Once upon a time trains were the preferred mode of travel. The Interstate (motorway) had not yet been invented, and train travel was smooth and easy (except when the train derailed and killed you). I always knew that there are three train stations in town, but I never really thought about why this was.
So I was reading this book recently and saw a picture of one of the train stations. It also said that it had been destroyed, so I was rather surprised when I went to a meeting this past week and looked up.
I was looking at the ceiling when I realized that this room was the original Harvey House restaurant. It still exists, even though it has been many, many years since a train stopped here. And the original tile work is still in place, it hasn’t been renovated out of existence.
So I looked around some more at the building. The bit that is visible as one drives by is actually the back of the building.
This is the original front of the building, with the Santa Fe Railroad logo visible in the brickwork. (Currently the company is BNSF, Burlington, Northern and Santa Fe, which does not sound as cool as the original. And the BNSF trains use the Denver and Rio Grande tracks nowadays.)
The rest of the building has been modernized, but they have included artwork so that you know it was a train station, in case you can’t recognize this. This one is in the old waiting room which has been subdivided into meeting spaces.
And this original hard bench and artwork are by what would have been the back entrance. I have stopped in Raton and Las Vegas, NM looking to photograph these remnants of this chain of dining establishments that shaped the west, so I was truly astounded to find that this had existed the entire time I have lived here. (Although this latest re-incarnation of the building is only a few years old).