Sunday, December 10, 2006

Depot to Roll

The beginning step to consolidate the historic assets around the new configuration, which will allow retention of the old with the building of the new; a good thing all around.

Lift and rollout for transit hub
Relocating Amtrak depot in one piece could be largest such move in U.S.

By Tony Bizjak - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PST Sunday, December 10, 2006

Standing recently atop the downtown Sacramento train depot, architect Hinda Chandler pointed over the balustrade to a weedy patch 100 yards north.

"Right about there," Chandler, a city official, said. "We would roll it straight up there."

It's a dramatic statement, to say the least.

Chandler is talking about nothing less than jacking up the 6,750-ton, brick-and-concrete I Street depot and trundling it on steel rollers to a new location a block away.

There, the three-story depot would be placed next to a new set of train tracks, officials say, to stand as the elegant centerpiece of the city's planned expanded train and transit hub in the downtown railyard.

A new glass-and-steel terminal would be attached to the depot's back side to expand passenger capacity without obscuring the older building's historic brick facade.

The expanded "intermodal" facility would be the meeting point for long- and short-distance trains, as well as light rail and buses. City officials say it would feed millions of commuters, visitors and residents a year into downtown and new urban area of offices, housing, stores, restaurants and entertainment venues to be built in the railyard.