Picayune, MS (PIC)
The Picayune depot opened amid celebration in 2008. Its design is meant to evoke the look of a classic early-twentieth century passenger station, including a porte-cochere and waiting room.
200 Highway 11 South at Tate Street
Picayune, MS 39466
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 2,458
- Facility Ownership: City of Picayune
- Parking Lot Ownership: City of Picayune
- Platform Ownership: Norfolk Southern Railway
- Track Ownership: Norfolk Southern Railway
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
The Picayune station was built with the look of a classic early-twentieth century passenger depot, including a porte-cochere and waiting room. The previous station was an open waiting area near the platform, similar to a gazebo. The cost to construct the center was mostly funded through a grant from the Federal Transit Administration, which paid for 80 percent of the estimated $875,000. The remaining 20 percent was paid for by the city. The ribbon cutting and grand opening for the Picayune Intermodal Transportation Center took place on October 16, 2008.
The region around Picayune did not come under U.S. control until 1810; it had changed hands several times between the French and Spanish with the varying fortunes of the southeastern U.S. In 1811, Stephen Jarrell settled and set up a trading post on a bluff overlooking Hobolochitto Creek. The next year, General Andrew Jackson passed through the area on his way to the battle of New Orleans and Moses Cook, a young quartermaster in his command, came to Jarrell’s post to acquire supplies. After the war, Cook returned, bought out Jarrell, and settled there to run the trading post. By 1832 he was able to add a post office to his stand, which was then called Hobolochitto.
Regional growth was slow until the railroad from New Orleans to Cincinnati came through in 1883, building a switching yard in Picayune because the trains had to be broken into smaller units before entering the hilly terrain that begins just to the north. For a time the settlement was known as Bailey Switch.
Picayune was incorporated as a township in 1904, the name having been chosen by Eliza Jane Poitevent, owner and publisher of the New Orleans Daily Picayune. When the paper was founded, the picayune was a small denomination Spanish coin, the cost of the newspaper from a vendor. The city’s current motto is “A precious coin in the purse of the South.”
In 1904, Picayune was incorporated as a township and in 1922 as a city. At the time, Picayune became a center for cattle ranching and the growing of tung trees. Tung oil was once a primary ingredient in creating fine waterproof varnishes for wood, and in much demand for both furniture and the marine industries.
After Hurricane Camille destroyed most of the tung orchards in 1969, the region turned to cattle as its main economic staple. After Hurricane Katrina in 2006, many people who had lived closer to the Gulf of Mexico moved to Picayune, seeking a safer home and easy commute back to the Gulf Coast.
Mississippi State University’s Crosby Arboretum is at Picayune, and it is the premier native plant conservatory in the southeastern United States, providing protection for the region’s biodiversity as well as for the public’s education and enjoyment.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this facility, which is served by two daily trains.
- 20 Short Term Parking Spaces
- 45 Long Term Parking Spaces
- Enclosed Waiting Area