Part three of our Union Terminal behind-the-scenes series takes us to the heights of Tower A, which was once the main control tower for the railroad. Home to the Cincinnati Railroad Club, the group of 300 members restored the tower to resemble its original 1933 architecture.

The society originated in 1938 as group of rail enthusiasts who organized excursions on the Norfolk Southern Railroads. The illuminated track diagram board, director's desk, and candle stick phones still remain intact.

A Railroad Club member demonstrates the rotary phone.
1930s photograph of the switchboard in use.
5chw4r7z snapping the switchboard.
Cincinnati Museum Center's Social Media Coordinator, Natalie Nichols, guides our tour.

In its heyday, Union Terminal transported 20,000 passengers daily. While Cincinnatians can still catch the Amtrak here, the present-day rails host cargo trains that are just passing through. Tower A provides a breathtaking view of all the activity.


"The train has given way to the plane, but has not died. The system will be revamp..."
"...and that will be the day the train will be king again."
Mid-1900s portrait of Cincinnati.

Tower A has an extensive library filled with old Union Terminal records, photographs, train memorabilia, and lots of old pieces from the original control tower. The Railroad Club loves showing off this collection which is free and open to the public Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12:00PM to 4:00PM.

Unfortunately, the library is suffering some structure damage from weather and cracks in the masonry. 

Makes me want to donate some plaster.
View of the rotunda dome from Tower A library.


Water pipe repaired with duct tape... and getting new holes.

Structural repairs and proper preservation of Tower A is included in the $150 million Union Terminal repair estimate. Cincinnati Museum Center currently lacks funding to rehabilitate Tower A, which is currently existing through volunteer work and small donations from the Cincinnati Railroad Club. 

Learn more about Funding to Restore Union Terminal.
Check out the Instagrams posted live from our tour.