Located on the shore of the Wenatchee River, Leavenworth is known for its picturesque and romantic town center modeled after a Bavarian Village.
11645 North Road Icicle Station Leavenworth, WA 98826
- Annual Station Revenue (2015)
- Annual Station Ridership (2015)
|Facility Ownership||City of Leavenworth|
|Parking Lot Ownership||City of Leavenworth|
|Platform Ownership||City of Leavenworth|
|Track Ownership||BNSF Railway|
|Accessible Platform||Dedicated Parking||Help With Luggage|
- Empire Builder
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On September 25, 2009, regular passenger service returned to Leavenworth, Wash., for the first time in more than 50 years with the opening of the Icicle Station at the foot of Icicle Canyon. The station consists of a permanent shelter on a new concrete platform. An additional, more elaborate shelter is planned as part of the project’s next phase.
The Great Northern Railway service to Leavenworth ceased in the mid-1950s. Excursion trains had been run since the 1970s, but a permanent stop by the Empire Builder was not possible until Leavenworth Mayor Rob Eaton initiated a station project in 2003.
Increased tourism revenue, reduction in road crowding and pollution, as well as enhancement of economic opportunity provided motivation for bringing regular passenger service back to Leavenworth. In February of 2007, both BNSF Railway and Amtrak had conditionally approved the project and it began to move forward. By April, the city had raised more than $200,000 and began a capital campaign to raise addition funds. On April 7, 2007, State Senator Linda Parlette announced that the state transportation budget would include $250,000 for the Icicle Station. The original estimated cost was $750,000.
HNTB, Inc. of Bellevue, Wash., was selected to do the station design and manage construction. By early 2008, the project had secured city and county permits and in 2008 the design plans were approved. The city set out in November of 2008 to launch a capital campaign to raise $150,000, in addition to the $850,000 already committed by various partners. Through 2008, $175,000 in supplemental funding was contributed by the city, Chelan Port Authority, and a local civic group, Project Bayern. U.S. Senator Patty Murray had also seen to it that $294,000 was allotted for the station in the Omnibus bill for 2008
By mid-April of 2009, the project went out to bid, and on June 18, KRCI Construction of Wenatchee was awarded the construction project; work began the next week. By early August, both halves of the platform had been formed. In September, the station opened on schedule. The final cost for Phase One is estimated at $1.4 million, and provides a handsome permanent Bavarian style glazed enclosure, constructed of brick and stone, for protection from the elements.
The second phase, at an additional estimated $1 million, will consist of additional track work for the BNSF Railway rail yard and a larger 20' by 50' permanent passenger station of Alpine design.
On August 31, 2010, the Highways & Local Projects Division of Washington State Department of Transportation and Federal Highways Administration awarded the City of Leavenworth’s Icicle Station the 2010 Award of Excellence in the Best Special Projects category. The WSDOT recognized this widely-supported project for having a positive impact upon the community and not only improving tourism for the city but for the entire region in a timely and cost-effective manner. It was also recognized for overcoming the challenge of coordinating agreements between Amtrak and BNSF and thus delivering the project efficiently.
The Great Northern Railway began construction through Stevens Pass in Washington in 1892, and a town site across the Wenatchee River from Icicle Canyon was named Leavenworth in that same year. Captain Charles Leavenworth, president of the Okanogan Investment Company, had purchased the land of the present-day downtown and laid streets parallel to the new railroad tracks. The line was completed through in the winter of 1893.
In 1906, Lafayette and Chauncery Lamb arrived to build a sawmill, which was at that time the second-largest in Washington state. This small timbering community incorporated on September 5, 1906. It was also home to the headquarters of the Great Northern until it was moved to Wenatchee in the 1920s. This move greatly affected the city’s economy, and it struggled until 1962, when the Project LIFE (Leavenworth Improvement for Everyone) Committee formed to recreate the city as a tourist destination to revitalize its economy.
Leavenworth transformed itself into a charming Bavarian village in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains and today hosts world famous, year-round festivals and events, welcoming over 1.8 million visitors each year. Most noted are: Maifest, the Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival-celebrating the wonderful fall colors; Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest celebration, which is touted as the most attended outside of Munich, Germany; and the spectacular Christmas Lighting Festival, taking place during the first three weekends in December. The city's success as a themed town later inspired Winthrop, Wash.
Leavenworth was given the honor of "Ultimate Holiday Town 2003" (Arts and Entertainment TV) and was featured on Good Morning America in 2005 and in 2007 as one of the "Top Ten Holiday towns in America." Leavenworth is also known for its rich skiing and ski jumping heritage. Thousands of visitors, from the period of 1941 through 1978, traveled by special “ski trains” to Leavenworth to attend the U. S. National Championships and international competitions in ski jumping. Leavenworth is proud to be the hometown of Olympians Ron Steele (Ski Jumping, 1972) and Torin Koos (Nordic Skiing, 2002, 2006 and 2010).
The Icicle Station sits about a mile outside of the Bavarian Village, and is served by a city-run shuttle as well as a taxi service. Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this station, which is served by two daily trains.