Exploring the Area
During our last trip to see Jaylin at Sterling College in Kansas, we had a little time to pass. So we decided to drive up to the nearby town of Lyons, Kansas, mainly because Laura and I had not been there before. We were mainly curious about what stores might be there, and what places to eat there might be. But as we drove around town, something caught our attention - the old Lyons Railroad Depot! Check it out in the photos below.
This first photo looks down the tracks, with the Lyons Railroad Depot at the side. But you almost can’t see the railroad tracks because the grass has grown up. You also can’t see that the platform area in between the depot and the tracks is all cobblestones because the grass has grown up between the stones. Time takes its toll on everything, I suppose.
Here is a better look at the tracks. It should be pretty obvious that a train has not been through here in quite a while, so I did not feel any danger at all in walking on these tracks. If a train had come, it would have been a great surprise! And there would have suddenly been a lot of dead grass, too.
The depot used to be a stop on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway, one of the largest in the United States. But as you can see, those days are long gone now. Everything is boarded up. And then some of the boards that were there, not the boarded-up boards but the original building boards, are no longer there. It was a little sad, but also interesting at the same time.
Here is another view of the track side of the depot. As you might imagine, I took lots of photos in our brief time there, as we walked almost all the way around it. But the trees had grown up on one side of it, so we could not make the entire loop. Instead, we had to backtrack to see all of the other side. We also had to fight off a few bugs who had taken up residence in the grass around the depot.
As we turned to go around to the other side, I took this photo of Laura walking down the platform area. It probably would have been a little better if I had timed it so that she was in the sunlight instead of in the shadows. But I still like it, especially with the grain facility off in the distance.
We wondered what it was like when it was in use. It was interesting to compare this depot with the restored depot at Mammoth Spring, Arkansas. It would take some time and some expense, but I bet the right people could make this one look nice again! Not that I am volunteering to head that up or anything.
The view in the photo above is similar to the previous view, except that by this time we had crossed over to the street side of the station. And I liked the “LYONS” letters at the end of the station, so I took a few photos to show that. Some of the letters had fallen off of the other end, so it was good that these were still here. I’m sure it was nice when you were arriving by train to take a quick look at the depot and see where you were.
To finish up, here is one more view of the station, once again from the street side. Once again, I was trying to imagine what it looked like in its glory. There are a few old photos out there if you search for them, but seeing the Lyons Railroad Depot in person would be even better. Still, I am glad we got to see it, even in this condition. Railroad depots are pretty cool.
Before we go, here is one more photo of the area. I took this near the end of the depot looking away from it toward the grain facilities. And yes, we had to drive our car across that water to get to the railroad depot, but it wasn’t too bad.
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. - James 2:8-9
About the Photos
Don’t believe everything you see. Most of these photos have some digital trickery in them. The Lyons Railroad Depot is pretty much how it looked when we were there. But the sky may have been altered slightly to make everything look even more interesting. As I have often said before, I consider these photos more as artistic than as documentary, so I do not have a problem with modifying them somewhat. Just to be completely honest with you.
I started out by giving these photos an “antique” look, similar to those from Mammoth Spring. But after some experimentation, I decided to go with what you see above. However, if you would like to see how the depot looks with the “antique” style, below is one of the photos from before I decided to change it:
Interestingly, I like the modern look for the run-down depot and the antique look for the restored depot. Strange, right? But for me, it works!
Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Luminar AI. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens
Date: September 4, 2021
Location: Lyons, Kansas