The Kelso/Longview, Wa. Station stop is made at the Kelso Multimodal Transportation Center. It receives service from all four of the daily Amtrak Cascades trips along with the Coast Starlight. The stop is unstaffed officially, but the historic depot, built in 1912, restored and rededicated in 1995, in 2009 began a volunteer program that staffs the depot for some if not all departures. Although they sit in a small office beneath signage that says tickets they are not authorized to handle any money and a single Quik-Trak Kiosk is provided. Greyhound has a more interesting history using the station for its stop in the region; it originally had a ticket agent in the multimodal transportation center but left and served a supermarket (that handeled ticketing) until October 12, 2011 when it restarted service at the stop with a nearby business, JV Liquidator providing its ticketing services. All drivers do stop and walk through the station to check for any passengers.
The train line at the station is on a slightly raised embankment from 1 Avenue South as it runs along the Lower Cowlitz River, the larger city of Longview (population 36,000 compared to 12,00) is across this river. The station has a long single platform for the two-track line. This has a yellow tactile warning strip and crossings lead across to a second very narrow concrete platform between the tracks (with a single level crossing entrance) to allow the second track to platform minimally. There is a mobile-lift on the platform, left to expose to the elements that provides ADA compliancy. The entire platform is enclosed by a low green fence with a few gate openings with signs on them saying "Do Not Enter Until Passenger Train Has Come to a Complete Stop." It is lined with concrete lampposts along the fence. There are also some pointless arrow Kelso/Longview, Wa signs. The depot is alongside the platform (there is an area between it and the enclosure fence). It is a brick building with a black roof and inside is the unused ticket office already described along with a central area with some benches, a bulletin board (as it is marked), restrooms down a corridor at one end, and a monitor where the volunteer can type in the E.T.A (based on Amtrak.com) of the next arriving train. There is also an office of some sort. In the center of the station is a bronze statue of a girl sitting on a suitcase: "Waitin' at the Station, 2003, by Carolyn Williams, donated by Cowlitz Bank." Streetside staircases and a ramp lead down to 1st Street and there is also a modern clock on top of a wooden tower and an American Flag above. Beyond the station is a small parking lot and the quiet downtown of Kelso.
All photos taken on 15 October, 2011
Last Updated: 18 December, 2011