Creston, IA (CRN)
Named due to its location on a crest of land between the basins of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, Creston was established in 1868 as a division point for the CB&Q Railroad.
116 West Adams Street
Creston, IA 50801
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2022): 1,785
- Facility Ownership: City of Creston
- Parking Lot Ownership: City of Creston
- Platform Ownership: Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF)
- Track Ownership: Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF)
Amtrak relocated its passenger waiting room to the historic Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) depot in downtown Creston in August 2019; Amtrak had formerly occupied a small portion of the BNSF Railway office building located just a few hundred feet to the east.
In preparation for the move, Amtrak carried out a $1.3 million improvement project at the depot to ensure it is accessible for all passengers. Work included modifying entryways, installing new fixtures and hardware in the restrooms, relocating seating and adding new signage, parking spaces and a passenger loading zone.
Amtrak occupies the original waiting room, located on the depot’s western end. It features dark red terrazzo floors and an oak coffered ceiling supported by classical columns clad in glazed tile. The walls are of glazed buff brick and green tile wainscot, which help reflect the ample natural light entering the room through large round arch windows. Oak trim is used around the windows and doorways. Customers waiting for the train may enjoy model trains and displays detailing the town’s railroad history.
Creston was established in 1868 by the CB&Q, which chose this location as a division point. The town was so named because it sits on a crest of land between the basins of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. By the late 1800s, Creston was a major rail hub with more than 50 daily trains passing through town.
The three-story depot, opened in 1899 at a cost of $75,000, has exterior walls of buff brick with stone trim at the base and in various belt courses. Large dormers finished with coping punctuate the steeply pitched roof line. A sense of grandeur is evoked by large, round arch windows and doorways on the ground floor, which in addition to the waiting room originally included a ticket office, lunch counter and baggage room. Historic images show the depot once had a canopy that wrapped around its southern and western sides to protect passengers from inclement weather, but it was later removed.
Since Creston was a division point, the depot also contained railroad offices on the upper levels for the division superintendent, dispatcher, road master, physician and other officials. The depot abutted the busy Creston yards, which had one of the largest roundhouses in the CB&Q system.
After the railroad moved its operations out of the building in the 1970s, the city purchased the property. When the building was threatened with demolition, residents voted in favor of a bond to support its preservation, and in 1974 the depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the first floor also houses an art gallery, senior center and exhibits, while the second floor is reserved for municipal use.
Creston, the Union County seat, is a regional commercial and government center. The area is noted for its lakes, which offer opportunities for fishing – walleye, largemouth bass, crappie, channel catfish and bluegill are common catches – boating and water sports, as well as camping along the shore.
The Union County Historical Village is located on the west end of town in McKinley Park. The grouping of more than a dozen buildings suggests a rural community of the 1800s. Visitors can explore a schoolhouse, general store, printing shop, log cabin, church, blacksmith shop, depot and a museum.
Hot air balloon enthusiasts have been flocking to Creston for more than four decades for the Creston/Southwest Iowa Hot Air Balloon Days held in the fall. You can watch more than 40 colorful balloons compete in a variety of races, and enjoy a parade, live music, food stands and a craft and flea market.
Station Building (with waiting room)
- ATM not available
- No elevator
- No payphones
- 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
- No payphones
- 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
- Wheelchair lift available