Deal brokered to save historic Sandpoint Train Depot – Sandpoint Train Station (Sandpoint Train Depot)
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Deal brokered to save historic Sandpoint Train Depot

Article by Cameron Rasmusson from the Bonner County Daily Bee:

SANDPOINT — Months of negotiations paid off this week after city officials brokered an agreement on the restoration of the historic Sandpoint Depot.

City Council members Carrie Logan and John Reuter and Public Works Director Kody Van Dyk saw the fruits of their labors after representatives from Amtrak and BNSF Railroad agreed to cooperate in whipping the depot back into shape.

“We worked with really good people from Amtrak and BNSF,” Logan said. “I think they were a little curious at first that we wanted to keep the depot here.”

A vocal and eclectic range of interest groups invested in the depot’s restoration ended that curiosity. Logan said that the depot retains historic, economic and infrastructural benefits for the community. As one of the last vestiges of old Sandpoint and a transportation center, the city has much to gain from its refurbishment.

“There was a lot of community support for this project, and not just locally, but across the country,” Logan said.

Under the current agreement, depot owner BNSF will lease the building and platform to Amtrak, which will then sublease it to the city of Sandpoint. According to Logan, the Idaho Transportation Department will pony up nearly $1 million in escrow funds to pay for the restoration as a requirement of the Sand Creek Byway’s Environmental Impact Statement.

City, Amtrak and BNSF officials are still working out the details of the written agreement. After all the specifics are defined and put to paper, however, the city will begin designing and constructing the depot’s restoration.

Reuter said that Logan and Van Dyk were the instrumental figures in bringing negotiations to a successful conclusion.

“They deserve huge credit for all the work they’ve put into this,” he said.

Posted in Amtrak, BNSF, Historic, In the News, Meeting, Station Status.

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