Great Overland Station in Topeka, Kansas began as a Union Pacific railroad passenger station on January 27, 1927. Along the way, it survived floods, was remodeled for railroad offices, abandoned in 1988, and damaged by fire in 1992. Railroad Heritage, Inc. leased the building from the Union Pacific Railroad to prevent the building's demolition.
Union Pacific Corporation donated the station to Topeka Railroad Days, Inc. 6 years later, and the Great Overland Station Project Team was established to direct efforts to preserve the station and transform it into a railroad heritage museum. In June 2004, The Great Overland Station opened its doors.
The Great Overland Station is quite beautiful, and this is a spectacular special event space, but as of the beginning of 2006, Great Overland Station is still building toward its potential. When I visited the museum in 2006, there wasn't enough to make the Station a destination for anyone but serious train buffs. Other then the structure itself, the biggest attraction is the 100 or so freight trains that pass the building daily. Perhaps more can be done with Topeka's connection to the Harvey House restaurant chain.
Harvey House Luncheons and tours of the Great Overland Station are available to groups with advance reservations.
copyright 2006-2009 by Keith Stokes