A visit to the Restored BN Depot Museum offers a nostalgic glimpse into Red Oak’s glorious railroad history. Additionally, the Depot provides the community with a charming, affordable venue for events.
The railroad and Red Oak’s depot were once the hub of area travel and commerce. When the railroad first crossed Montgomery County in 1869, the changes were immediate. Depot towns grew with settlers arriving by trainloads. Markets for grain and livestock opened, and freight of all types supplied a rapidly growing number of businesses.
When Chicago, Burlington & Quincy company – later Burlington Northern and now Burlington Norther Santa Fe – moved the tracks to the high line to avoid seasonal flooding of the tracks, the original structure near Market Street was replaced with a brick building of Romanesque architecture in 1903. The beautiful new depot featured a spacious waiting room, full-service café, smoking lounge, ladies waiting room, ticket window, station agent’s office, telegraph service, baggage room, plus mail and freight service. Trains carried passengers and freight to and from the east and west coasts plus many points between. Until 1971, passenger trains stopped in Red Oak multiple times a day, including the famous California and Denver Zephyrs.