Empire Builder Might Service Culbertson, MT

Amtrak continues to study establishing a stop for the Empire Builder in Culbertson, Montana.

“We know that it makes business sense to stop at Culbertson,” said Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari. “There’s a long distance between Wolf Point [Montana] and Williston [North Dakota].

Magliari said Amtrak is in discussions about a station location with Culbertson officials.

Amtrak 4“It has to be at a place that doesn’t add delay to the Empire Builder or the trains that pass through there,” he said.

Culbertson Mayor Gordon Oelkers said the town of 714 in Roosevelt County is working with legislators to obtain funding to build a station that will be maintained by the city.

Estimated cost of the station is $3.5 million. The Empire Builder operates between Chicago and Seattle/Portland.

“The platform is what costs all the money,” Oelkers said. “There’d be a ground source heat pump for heated sidewalks, too. There are a lot of rules and regulations with these.”

The costs are expected to include an estimated $2.244 million for an 850 foot by 12 foot platform, and $376,000 for an engineering and architectural design. Other costs would go for a building, parking lot and flagging during construction.

Federal funding from the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act might be available to pay for some of the station costs

Officials have pointed to a feasibility study showing that a station in Culbertson could draw 7,000 passengers a year.

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