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Historic Phillipsburg Union Station to Reopen as Museum June 16 | WDIY Local News

The exterior of Phillipsburg Union Station.
Contributed photo
Friends of the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center
The exterior of Phillipsburg Union Station.

A historic train station in Phillipsburg is finding new life as a museum, and is set to reopen soon.

The Friends of the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center recently announced that the Phillipsburg Union Train Station will reopen this week as a transportation museum.

According to a release, the grand opening of the museum will be held Friday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m., and the event will feature a ribbon cutting, food and drink, as well as music by the Phillipsburg High School Band.

The museum will also be featuring various transportation displays showcasing Phillipsburg’s history as a railroad town, at one point serving as the crossroads of five railroads, and the role of Phillipsburg Union Station as a major transportation hub.

"We hope that this museum will be a source of pride for the community and a destination for visitors from near and far," said Tom Hellyer, President of the “Friends” in the release.

"We are excited to share the history of the town and the importance of the railroad with everyone who visits.”

Phillipsburg Mayor Todd Tersigni said the transformation of the station into a museum, “is a testament to what can be accomplished when the community comes together to work toward a common goal."

Friends of the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center is a nonprofit dedicated to preserving, restoring, and operating New Jersey’s artifacts, and is headquartered in the station.

The nonprofit has been restoring Phillipsburg Union Station since 2004, which included restoring the main floor to its original design and layout, and rebuilding the original ticket windows, counters, waiting room benches and pink marble bathrooms.

The station building was previously used as a political campaign headquarters, a pharmacy, bank computer center, and a trophy and sporting goods store.

Phillipsburg Union Station was built by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad and opened in 1914. It was shared with the Central Railroad of New Jersey and situated where the lines merged before the bridge crossing the Delaware River.

The building, designed by Francis J. Nies, is a representation of early 20th century Prairie-style architecture.

According to the nonprofit’s website, the last DL&W passenger train left the station in 1941. CNJ stopped using the station in 1959, though it continued to provide passenger service to Phillipsburg until 1967 using makeshift platforms.

Passenger service was again restored in 1974 using a gravel platform but was again discontinued by NJ Transit at the end of 1983.

The rail lines beside the station continue to be used for freight rail, operated by Norfolk Southern Railroad.

(Original air-date: 6/13/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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