HERMANN, MO. – On the morning of September 12, 2014, city officials, residents and representatives from Amtrak, the Missouri Department of Transportation(MoDOT) and Union Pacific Railroad gathered to cut the ribbon on the city’s new depot and transportation museum. The building replaces a small shelter constructed in 1991 when Missouri Service (now the Missouri River Runner) trains began making regular stops at Hermann.
Speakers included Hermann Mayor Tom Shabel, Dion Knipp of MoDOT and Mark Murphy, Amtrak general manager of long distance services. In a press release, Mayor Shabel noted, “All the citizens of Hermann are thankful for our new Amtrak station. This project took the efforts and cooperation of many citizens, MoDOT, Union Pacific Railroad and city officials. The results were worth the effort.”
Dignitaries gathered for photos as the westbound Missouri River Runnermade its scheduled morning stop. Following the ceremony, attendees enjoyed light refreshments and tours of the depot and museum. Displays trace the area’s rich transportation history, with a focus on the Missouri River, railroads and roadways.
Designed by architects with CM Archer Group, the one story, 820 square foot building features a random rubble stone veneer base, walls clad in traditional clapboard siding and a hipped roof. Through groups of windows, natural light floods the waiting room, meant to hold approximately 40 persons. The space is trimmed in warm bead board wainscoting, and there are also accessible restrooms.
The depot was funded through various resources, including a federal Transportation Enhancement (TE) 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 including 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. In Fiscal Year 2013, more than 18,500 travelers began or ended their journeys at the Hermann station. The Missouri River Runner is financed primarily through funds made available by MoDOT.