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Amtrak Depot

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Southern Pacific Railroad Depot
1925–1927, Southern Pacific Railroad; 2005–2006 renovations. 135 E. Commercial Row.
  • Amtrak Depot (Southern Pacific Railroad Depot) (Bret Morgan)
  • Amtrak Depot (Southern Pacific Railroad Depot) (Julie Nicoletta)

The current depot is the fourth to stand on the site; the Central Pacific built the first in 1869. This building served both the Southern Pacific and the Virginia and Truckee (V&T) passenger lines and now serves Amtrak's trains. Once a focal point of downtown Reno for thousands of arriving and departing tourists and divorce seekers, the depot has become a quiet place since the rise of the automobile. It stands parallel to the tracks, overshadowed by large structures, including a casino parking garage to the south and the National Bowling Stadium to the north. Neglect has caused the structure to deteriorate, but it remains in nearly original condition. Five large arches on the main facade contain windows and entry doors. Inside is a large waiting room with a 24-foot-high ceiling with exposed beams. The four large bowl-shaped lamps hanging from long chains, as well as the exterior fixtures, are original to the depot.

In 2005 Amtrak began upgrading its Reno track and facilities to lessen noise pollution and traffic congestion. The Reno Transportation Rail Access Corridor (ReTRAC) lowered the rails along 2.2 miles of track in the city at eleven crossings to create the Reno Trench Project. The following year, Amtrak opened a new station directly to the west that now serves as the passenger depot. The new station facade echoes the original building's Mediterranean variant of the Beaux-Arts style, with its central arcade, flanking symmetrical wings, and red terra-cotta roof tiles; however, the facade is much more planar and the detailing is much simpler. Passengers enter the new depot descend to the lower track level to catch the daily California Zephyr.



"Reno, NV (RNO)." Amtrak's Great American Stations. Accessed January 20, 2020.



Writing Credits

Julie Nicoletta
Updated By: 
Ann Gilkerson (2020)



  • 1925

  • 2005


What's Nearby


Julie Nicoletta, "Amtrak Depot", [Reno, Nevada], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Nevada, Julie Nicoletta. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, 74-74.

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