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Centennial Celebration for Salem Depot

By October 1, 2018 No Comments


View of the main facade of the Salem depot, featuring three round arch windows and ionic columns.

Built for the Southern Pacific Railroad, the Salem depot was designed by company architect J.H. Christie and opened to travelers in 1918. Image courtesy of the Oregon Department of Transportation.

SALEM, ORE. – On Sept. 25, 2018, community members were joined by officials from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and rail enthusiasts to celebrate the centennial of the city’s neoclassical railroad depot. In preparation for the major milestone, the building received new paint inside and out; through paint analysis, ODOT was able to determine the original color scheme. Historic photos were added to the waiting room, which features a soaring 24-foot ceiling and chandeliers. Customers waiting for the train can now take advantage of newly installed Wi-Fi. These improvements build on a major ODOT-led rehabilitation completed at the turn of the millennium.

Today, the Salem depot  is served twice a day by the Coast Starlight (Seattle-Sacramento-Los Angeles), four times a day by Amtrak Cascades trains (Vancouver, B.C.-Seattle-Portland-Eugene) and various Thruway buses. The Amtrak Cascades are primarily financed through funds made available by the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Oregon Department of Transportation. In fiscal year 2017, more than 63,000 customers began or ended their journey at the Salem station.

Read more about the centennial event and the Cherry City’s rich railroad history in the Statesman Journal.