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Reader ‘pleased’ with Amtrak plan

Posted: July 29, 2014 10:14 a.m.
Updated: July 30, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Having spent many hours working to get the historic Seaboard Railroad station preserved, I was extremely pleased to see that Amtrak was at the city council work session June 22 to present its plan for improvements to the station.

Beginning in the early 1990s, many private individuals were involved and worked to preserve our historic railroad station. They called upon the city for support in their efforts and the city failed them. I myself became involved in the push to preserve the building in 2007 and my efforts were thwarted in 2009 by those who served in the previous city administration. It was very discouraging and disappointing then to once again have the city put an end to efforts to revitalize the depot.

The current station was built in 1937; it was listed in 1998 by the Great American Foundation in cooperation with the National Trust for Historic Preservation as being among the top 10 most endangered stations; it was also listed in the National Historic Register in the year 2000. It is truly a “treasure” for the city of Camden and without a doubt should be preserved. Quoting from the National Historic Register: “The Seaboard Air Line Railway Depot is significant as a representative example of a mid-20th century railroad station and for its role in the economic development of the local area.” Restoring the building and its grounds (which have already been greatly improved) will more than likely (1) “spark” interest in the use of Amtrak travel from Camden; (2) improve Camden’s image along the CSX/Amtrak line; and (3) stimulate economic development in that area of town.

I sincerely wish for all a successful outcome with the current negotiations and hope the city of Camden will partner with CSX and Amtrak to fully restore this historic station to its former beauty. When you invest in the heart and character of your city, you not only invest in its future but you also help in stimulating its economic development.

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