Train stations have always been gateways to adventure, business travel, and even mail transportation across America. The United States Postal Service (USPS) has now celebrated the history, nostalgia, and romance of train travel by introducing its Railroad Stations Forever stamps. The dedication ceremony was held at the Cincinnati Union Terminal, one of the five spectacular train stations to be featured in the stamp series.

Dan Tangherlini, a member of the USPS Board of Governors, served as the dedicating official, and he remarked on the significance of these iconic buildings. “All five stations have stories of persistence and sub-plots involving dedicated people working to save them,” he said. The stamps are a tribute to the architectural gems that have played an essential role in their communities and continue to inspire people today.

The first station buildings appeared in the early 1830s, and many smaller towns saw the railroad station as the focal point of community life. By the 1870s, noteworthy stations were built and became landmarks that still stand today. Although many fell to the wrecking ball once they had outlived their original purpose, hundreds survived, and the five that feature on these stamps are all listed in the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places.

The five railroad stations that feature on the stamps are:

  1. Cincinnati Union Terminal, Ohio – This spectacular art deco station opened in 1933 and was designed to mirror the prosperity and optimism of the 1920s. It was built to accommodate 216 trains per day, but passenger services ceased in 1972. The station was reopened in 1990 as the Cincinnati Museum Center, and Amtrak restored passenger rail service there in the following year.
  2. Tamaqua Station, Pennsylvania – Built in 1874, this station replaced a wood-frame depot that had burned down. The Italianate elegance of the new building was a reflection of the town’s prosperity as a hub for anthracite coal. Passenger service ceased in 1963, but the station was saved from demolition and restored in 2004. It now houses a heritage center, shops, and a restaurant.
  3. Point of Rocks Station, Maryland – This Gothic Revival station was completed in 1875, and its location at a crossroads made it a vital stop for passenger and freight trains to and from Baltimore, Washington, and other points. Although the building closed in 1962, trains continued to stop there to take on and drop off passengers. Today, it is used as offices for CSX Transportation, the successor to B&O’s freight service.
  4. Main Street Station, Richmond, Virginia – Opened in 1901, this ornate building designed in the Second Renaissance Revival style was a busy commercial hub at the edge of downtown. Although Amtrak took over passenger service in 1971, the station was later repurposed as a shopping mall and office space before undergoing major renovations in 2017. It now houses a visitors center and grand event space.
  5. Santa Fe Depot, San Bernardino, California – Built in 1918, this station was once the largest railroad station west of the Mississippi River. It served as a gateway for thousands of Americans migrating to California, and it was also an employment center for the large proportion of the area’s population that worked in railroad-related jobs. Although passenger service was transferred to Amtrak in 1972, the station now houses local government offices and a history and railroad museum.

Railroad Stations Forever stamps will be issued in panes of 20, and customers can purchase them and other philatelic products through the Postal Store at or at Post Office locations nationwide.

Just as the railroad represents progress and movement, train stations hold stories of industry, commerce, migration, and hope for the future. They are gateways and crossroads where lives meet, and the Postal Service is proud to honor these five historic American railroad stations.

Derry Noyes, a USPS art director, was the art director for the project, and Down the Street Designs was responsible for the digital illustrations, typography, and overall design of the pane.

These stamps are a reminder of the important role that rail transportation played in America’s development and the significance of these iconic buildings that have become a part of our cultural heritage. They celebrate the history and architectural beauty of the train stations and the people who worked to preserve them. With the release of these commemorative stamps, the nation is reintroduced to these local treasures that have become an integral part of our community’s memories.

The USPS has a long history of celebrating America’s cultural heritage, and these stamps are just one example of how they continue to honor the people, places, and events that have shaped our country. They remind us of the importance of preserving our history and the role that iconic buildings such as these stations play in our shared heritage.

Train travel may not be as popular as it once was, but these stamps are a testament to the enduring legacy of America’s railroad stations. They are a tribute to the communities that built and preserved them and to the passengers who passed through their doors on their way to new adventures and destinations.

The Railroad Stations Forever stamps are a celebration of America’s cultural heritage and a reminder of the important role that rail transportation played in our country’s development. They are a tribute to the communities that built and preserved these iconic buildings and the passengers who passed through their doors on their way to new adventures and destinations. The Postal Service is proud to honor these five historic American railroad stations and the enduring legacy that they represent.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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