Editorial: Back on the tracks
June 9, 2010
Note the following quotes:
"No event has changed Craig like the railroad."
"Without the rail system, we probably wouldn't have any coal mines or the power plant."
Those were the words Dan Davidson, a local historian and director of the Museum of Northwest Colorado, used in a recent interview with the Craig Daily Press to describe the railroad's historical significance to the area.
And, he couldn't have been more right on, the Editorial Board contends.
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The railroad, once such a vital cog in our local economy, has been used less and less in recent years, and that, the Editorial Board contends, is to the detriment of our community's rich tradition in rail and our local economy.
With a little bit more vision, the railroad could once again be used to cheaply supply local businesses, allowing them to keep merchandise and goods in stock for longer periods.
While it's also true that our community couldn't survive without the trucking industry, it's equally accurate to say a balance could be struck combining the two forms of transportation to offer a potent way for businesses to ship and receive.
Along the same lines as revitalizing our community's railroad industry, the Editorial Board also contends that something needs to be done to the old depot at the south end of Yampa Avenue.
As of now, this building that ties in with our rail heritage is left rotting, a sad reminder of the better days it once had.
Editorial board members have seen other communities turn old depots into profitable and useful business ventures — restaurants, museums, and, in some proactive cases, apartments or residential units.
Why can't the same be done for our old depot? We're willing to bet that for some developer with a vision for the property, the old depot could be revitalized to serve in a highly useful capacity for the community.
Anything would be better than the shell of what's there now.