Yokun Block Station
Built: August 2007
Block stations were critical to the safe and efficient movement of trains in the era before modern signaling systems and radio communication. Block stations were used in the days of the telegraph and single-track railroad lines to stop trains and give them orders, allowing them to proceed safely to the next block station or to stay and wait for another train to pass. Our block station is a replica of the “Rising” block station, which was located in the village of Housatonic, 14 miles to the south. Railroad block stations had to be named with unique identifiers. Ours is named “Yokun” in honor of the original name of Lenox; Yokuntown.
Construction began in August 2007 with a generous donation of labor, materials, and equipment from The Home Depot and LB Corp. The building is fitted with historic railroad fixtures and represents a functional 1950s era structure that could have been found on the New Haven Railroad.
New Haven’s “Rising” block station near Great Barrington. November 1967.
The interior features a custom reproduction cabinet created for us by the American Heritage Shop to house some of our “modern” necessities. Yokun also features a working vintage railroad communication system. In addition to being a living exhibit, the building also serves as the operations base for our train crews.
Interior of Yokun Block Station. Photo by Ross Mealey.