiting Area
  • Long Term Parking Spaces
  • Pay Phones
  • Quik Trak Kiosk
  • Restrooms
  • Wheelchair Lift