Phase one is underway for Headwaters Junction rail attraction

Headwaters Junction has announced that phase one of the railroad tourist attraction is now...
Headwaters Junction has announced that phase one of the railroad tourist attraction is now underway.(wpta)
Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 7:31 AM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - There is progress to report on a plan to open a railroad tourist venue near the city’s riverfront.

Kelly Lynch, the director of Headwaters Junction, said Wednesday that phase one of the project has begun and will be completed in the fall of 2022.

A restored historic railroad depot is slated to be moved to a parking lot at 1010 Cass Street right next to the Fort Wayne Outfitters business along the Saint Marys River.

The project is not far from Promenade Park.

Lynch says the depot will house an ice cream and coffee shop, as well as displays and exhibits related to the Headwaters Junction effort.

In addition, a vintage rail passenger car from the 1950′s, which is being remodeled, will also be re-located to the site.

It will be used as a lounge car available to host meetings and private events and eventually will be used as part of tourist railroad excursions and events, Lynch says.

Later on, during phases two and three, plans call for creation of a rail-yard park at the site, which a promotional video says will include a Roundhouse, an interpretive center and restoration facility “where visitors can get up close and hands-on with vintage trains.”

“It was really important that we show progress on this effort as we continue to work with the City of Fort Wayne on phases two and three, the grand plan for Headwaters Junction is a rail-yard park where all of these historic railroad attractions that people already come from around the world to visit, will be able to experience along the downtown riverfront,” Lynch said.

“We hear a lot of feedback from people from outside of the community who are enjoying our riverfront and certainly to have an additional attraction and a place for people to enjoy such as Headwaters Junction, we think can be a positive attribute to our community moving forward,” said John Perlich, a spokesperson for the City of Fort Wayne.

Site development for phase one has been made possible, Lynch says, by a $100,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne’s Riverfront Fund and $15,000 from the Journal Gazette Foundation.

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