Hutchinson, KS (HUT)
A fine example of mid-century modern design, the depot features clean lines and minimal ornamentation. In addition to a waiting area, it houses the local transit agency and a cafe.
North Walnut Street & East 3rd Avenue
Hutchinson, KS 67501
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2021): 1,797
- Facility Ownership: James L. Strawn, as Trustee of the James L. Strawn Trust
- Parking Lot Ownership: James L. Strawn, as Trustee of the James L. Strawn Trust
- Platform Ownership: BNSF Railway
- Track Ownership: BNSF Railway
The Hutchinson depot, a mid-century modern structure, was built by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in 1954 as part of a larger effort to modernize its infrastructure and image. The one story brick depot exhibits clean lines and minimal ornamentation. Typical features of the mid-century modern aesthetic found in the building include a flat roof, integrated planters, horizontal panoramic windows with simple beige stone trim, metal accents along the roof line and terrazzo flooring. The railroad built similar depots in Lawrence, Kan. and La Junta, Colo. Today, the building is also occupied by the local transit agency and a restaurant.
City and Amtrak officials gathered at the depot in July 2022 to celebrate completion of accessibility improvements by Amtrak. The station boasts a new 350-foot long boarding platform with new station signage, a mobile lift enclosure, energy-efficient LED lighting and guardrails. New accessible pathways provide improved connections to city sidewalks, new ADA parking spaces, the depot and platform. Inside, improvements include a full restroom renovation featuring new fixtures, accessories and adequate clearances for accessibility. Work crews also installed new entry doors and an accessible drinking fountain. The overall project cost approximately $3 million.
In 1871, Indian Agent and Baptist preacher C.C. Hutchison contracted with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad (now BNSF Railway) to create a town at the railroad bridge over the Arkansas River. The community was called “Temperance City” at first, because of its strict prohibitions against the sale or consumption of alcohol as stipulations upon the sale of land in the town.
The town incorporated on August 15, 1872 as Hutchinson, Kansas, and became the county seat. The first railroad depot opened in Hutchinson in 1872 as well. The town was eventually served by the Santa Fe, Rock Island, Missouri Pacific and several smaller railroads. This access to rail traffic allowed Hutchinson to succeed as a center of trade for farmers who homesteaded and cultivated the surrounding land as well as for industries established there.
Salt has also played a major part in Hutchinson’s history. While prospecting for oil in 1887, Benjamin Blanchard inadvertently discovered underground salt in Reno County, 400 feet beneath the surface. His discovery gave rise to the first salt-processing plants west of the Mississippi River, as 26 companies came to cash in on the “white gold.” In 1923, the Carey Salt Company opened the first and only salt mine to produce rock salt in Hutchison. The Carey mine is still in use today as operated by the Hutchinson Salt Company. Today, commercial giants Cargill and Morton still maintain evaporative salt plants in Hutchison.
Excavated portions of the Carey mine are used today for archival storage of all sorts, such as movie and television masters, data tapes, and permanent business records. Gone with the Wind and Star Wars are among the many films archived there. The mine hosted tours in its early days, and eventually, with the urging of county residents and the Reno County Historical Society, the Kansas Underground Salt Museum was created so that the mine may still be toured.
Other industries also made their homes in Hutchinson. Both the storage and milling of wheat are important to the region and the world’s longest grain elevator was built in Hutchison in 1961. Dillon’s Grocery, later bought out by Kroger, Co., was established in Hutchison in the 1920s; Dillon’s eventually grew to over 200 stores nationwide. The company still operates a distribution center and headquarters in town. And, during World War II and since, Hutchinson has been home to a Naval Air training station.
Station Building (with waiting room)
- ATM not available
- No elevator
- No Quik-Trak kiosks
- Unaccompanied child travel not allowed
- No vending machines
- No WiFi
- Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure
- Amtrak Express shipping not available
- No checked baggage service
- No checked baggage storage
- Bike boxes not available
- No baggage carts
- Ski bags not available
- No bag storage
- Shipping boxes not available
- No baggage assistance
- Same-day parking is available; fees may apply
- Overnight parking is available; fees may apply
- Accessible platform
- Accessible restrooms
- No accessible ticket office
- Accessible waiting room
- Accessible water fountain
- Same-day, accessible parking is available; fees may apply
- Overnight, accessible parking is available; fees may apply
- No high platform
- No wheelchair
- No wheelchair lift