By Bonnie Davidson
The Courier 

Facelift For Glasgow Train Depot

BNSF, Tourism Business Improvement District aim to make it happen


Bonnie Davidson / The Courier

The Glasgow train station is looking to get a facelift this spring. BNSF and the Tourism Business Improvement District have been discussing the upgrades to help make the building improve the image of BNSF and Glasgow.

It might not be a memorable building for some. The white building with cracks and dingy paint isn't an attractive view, and some worry it might give the wrong impression of Glasgow. While it looks weathered, it's also a building that's used on a daily basis.

The Glasgow Train Depot has seen years of weather and use. Passengers have come and gone, workers have come and gone, but the building still stands at 424 1st Ave. S., for the most part untouched. Tami Burke, administrator for the Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID), and Betty Stone, president of TBID, explained to the city council on Jan. 21 that they were looking at improving the building for the next project.

Burke explained later that she had started to make a few phone calls in hopes of making the building a better place and a better impression for those passing through town.

"It's a sore point; it doesn't really portray what we have here in town and isn't a good representation," Burke said.

She was able to reach the facilities manager for BNSF, Nick Sullivan, and show him photos and a report of the condition of the building. Sullivan was actually already looking to improve the building. He explained that it has been his goal to update the train depots and facilities along the rails from Minot, North Dakota, all the way to Idaho. Recently they finished updating the Chinook depot and last year they worked on the Malta location.

"It's my goal to get the building up to date," Sullivan said. "It's my goal to bring a better image to BNSF facilities."

While Amtrak also uses the building, it's owned by BNSF. It's somewhat small for a depot, but some big changes are planned for spring. The parking lot will see new asphalt, the building will be washed and masonry work repaired.

Sullivan said that the exterior will get fresh paint after repairs are made. They'll also be installing lighting on the exterior for safer lighting.

While the exterior will be getting an uplift, the interior won't be ignored. Fresh pain and trim will go on the inside, and Burke explained that they already placed some new furniture inside. While the repairs are being done with BNSF, Sullivan said that they are currently working with Amtrak on repairs and they will eventually work out the details.

Burke said that she hopes to place information inside the station to help portray Glasgow, and to give people a reason to stop. Making Glasgow a destination to stay, instead of a quick bathroom break.

Burke and Sullivan have also discussed using the art department at the high school to make murals of the BNSF logo to hang on the exterior. While students can't work on site due to safety reasons Sullivan said he hoped that the students could paint on large boards that would hang. The details are still being worked out.

"It's still just in the infancy stages; the talks started just a few weeks ago," Burke said.

Sullivan said that with the oilfields nearby, there could be a possibility of a new building in the future. He explained that he has been trying to get a new depot for Glasgow over the past seven years, but the price is pretty great. It could take some convincing. Once the train depots across the Hi-Line and beyond are repaired, things in the long run will bring some costs down and the upgrades will be worthwhile. Work is scheduled to begin as early as April.


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