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Beaumont, Texas, getting new Amtrak station

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After years of using a concrete slab as the Amtrak train station, the city of Beaumont, Texas, will see a new station constructed in coming months, the Examiner reports. Amtrak received more than $1.1 million in federal funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was allotted for the construction of a new station in Beaumont.

Marc Magliari, media
relations manager for Amtrak, said, "We plan to begin construction on that
later this year and we plan to spend more than $1.1 million. The train serves
Beaumont three days a week and we’ve announced that our intention is to operate
service out of Beaumont daily as soon as possible. We have plans that were
announced more than a year ago to replace or greatly improve the current
facility in Beaumont. It will be a significant improvement over the current,
very minimal provisions that are made for our passengers in Beaumont today.

"There’s no shelter at
the current facility; last time I was there, there wasn’t even a place to sit
down. What we’re building can be scaled up if ridership warrants. We’ve been
working closely with the city on this to have a much more welcoming place to
arrive in Beaumont."

The property that the
station will be built on was recently acquired from Union Pacific by the city
of Beaumont for nearly $300,000, with the city intending to build a police
substation on the land near the train station.

Tom Warner, public works
director, said, "Helping with the Amtrak station, putting in a police
substation, putting in the parking and lighting – all of that would have been
on Union Pacific property and we would have had to do a lease agreement with
them, which they may or may not have agreed to, which is why we decided to
acquire the property and then we’ll lease the station property to Amtrak."

Kyle Hayes, Beaumont city
manager, said that the city is currently planning on building a substation to
maintain a police presence in the area, but there are other options that the
city is looking into that may make up for some shortfalls of the Amtrak station.

The facility will be built
at the same Cedar Street location, which currently contains the concrete slab
that has been used by Amtrak riders. According to Warner, years ago there was a
train station that existed at that location.

"It originally was a
manned station, and then it was unmanned," said Warner. "While it was
unmanned it was vandalized, allowed to deteriorate and eventually had to be
torn down."

Hayes said that once the
city has a presence in the area on a regular basis, there will be less of an
issue with illegal activity around the train station.

Magliari said that Amtrak would
go out for bids within the coming months and plans to begin construction before
fall.

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