Sand Point Station Restoration Completed

The former Northern Pacific station used by Amtrak’s Empire Builder in Sandpoint, Idaho, has been restored, a project that was completed late last month.

Amtrak and public officials attended a May 30 ceremony to mark completion of the project.

NP built the depot in 1916 and in recent years it has been threatened with demolition or relocation to make way for an elevated byway that rerouted U.S. Highway 95 away from Sandpoint’s downtown streets.

Sandpoint is the only station served by Amtrak in Idaho.

The depot, which is now owned by BNSF, is located on a narrow strip of property with Sand Creek and U.S. 95 on one side and BNSF’s busy Northern Corridor and lakefront condominiums on the other.

Although planning for the restoration began in 2012, most of the work was undertaken during the 2014-15 winter months.

Workers replaced defective roof components, installed new lighting, signs, rain gutters and downspouts, and restored the brick walls and tiled roof.

The Idaho Transportation Department funded nearly all of the $1 million project.

Amtrak paid for an ADA-compliant wheelchair lift on the platform.

The project earned an Excellence in Historic Preservation Award from Preservation Idaho. Amtrak carried 9,196 passengers to or from Sandpoint in 2014. That figure is down slightly from 2013 but nearly double the patronage of a decade ago.

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