Marquette railroad depot torn down to make way for new one

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The Canadian Pacific Railway depot in downtown Marquette was torn down last week, making way for a new building that will serve train crews. Construction is expected to begin this month and wrap up by the end of September. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

CP also plans to construct new building in Marquette rail yard

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The Canadian Pacific Railway depot in downtown Marquette was torn down last week, making way for a new building.

Construction will begin this month, said Marquette Trainmaster Tim Bivens at the May 8 Marquette council meeting. It is expected to be completed by the end of September.

According to Canadian Pacific Media Relations Manager Andy Cummings, the building will serve CP’s train crews.

“Marquette is an important operational location for CP,” he said. “We needed a building to better suit our needs.”

This isn’t the only change Canadian Pacific hopes to make in the historic railroad community. There are also eventual plans to construct a new building in the rail yard, which Cummings said would be utilized by CP’s engineering employees.

At its June 12 meeting, the Marquette council will consider the second and final readings of an ordinance that would change the zoning district classification for a portion of that property from A1 - limited agricultural to C1 - highway commercial, as long as the railroad obtains the proper permits. The property where the building will be constructed is located south of the railroad tracks and north of Bloody Run, not far from the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre.

Once this second building is complete, Bivens said the large trucks people now often see near downtown Marquette will move to that area.

The city of Marquette says these updates are part of the railroad’s plans to make Marquette more of a central hub.

“We have a lot of new business, so we’re expecting growth,” Bivens said last month. 

Cummings said the changes should not result in additional or more lengthy train blockages in the community.

Even now, inroads have been made on that front, Bivens noted. That includes working with the Iowa DOT to utilize the electronic traffic signs to warn people of prolonged blockages. Drivers can then turn around and take an alternate route.

“I’ve gotten less phone calls [regarding complaints],” he said. “We want to be a good business in the community. The tracks are not going to move, and we do want to avoid long stoppages. But there are procedures we have to go through. It’s big equipment, so it’s not fast.”

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