A matter of public safety Lititz’s last RR relic will soon be nothing more than a memory
STEPHEN SEEBER Record Express Staff
, Staff Writer
The freight depot on Water Street is a decrepit reminder of a once glorious railroad era.
An 11th hour attempt to save the building failed and demolition is expected within days or weeks.
"The train station is about ready for demolition," Lori McEntarfer, Lititz zoning officer, confirmed. "We are currently waiting for photographs of the basement, so we can see if there has been any contamination from an oil tank that has been stored there. The Norfolk-Southern attorney is working with us to bring the demolition to fruition. We are coming down the home stretch now."
Dave Pidgeon, Norfolk-Southern’s public relations manager for Pennsylvania, said no date for the razing has been set, but they’re still moving forward with the plans to do so. As far as future development of the 1.8-acre site is concerned, he said the railroad company has "no plans to share right now."
Some in town were hoping to preserve the old building, the last of three railroad stations that once operated in Lititz, but many deem it to be an eyesore and a public safety hazard. That point was reiterated last week when Lititz Police charged three local boys with burglary, reckless burning, criminal conspiracy and criminal mischief. The boys illegally entered the train station June 3, vandalized the interior and started several fires (more details in this week’s police log). The entrance has since been boarded and no parking signs restrict access to the property. An industrial dumpster and wrecking equipment have been on the site for several weeks.
"All I’ve heard is that it is still scheduled to be torn down, but no real timeline," said Cory Van Brookhoven, president of the Lititz Historical Foundation, who was part of a final effort to save the structure.
Borough manager Sue Barry said more information on the property’s future should be available by the end of the month.
More DEMOLITION, page A15