Re: Spirit of WA Dinner Train moving to TACOMA!!!!!!
Author: shortline sammie
Date: 06-15-2007 - 07:40
My observation is that the Tacoma Rail location is just a "quickie fix" to keep the employees on board until something better materializes in that it is relatively close for equipment moves and the Tacoma Rail folks are able to fulfill their marketing challenges for their "train to the mountain" at someone else's expense.
Several years ago when Clark County was advertising for a new operator for the Chelatchie Prairie operation, we were one of the intersted parties, attended the closed meetings and hirailed the line. At that time the Columbia Basin (Temple Group) made it quite clear that if they were the successful bidder they fully intended to move the Spirit of Washington from Renton to Vancouver and build a grandiose station somewhere off St. Johns Road near Rye. Because the County was somewhat inflexible as to absorbing losses at the time of transfer to the new operator, we did not pursue it any further and it went to the Temple Group.
Now called the Vancouver Junction or something to that effect, they have increased their freight business and made some improvements to the track which will need to be brought up to Class I (just to be able to operate passenger at 15 mph) or Class II for 25 mph operation.
Unless the Temple's focus has changed from their initial plan, I would expect the Spirit of Washington to move to the Vancouver location once the FRA gives its blessing to the track condition.