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 (FY 2022): 1,235
- Facility Ownership: Amtrak
- Parking Lot Ownership: N. Morrison
- Platform Ownership: CSX Transportation
- Track Ownership: CSX Transportation
The Amtrak stop in Crawfordsville is a heated, enclosed shelter on the platform that opened in 2022. From a distance, it’s marked by a steep, sloping roof and bands of windows that allow natural light in, as well as provide a view up and down the platform. It sits close by the original depot, a modest red brick hip-roofed structure built in 1926 for the Monon Railroad and served by its passenger trains until 1967. The depot is currently owned by Crawfordsville resident Nancy Morrison, who purchased it from CSX in 2004. Since then, she has renovated the building for commercial purposes, in part through $20,000 of funding assistance from the Crawfordsville Historic Preservation Commission.
In the spring of 2005, Dr. Helen Hudson’s class of Crawfordsville High School Honors English students undertook the renovation of the former Amtrak passenger shelter as a class project. 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 and reglazing of the windows. They also printed brochures promoting rail travel and produced and installed a “Welcome to Crawfordsville” sign at the station. Their efforts paid off in ridership, which increased by 31% in the quarter immediately following their first cleanup.
In recognition of their hard work and community spirit, the students were honored in Washington, D.C., by the National Association of Railroad Passengers in April 2006. They also received the Jolene M. Molitoris Golden Spike Award from the Indiana High Speed Rail Association and a President’s Service and Safety Award as “Champion of the Rails” from Amtrak. Two years later, as part of an Earth Day project, Dr. Hudson’s students returned to the station to continue maintenance and improvements.
In August 2022, Amtrak and local officials gathered at the station to cut the ribbon on completion of a $2.6 million improvement project at the facility. As part of the work, the existing asphalt platform and the old passenger shelter were removed and replaced with a new 300-foot-long concrete platform and heated waiting shelter. Also included in the upgrades were new station signage, a mobile lift enclosure and energy efficient LED light fixtures that enhance lighting along the platform and pathways. An accessible walkway from the public right-of-way to the platform, and two new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-accessible parking spaces, were also installed. Undertaken in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration and with the cooperation of the city and two adjacent private property owners, the work was part of the Amtrak ADA Stations Program – an ongoing effort to proactively provide all customers with an accessible and safe experience at stations.
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 school, 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 American college sports. 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.
Crawfordsville was once known as the “Athens of Indiana” for its resident literary figures. One of the most prominent citizens was Major General Lew Wallace, a veteran of the American Civil War and once governor of the New Mexico territories. He authored Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ in 1880, and the book has been continuously in print since it was 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.
Platform with Shelter
- ATM not available
- No elevator
- No Quik-Trak kiosks
- No Restrooms
- 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
- No accessible restrooms
- No accessible ticket office
- Accessible waiting room
- No 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
- Wheelchair lift available