Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Save Blaine Station!

Port Townsend, January 27. Yet another piece of railroad history here in the great Pacific Northwest is in danger of being lost forever. I received a dispatch from my sister the other day informing me of the plight of a landmark in Blaine. Great Northern’s Blaine Station - now of course under the ownership of the omnipotent BNSF, is in danger of being lost.

Whatcom County had a rich railroad history, which I introduced you to in “Shoebox #3.” The New Westminster Southern Railway (NWSR), taken over by the Great Northern Railway (GN) after the line's completion in 1891, connecting South Westminster, British Columbia with Blaine. By 1898, these were the rail routes through Whatcom County.

Apparently the BNSF has plans to expand trackage at the Port of Entry, with the station in the surveyors cross hairs. So here is an opportunity for rail fans to rally around the station, and see if there are ways we can get the word out on the situation and help round up resources to “Save Blaine Station.”

To that end, I’ve been in contact with Captain Richard Sturgill who is the go to man for “Save Blaine Station.” He is no stranger for rescuing the past from the cutters torch. As founding director of the Drayton Harbor Maritime Society, he successfully rescued the “M/V Plover” from the bone yard. She’s been fully restored, providing tourists with a great boat ride from Blaine out to Semiahmoo Spit.

The estimated cost of moving the station ranges from $495,000 to $614,000, depending upon variables. Full reports and copies of feasibility studies are available through Richard Sturgill:


We've all witness the loss of great railroad structures; let's not loose this one! Perhaps we can turn this into the vision of the artist, with the historic station interfacing with the historic "M/V Plover" serving multiple purposes!

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