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Rock Island Lines Passenger Station (Rock Island, Illinois) facts for kids

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Rock Island
Former Rock Island Line passenger rail station
Rock Island RI station.JPG
Rock Island station in May 2011
Location 3029 Fifth Avenue, Rock Island, Illinois 61244
Structure type at-grade
Opened 1854
Closed May 31, 1978
Rebuilt 1901
Preceding station   Rock Island Line   Following station
toward Colorado Springs
Main Line
toward Chicago
toward Tucumcari
Tucumcari – Rock Island Terminus
Rock Island Lines Passenger Station
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Location 3029 5th Ave.
Rock Island, Illinois
Area less than one acre
Built 1901
Built by John Volk
Architect Frost & Granger
Architectural style Late 19th and early 20th Century Revivals
NRHP reference No. 82002596
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 3, 1982

The Rock Island Lines Passenger Station, also known as Abbey Station, is an historic building located in Rock Island, Illinois, United States. It ceased operating as a railway station in 1980. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, and it was designated a Rock Island landmark in 1987.


In 1845 local civic leaders began planning the construction of the railroad to Rock Island. The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad finally reached the city from Chicago on February 22, 1854. It was the first time the railroad had reached the Mississippi River. In order to expand further west, the river needed to be crossed. The first railroad bridge across the Mississippi was built between Rock Island and Davenport, Iowa, opening on April 21, 1856. Rock Island became a pivotal location for the movement of people, commodities and raw materials.

The former depot was built in 1901 to serve as the third Rock Island passenger depot. The building was designed by Charles S. Frost of Frost & Granger of Chicago. He had designed over 200 depots in his career for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, Milwaukee Road, Great Northern Railroad as well as the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific. The depot was built by Rock Island contractor John Volk for $75,000. For many years the depot had as many as 32 arrivals and departures daily, and 21 ticket agents who worked around the clock.

Changes in transportation habits led to the decline in railway travel. The last passenger train left the station on May 31, 1978. The depot itself was closed in April 1980. The building deteriorated until 1994 when the city of Rock Island bought the property from the Iowa Interstate Railroad. In 1996 the city restored the exterior and replaced the clock tower. The deteriorated freight house, which was built of the same materials as the depot, was torn down in 1997. Its bricks and tiles were used in the depot renovations. The depot was sold in 1999 to Abbey Station LLC, which now operates a banquet facility in the building. It is the last railway depot still standing in Rock Island.

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