Union Pacific funds upgrades to historic Idaho depot

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NAMPA, Idaho – The Canyon County Historical Society is restoring the former Oregon Short Line passenger depot in Nampa, and Union Pacific is contributing to the effort. A new heating and air conditioning unit in the baggage room was funded through an $8,123 grant from the railroad. The society recognized UP’s effort when 4-8-4 No. 844 passed through the city last weekend. The Short Line was a Union Pacific subsidiary organized in the 1880s and was briefly independent.

Construction on the depot began in 1902 and it opened in September 1903. It served as Nampa’s depot until the Union Pacific depot on the north side of the tracks was completed in the latter part of 1925. The building then served as offices for UP.

The building was eventually donated to the Canyon County Historical Society by the railroad. It was partially restored and converted into a museum by the Canyon County Historical Society and dedicated July 3, 1976.

In 2010, the society began fundraising for several upgrades, among them a new plumbing system, additional track lighting fixtures, an opening up of the baggage area and removing an elevated floor section, restoring bathrooms with period fixtures, adding an Americans with Disabilities Act accessible bathroom, a new floor, restoring original track side doors, and restoring the roof to its original tile.

In addition to the Union Pacific funded work in the baggage room, a new a new heating and air conditioning unit for the building is being installed. It will cost about $13,100 and is funded by a grant from the Canyon County Board of Commissioners.

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