Updated x 3 (7/16/2009): Amtrak will continue to stop in Sandpoint but no decision on using the depot – Sandpoint Train Station (Sandpoint Train Depot)
Sandpoint, Idaho Train Station Sign
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Updated x 3 (7/16/2009): Amtrak will continue to stop in Sandpoint but no decision on using the depot

Update 7/16/2009: According to Jonathan Hutchison, Amtrak’s Director of Government Affairs-West they are having an internal meeting today to discuss if they (Amtrak) will continue to use the historic station or build a separate structure slightly north (same property) of the depot instead. The separate structure more than likely would be nothing more than a bus stop type structure if they go that route. City council did unanimously vote for the resolution to support keeping the Amtrak stop in Sandpoint, but they removed the wording talking about acquisition.

To summarize, we still have significant work to do and many items to resolve. In my mind the acquisition of the depot is required for Amtrak to continue to use it. A unique abandoned historic station is not of much use, but one that is still being used for rail travel is truly special and will bring in visitors to Sandpoint from all across the country. Stay tuned, there are many irons in the fire and many updates will be coming in the next days/week.

Update 7/15/2009: According to Conor Christofferson of the Bonner County Daily Bee, Vernae Graham Amtrak’s Director of Public Relations-West says that they are keeping the stop in Sandpoint and at the current historic station. There was no additional news on renovation or repairs. I have not confirmed this with my contacts yet, more to come tomorrow.

Update 7/14/2009: No Decision was made again today. Amtrak will be having an internal conference call on Thursday July 16, 2009, but there is doubt that a decision will be reached this week.

So, what does this mean? It means that the Sandpoint City Council will get to vote on the resolution supporting Amtrak continuing to stop in Sandpoint as well as showing support for restoration and possible acquisition of the depot before Amtrak makes their final decision. Use the numbers and email links below to voice your support for the Sandpoint Train Station. I will keep everyone posted as additional news becomes available.

Thanks in advance to everyone for taking the time to let our elected officials know important the historic train depot and Amtrak service is to Sandpoint. The Mayor of Sandpoint and our Regional Director to Walt Minnick is a great place to start. Contact information is below.

Original post 7/13/2009:
I just spoke with Shelley Landry, Regional Director for Walt Minnick and she has been in contact with Jonathan Hutchison today, but was told the decision would come tomorrow. She also said that although Amtrak had not made a decision on station abandonment they had decided to keep a stop in this area due to the possible reinstatement of the Pioneer and North Coast Hiawatha routes.

I am not sure what to read into this, but it would be a good time to make calls and send emails if you feel so inclined.

Who should you contact?
I have made it real easy, just click the name to send them an email or call the number associated with each person and tell them how you feel.

City of Sandpoint Mayor
Gretchen Hellar, 208-263-3310 (work)

Sandpoint City Council
Michael Boge, 208-263-4282 (home)
Helen Newton, 208-263-4950 (home)
Stephen Snedden, 208-263-6866
Carrie Logan, 208-263-1277 (home)
John Reuter, 208-550-1713

State Regional Director to Walt Minnick
Shelley Landry, 208-667-0127

Thanks to everyone for their support, I truly appreciate it!

Posted in Amtrak, Station Status, Support.

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