Man Leading Drive to Build New Fulton Station

A Kentucky man has launched a fundraising campaign for a new Amtrak station in Fulton, Kentucky.

The currently station, which serves the City of New Orleans is a trailer. Amtrak handles about 5,000 passengers annually in Fulton.

But Jeff Campbell is trying to raise $60,000 for a new depot. He said he has raised about half of that already.

“I think the changes would be phenomenal for the community in terms of pride, in terms of welcoming people in a good way,” Campbell said.

His plan is to build in front of the current trailer a new depot that would match the grandeur of the former Illinois Central station in downtown Fulton. That depot was razed in 1979.

“We have a very rich railroad heritage,” Campbell said. “You know, back in the day there were 32 passenger trains a day and the population would surge by 5,000, 6,000 people. We had two, 100-room hotels. We had the only opera house between Chicago and New Orleans. So, that’s the kind of heritage that we carry.”

Campbell said the money he has raised thus far has come through public and private donation or pledges.

He is hoping to get $20,000 from the city, county, and tourism commission combined, and another $10,000 in community support.

Campbell said Amtrak is supportive of the new depot and has offered to remove the trailer that has served as the station since 1973.

Campbell’s Twin Cities Restoration Foundation will construct the station and then deed it over to the City of Fulton. Amtrak will be responsible for operating and maintaining the facility.

Fulton is Amtrak’s only stop in western Kentucky.

“There is nothing in that [current] station in terms of a map or even directions in terms of how to get downtown,” Campbell said. “We need to do that. We need to have frame boards on the walls that show all of our businesses downtown, our restaurants. That is an opportunity to truly promote tourism in Fulton that we’ve not taken advantage of in the past.”

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