The Amtrak structure where passengers wait for the next train
to stop in Lincoln is currently located on property that belongs to
the owners of the Depot Restaurant, which is now closed for daily
business but available for meetings and banquets.
years the city and the owner at the time have tried to reach
agreements on how to care for and maintain the facility and have
also addressed issues of liability regarding it.
In addition to the restaurant and the waiting station, the
property is also home to the Lincoln christening site landmark.
Because the landmark and the station are important to the city of
Lincoln, light maintenance of the property, such as
cleaning the station, has been the responsibility of the city for
the past several years.
In the past the owner has expressed he would like the city to purchase the
entire property, which amounts to approximately one city block, with
land on both sides of the railroad tracks.
Currently the property is listed with the Garrison Group out of
Monday evening, Snyder said that with the St. Louis-to-Chicago high-speed rail
corridor passing through Lincoln, the Illinois Department of
Transportation and Union Pacific are interested in obtaining
property for a proper waiting station.
Because of this, IDOT wants the authority to negotiate a possible
purchase of the Depot property on behalf of the city.
IDOT has received federal funding for the high-speed rail
program. To date they have invested in track improvements and have
conducted feasibility studies for location and improvement of
current waiting stations.
In their plan, IDOT wants waiting stations to be nice,
comfortable places for passengers to wait for trains. Their ideals
include stations with public restrooms and coffee kiosks or shops.
The current structure does not meet those ideals, as it offers
only a shelter with benches for sitting.
[to top of second column]
Snyder said IDOT has had the entire property appraised and is
prepared to enter into negotiations for the property once they
get the go-ahead from the council.
In his discussion, Snyder did not disclose how the property would
be used if purchased, so it is not known if the current restaurant
will be transformed into a station or if IDOT will want to construct
If they are able to purchase the entire property, this will solve
the issue of having a platform on both sides of the tracks. However,
the most recent discussions about a station platform, conducted in
2011, disclosed that new platforms would need to be 500 feet long.
Purchasing the one city block would not be sufficient to provide
that, as a city block is typically only 350 feet long.
Nothing was said about whether or not there would be a need to
purchase additional property for the proper platform.
When the motion came to a vote, the council agreed in a unanimous
6-0 vote to enter into a memorandum of understanding with IDOT. The
six members present were Melody Anderson, David Armbrust, Kathy
Horn, Marty Neitzel, Tom O'Donohue and David Wilmert. Stacy Bacon,
Jeff Hoinacki, and Jonie Tibbs were absent for the evening.
[By NILA SMITH]
Past related articles
July 10, 2002
City wants railway wait station kept open
Feb. 27, 2009
City: Aldermen dispute how best to move
forward on street renovation plans
Aug. 27, 2009
City briefs: City treasurer, council cast
watchful eye on budget with declining revenues; new council
member sworn in; and other matters
Sept. 11, 2009
City briefs: 2 buildings set for fast
track demolition; fire department promotions; overdue state
money rolls in; sewer issue resolved
Feb. 9, 2011
Railroad underpasses and decorative berms
may be in Lincoln's future
March 9, 2011
City Briefs: High-speed rail, development
partnership update and more
March 25, 2011
County supports high-speed rail committee
May 12, 2011
City: New hires, high-speed rail, city
signs and lights, and Comcast
Aug. 2, 2011 --
City Briefs: High-speed rail, police cars,
tourism signage and more