The Sedalia Katy Depot

Sedalia Missouri's  Visitor Center and Year-Round Historic Railroad Destination

Sedalia and Its Railroads

Just as it did in 1896, the depot again serves as a gathering spot for residents and visitors.

The former men’s waiting room, which once provided a space where men could talk freely, smoke, conduct business and relax while waiting for the train now serves as Sedalia's Welcome Center and Gift & Souvenir Store. Here, people can pick up maps, get directions and find out about the community’s many historic sites and varied attractions while they browse among the unique selection of gifts and memorabilia on display.

The woman’s waiting room which provided a spacious well-lit area that offered privacy and security for women traveling alone or with children is more of a recreated historic space than exhibit space. 

Visitors in the women's waiting room will be introduced to various train travelers and railroad employees.  The women's waiting room will, from time to time, also host special events and function as a rotating art gallery.

The former ticket office is space dedicated to support the Sedalia Literacy Council as a book exchange.

The former kitchen has been transformed into a youth activity area. Children can buy or sell train tickets, order merchandise to be delivered by train, be an engineer and drive a train, learn about train cars or try on the many hats of turn of the century Sedalians.

The area formerly used to provide nourishment to the body, will now serve to nourish the mind, as dining areas are transformed into exhibits telling the story of Sedalia’s heritage. 

The railroads and the resulting changes wrought on the edge of the prairie.

Exhibits include:

  • Interactive telegraph demonstrates how railroads communicated with themselves to control train traffic and to bring a communications system to rural Missouri.
  • An eight minute av presentation entitled “Sedalia and the Railroads”
  • Sedalia Water Tower exhibit describes new beginnings as a result of the railroad
  • Railroad Shops exhibit depicts life working on the railroad
  • Rail Bosses House exhibit depicts how working on the railroad was a way of life
  • Commercial Building exhibit depicts how the railroad developed and influenced business
  • School exhibit depicts how the railroad influenced education
  • Church exhibit depicts how railroad workers created a diverse religious base
  • Passenger Depot exhibit depicts the significance depots had on a community

Interpretation continues in the Baggage Room that is also the location of Champion BIcycles. Framed storyboards feature the 1923 Katy Line Map; Katy Depot in Missouri; Sedalia Heritage Trail Map; and a Railroad Heritage Timeline.

They will be able to appreciate the sense of brotherhood among these employees who created their own marching bands, sports teams, formed their own semisecret society and gathered for weekly barbecues. They will gain dramatic glimpses of what it meant both to work on the railroad and be a railroader in the community.

The second floor, once housing divisional office space now provides offices for Chamber and the Convention & Visitors Bureau staff and the basement once again accommodates storage needs.

Just like in the old days, the depot is again filled with the sounds of train whistles and people.

The Katy Depot is now the conduit by which the local community and railroads come together to create a dynamic, exhibit which uses railroading as the framework for understanding and presenting our shared heritage.