By Jordan Wolfe
All aboard! A historically accurate train depot is going to upgrade the current one in Garibaldi.
Jessica Jung, business manager for the non-profit Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad (OCSR), hopes to have the new depot debut by the end of next year.
“We’re the only business uniquely set up to directly effect other communities. That’s a big responsibility.”
She described the upgrade as a transformation of the current depot, located next to the Old Mill Marina and Lumbermen’s Park. Once renovations are complete, it will be a replica Southern Pacific Depot Style No. 11, what Garibaldi’s station used to be, Jung explained.
“We’ve been operating here for 13 years, it’s getting stuffy,” she said, “We’re getting too big, we don’t even have running water or a sink in the engine house.”
That problem will eventually be alleviated.
According to Jung, the depot will add a historically accurate water tower that will feed water to the steam engines, on a daily basis. However, she said it is third on a list of priorities for OCSR.
Within the first two years of operation, Jung hopes to be open for business year-round and create a steady job source.
“The new building will house a gift shop, ticket counter and community space that could host job trainings, CPR trainings, and different meetings like Chamber of Commerce or the Lions,” she said.
Jung and the OCSR expect a 10 percent increase in ridership the first year after the expansion is complete. In 2015, she added, OCSR had 23,000 riders.
The expansion is not expected to alter the current offerings of OCSR, she added. The seasonal Coastal Excursion, dinner trains and off-season Sunshine Express will all continue as-is.
To create more space for the expansion and stabilize the static museum display No. 90 train set, OCSR spent $15,000 to move the train onto new, more stable tracks, she said.
The train, owned by the Garibaldi Lions Club, was sinking at it’s old location, she said, and moved several feet closer to Lumbermen’s Memorial Park.
According to Jung, however, the move occurred last week and has since spurred some backlash.
“I’m not sure why there has been negativity surrounding the move,” she said, “It is no longer sinking and much more secure. It no longer has the risk of falling on anyone.”
Jung said she assured everyone in attendance at a recent meeting, which included the City, the Port and the Lions, that the No. 90 train would be moved with as much care and respect as possible.
However, Jung said she is grateful for the community, city and the Port’s support and looking forward to the expansion.
“I want to take the potential OCSR has and utilize it better to better serve our community.”