Constructed as a Union Pacific Railroad depot in 1923, the Caliente Railroad Depot is a exemplary mission revial structure designed by well-known Los Angeles architects, John and Donald Parkinson. Upon initial construction, Caliente was thought to be the next big resort town of the West. Much of it's interior was made of solid oak, and the total cost of construction was $83,600. The Depot that stands in Caliente today replaces a former structure which burned in September of 1921. The current facility once had an bustling restaurant and operated a fifty-room hotel. Alongside the depot is a gigantic railroad switching yard, which also runs adjacent to the main drag. It is currently being used as the Caliente civic center and is the city's local government office and a museum.
As Caliente is the half-way marker between the larger cities of Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, Union Pacific used this railroad depot as a major hub. At one time, Union Pacific even had a roundhouse and a train maintenance station on the eastern edge of Caliente. When steam engine trains were replaced with diesel locomotives in the 1940s, Union Pacific moved its hub to the Las Vegas area.
Freight trains still pass through the railways along side the Caliente Railroad Depot, and there is a small boxcar museum adjacent to the station.
Open Monday thru Friday year-round, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.