Northern Pacific Depot "Union Station"

2310 Montana Avenue, Billings, MT


Northern Pacific Depot "Union Station"


Photo taken by David Jones in November 2018




"Billings’ first depot was built in 1883, a year after the arrival of the Northern Pacific. Because the first depot failed to meet railroad specifications, the nearby Headquarters Hotel served instead as the passenger station. The hotel burned a few years later and a second depot replaced it. In 1909, the Northern Pacific began to upgrade its facilities and built this splendid $65,000 passenger station to be used by three railroad companies. Designed by the Northern Pacific’s chief engineer, only the Livingston Depot equaled this stylish station. The up-to-date complex featured a spacious waiting area for 200 passengers, gentleman’s smoking room, ladies’ waiting room, baggage area, and service offices. The “lunch house” had its own separate building where a chef “second to none in the employ of the company” had charge of the kitchen. By 1914, tracks extended in ten directions and twenty-six passenger trains arrived and departed the depot daily. Striking red roofs, gabled dormers, and stepped parapets long provided travelers with a grand first impression of this busy railroad hub." - NRHP/Montana Historical Society plaque

Update Log 

  • October 5, 2019: New photos from David Jones
  • August 6, 2019: Added by Richard Doody


  • Richard Doody
  • David Jones