Ft. Madison to Pay for Depot Platform Redesign

The Fort Madison (Iowa) City Council has approved hiring a consulting firm to redesign the platform of the city’s former Santa Fe Depot. The project began in 2007 but has been hung over a dispute over platform design.

Amtrak had asked that the 500-foot platform be extended to 1,000 feet, but BNSF objected to the original design for the extension.

“We had the train stopping in a curve and they (BNSF) said that can’t happen,”said City Manager David Varley.

The council approved paying almost $30,000 to Klingner & Associates to redesign the platform.

BNSF has told the Iowa Department of Transportation that the platform must be moved 250 feet eastward so that it will not be located on a curve.

Although the city will have to bear the expense of redesigning the platform, Councilman Rusty Andrews said that is pocket change for a project of this magnitude.

“For a long time I’ve been saying this is our field of dreams — if we build it, they will come — and we keep getting pushed off,” Andrews said. “We keep spending money on it, and some day Amtrak will sign on the dotted line.”

Fort Madison is served by the Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief.

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