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(rshsdepot) Dunsmuir, CA

From the Redding Record-Searchlight=2E=2E=2E

Passenger train depot renovations beginning=20

Jim Schultz
Record Searchlight=20

December 14, 2002 =97 2:18 a=2Em=2E
DUNSMUIR =97 Work is expected to begin today on sprucing up a train depot
here to keep Amtrak from halting passenger service=2E
Dunsmuir officials have also expressed hope that Mott Airport will reopen
in early spring after the state ordered it closed last December=2E Tall tr=
on public and private land surrounding the airport make it dangerous for
planes landing and taking off=2E

"We're making exceptionally good progress" on both transportation fronts,
said City Councilman Bill Sanford, who also works as Dunsmuir's interim
city manager=2E

Sanford, who was appointed interim city manager following the recent
resignation of Michael Powers, said the city has negotiated an agreement
with Union Pacific Railroad to renovate its old freight depot=2E

Amtrak has demanded that Dunsmuir provide a heated, sheltered depot with
bathrooms and a telephone or lose its passenger service, possibly to nearb=
Mount Shasta=2E

"But we're hopefully optimistic that we won't get to that point," said
Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham=2E

Originally, Amtrak imposed a Dec=2E 1 deadline for the city to improve the=

depot for train passengers or lose its Coast Starlight service=2E

The deadline was extended to Jan=2E 6 but could change=2E "We're just play=
it by ear," Graham said=2E

And, she said, the reason for Amtrak's demands is simple=2E

"We want to make sure our passengers are safe and secure and out of the
elements," Graham said=2E "We can't have our passengers stand outside=2E"

Sanford said the building, which served as quarters for UP crews, has been=

the unofficial Amtrak passenger depot for 15 to 20 years=2E

But it closed about two months ago as the UP crews moved to other quarters=

As such, Amtrak passengers in Dunsmuir were forced to wait outside or in
their cars for trains to arrive=2E

Sanford, who said 10 to 15 volunteers are expected to begin working today,=

noted that the city is fine-tuning a lease agreement with UP for the use o=
the building as a passenger depot=2E

"I think we have it (the lease pact) worked out," he said=2E "We should ha=
that this week=2E"

The Los Angeles-to-Seattle Coast Starlight makes daily runs, stopping in
Dunsmuir at 2:20 a=2Em=2E for southbound passengers and 5:04 a=2Em=2E for
northbound passengers=2E

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The Railroad Station Historical Society maintains a database of existing
railroad structures at: http://www.rrshs.org