Centennial Station - Lacey, Washinton
N 46° 59.496 W 122° 47.638
10T E 515666 N 5204251
Quick Description: The station is manned by volunteers who will open the station to arriving travelers in the dead of night when trains may be running late. No one travelling by Amtrak arrives in Olympia to a closed station.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 8/16/2008 10:24:50 PM
Waymark Code: WM4FCQ
This is one of the cleanest and friendliest Amtrak stations I have been to. The senior citizens manning the station were very helpful and friendly to all the passengers. Even if a train is seriously delayed and arrives at the station in the middle of the night, the station will be open because a volunteer will make the effort to be there to staff it. The station is served by regular bus service to Olympia (7.5 miles) and to Yelm (12 miles) (http://www.intercitytransit.com/page.cfm .
From the Centennial Station Fact Sheet -
Centennial Station was built by the non-profit Amtrak Depot Committee (ADC). It was opened in May 1993 after a six-year effort by citizens of Thurston County.
The old train station at East Olympia had been razed in the late 1960s and a wooden bus shelter served as Olympia's station for 20 years. The site was remote, had no public transportation, no lighting, a pot-holed gravel parking lot, and a public telephone that rarely worked.
Mr. George Barner, Thurston County Commissioner, responding to increasing public complaints, formed the Amtrak Depot Committee, made up of community volunteers, to address the issue. The group first met in April 1987 and began the search for a new site. The group was successful in having Thurston County donate a four-acre site for the station. The first phase of the project, the access road, parking lot and the platform was paid for by a grant from the State of Washington utilizing "Stripper Well" funds obtained from gas companies which had overcharged consumers for fuel purchases during the 1970s.
The station was built using funds generated from private individuals and companies through the sale of engraved bricks and corporate tiles. Once sufficient revenue was generated, a project manager was hired to oversee the construction and to secure donations of services, products and labor. Approximately $100,000 was raised in cash and $300,000 in products and services. The State of Washington provided $60,000 in additional funds, once the building was complete, to install utilities.
The building was designed by architect Harold E. Dalke who donated his work. It is 2,800 square feet in size and although designed in the manner of a classic railway station, it features state of the art energy conservation construction. The decorative corbels under the roof overhang are the only "old" construction. They were obtained from New Orleans, are made of solid cypress, and are 150 years old, having been saved from houses on Cherokee Street. They were donated by individuals from the community.
The station features the latest in electronics that provide airline-style scheduling information to patrons and cover the platform and parking areas with video cameras. The station is manned by volunteers during the morning and evening. Volunteers also open the station to arriving travelers in the dead of night when trains may be running late. No one travelling by Amtrak arrives in Olympia to a closed station. The volunteer program, designed and run by Mr. Rich DeGarmo of the ADC, serves as a model for communities across the country contemplating a similar program.
Amtrak has called Centennial Station "the best new station in the country" and featured the depot on their 1993 calendar. Eight Amtrak trains per day stop at Centennial and plans are now being made to expand the facility to handle commuter trains from Tacoma and Seattle. Centennial Station is a tribute to the ability of the community to achieve any goal.
Is the station/depot currently used for railroad purposes?: Yes
Is the station/depot open to the public?: Yes
What rail lines does/did the station/depot serve?: BNSF Railway and Amtrak
Station/Depot Web Site: [Web Link]
If the station/depot is not being used for railroad purposes, what is it currently used for?: Not listed
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