Boy, it was nice of me to agree to guest blog for Kevin, then disappear for a week, huh? (Let's just say it's been a very interesting week at work.)
Anyway, a little tidbit appeared in today's N&O regarding the on-again, off-again, no-wait-maybe-back-on-again new Amtrack station at West Village. A brief history is that West Village and NC-DOT agreed to terms on the site, West Village built it into their plans and gave NC-DOT a heavily discounted rent rate, NC-DOT decided it wasn't discounted enough, and a spitting match ensued. Word out today is, yes, it's back on again.
The Amshack's days really are numbered, according to Durham Transportation Director Mark Ahrendsen.
Sometime soon, rail travelers will arrive at and leave from the Walker Warehouse in West Village II rather than the Amshack, the "interim" Chapel Hill Street depot that has served Durham since 1996.
"NCDOT and the city and Blue Devil [Ventures] have reached an agreement," Ahrendsen said this week. "The plans are proceeding."
Yes, Durham, the town built on the railroad and named after a man who donated land for a train station, will soon have something other than a double-wide for its Amtrack passengers. (To learn how we got to this decrepit state, take a look at Gary's post about Union Station from last year.) But lest it, like this news clip, get lost in the shuffle, a big shout out is due to Mark Ahrendsen, the soft spoken but exceptionally effective transportation manager for the city. By appearances, it was Ahrendsen's steady hand which found a way through this situation, to what is likely going to be a plus for Amtrack as well as for downtown.
And as for the Amshack, good riddance.
(Hat tip to the eagle-eyed John Schelp for catching this.)