I recently re-watched the movie, “The Station Agent”, and afterward began fantasizing of living in an old train depot. Finn (Peter Dinklage) is a man born with dwarfism who loves trains, and is willed an abandoned train depot by his elderly employer. I thought that a small, restored train depot would make a perfect tiny house, especially if you don’t mind the sound of trains.
Finn’s depot was filmed at the Newfoundland train station in Dover, New Jersey. I found a few other beautifully designed train depots in the area that have been converted into museums or historical markers.
The train depot used to be a visitor’s first view of a new town as the train they were on came chugging into the station. According to the Railroad Station Historical Society, railroad stations are designated locations along railroad lines to serve the handling of passengers, freight, and other commodities; as traffic control, maintenance, and/or communication centers.
Often stations were marked by buildings including depots, towers, and maintenance facilities and almost always by a sign visible from the tracks. The word “station” is often used interchangeably with “depot”, but it refers to much more or less than a depot. The word “depot” is appropriate for a structure serving the public at a station.
We would love to hear of any train depots or other structures near you that would make a wonderful tiny house: a silo, an old train car (a la Maude from “Harold and Maude”), an old barn, a firestation or even a lighthouse.
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