City of Lawrence Expects to Close Purchase of Amtrak Station From BNSF by Next Spring

Lawrence, Kansas, officials expect to close on purchasing the city’s Amtrak station sometime next spring.

Amtrak Southwest Chief 2The station, which was built by the Santa Fe in the 1950s, will restored with the help of a $1.2 million grant that the city received more than three years ago.

“We are excited that this project will soon be moving forward as it has been long awaited by many,” said Assistant City Manager Diane Stoddard.

Stoddard said the station has suffered from benign neglect but the city has been unable to do anything about it because it doesn’t own it.

The city had hoped to buy the depot in 2014, but the transaction with owner BNSF has taken longer than expected.

“The transaction is fairly complex because we have three different parties that are involved, and the whole transaction is subject to getting Amtrak’s OK on everything,” Stoddard said.

BNSF said it is now ready to review the sale proposal while Amtrak is reviewing the proposed lease agreement.

The expected renovations will include a new roof, exterior maintenance and energy-efficient updates, including a solar and a geothermal system. The station will also be made ADA compliant.

Lawrence is served by the Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief.


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