Despite being Miami-Dade’s second-largest city, with a fairly large population, Hialeah is not just America’s densest city without a skyscraper (apparently), it’s also a city with a neglected train station.
The Hialeah Market Station at 1200 SE 10th Court (Hialeah Grid System) is a historic train station built in 1926 by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. It served Seaboard’s Orange Blossom Special until 1953, which took passengers between Miami and New York. Beginning in 1939, it also began to serve Amtrak’s Silver Meteor. Although the Silver Meteor still provides daily service to New York from Miami, the line does not stop at the Hialeah station. With the advent of the Interstate Highway System and more affordable air travel, passenger service came to an end at the station by the mid-1960s.
It was not until Tri-Rail came around in 1989, that passenger service at the station resumed. However, Tri-Rail actually built itself its own station adjacent to the historic Seaboard station. This new station is as bare bones as it comes, with a couple benches, lights and a platform. Tri-Rail operates on the CSX rail line, a line that had passenger rail service as far back as the 1920s. It is therefore that many historic and beautiful stations were already in place by the time Tri-Rail started. Historic Seaboard stations have been preserved and are used by Tri-Rail in Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale and Deerfield Beach for example. In all of these examples, the stations have been restored and look as majestic as they did in 1926. Not Hialeah’s station.
The Hialeah station looks as though no maintenance has been given to it, with broken doors and windows, overgrown landscaping, and trash thrown around. The east side of the station is fenced off with a rusted chain link fence. Inside the fence are rusted appliances, chairs, dirty clothes, you name it. Who’s responsible? The station is owned by CSX Transportation, Inc., which does not utilize the station. Neither does Tri-Rail since they have their own platform. So the historic station sits awkwardly with no real purpose. As the city’s rail gateway, the City of Hialeah should work to clean the station up and repurpose it. If we’re going to call it “Hialeah Market Station,” let’s make it into a true market. A weekend farmer’s market would be great for area residents or even a flea market!
There’s so much potential in this station, it’s a shame to see it in such an unfortunate state. If it was my first time in Hialeah, and I was getting off at this train station, my first impressions would not be nice. Let’s get it together, Hialeah!