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New life for historic Petersburg train station

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PETERSBURG, Va. (WTVR) - The oldest train station in Virginia, located in Old Towne Petersburg, could bring tourists and tourism dollars to the city.

Construction of South Side Rail Road Depot began in 1853 and was completed a year later.

For many years, railroads were good business for Petersburg. In fact, the city was once home to five separate railroads and a major railroad hub.

However, by the 1950s, the now N & W Depot was slowing down. It was sold in the 1970s.

A number of businesses called the building home until 1993, when an August tornado destroyed the entire east wing and heavily damaged the main building.

Since then, the station has changed hands and city leaders have worked to bring new life to the historic structure.

In fact, the National Park Service was courted several years ago to take over the property. But a sluggish economy and budget cuts nixed the project.

However, a contractor now wants to aid the Park Service while adding retail space, a restaurant inside the train station and a nearby apartment complex.