As you can see here, the station building is a grand structure. When originally built, the facility contained offices for the L&N, a ticket office, waiting rooms, a restaurant, and space for baggage and express operations.
The depot was vacated with the end of Amtrak service in the area in the late 1970s, and over the years succumbed to neglect and vandalism. I remember seeing the depot in 1995 and it was in deplorable shape. All of the windows were broken out, major portions of the tile roof were missing, and vagrants were living inside the structure. At that time members of the Bowling Green community came together and begun to raise money to renovate the structure. After CSX Transportation donated the depot and platform structure, the restoration work begun. By the time I graduated college in 2002, the major restoration work was completed. In addition to leasing some space for use by a local business, the depot houses a nice museum on the L&N in Bowling Green, a community room for events, some nicely-restored and maintained pieces of equipment.
Since then, the group has acquired 6 pieces of rolling stock, and has displayed them at the depot. As one drives to the depot, it looks as if the Memphis section of the L&N’s crack passenger train The Pan American is about ready to depart the station. Heading up the display train is “L&N” E8 number 796. This unit, a shell is restored from a former CN&W unit. Following the locomotive is a former L&N RPO car, completely restored inside and out, a former L&N 6-4-6 (6 sections, 4 double bedrooms, and 6 roomettes) sleeper Towering Pine, a former SP diner painted as an L&N dining car and a steel-sheathed business car, L&N number 353. Also in the collection is a Chessie System caboose painted as an L&N caboose.
All of the equipment is maintained in very good condition, and restoration work is actively going on. Most recently, restoration volunteers have replaced much of the steel in the sides of the Pullman car. Longer range plans are to cover and enclose the equipment in a glass structure, and continue the restoration work.