by Junior Johnson (Around The Town Monthly Contributor)
While riding around yesterday I stopped by the old Depot and was disappointed to see nothing more had been done from some cosmetic repairs that was done a couple of years ago. It seems that on the exterior the old broken windows had been covered and at least the old building is locked. I was able to walk around inside years ago and observe the interior, which gave me vision of what it must have been like in its days of operation.
I took a loop on Amtrak many years ago from Marshall, Texas to Los Angeles, up through New Mexico across the country to Chicago, and back to Marshall. It was an amazingly inexpensive trip and I saw some beautiful scenery.
The old station building was in shambles and was only used as a stop on the Amtrak line. Tickets had to be purchased elsewhere. The parking area was deplorable and dangerous.
Five years ago I drove to Marshall, Texas to make another trip out West and discovered that the Terminal is now state of the art. You can purchase tickets, there is a gift shop, waiting area, restaurant, and a large parking lot with lighting and security. I am sure this was an expense project, but this is Marshall, Texas.
I am convinced that our City has more to offer and no offense is meant to Marshall. We have Tour Buses coming from all over in Texas and Louisiana with people wanting to see the history that the Oldest City in the Original Louisiana Purchase has to offer.
We have some of the finest restaurants and hotels in the State.
The Amtrak “City Of New Orleans” runs daily to Chicago and back. Would it not be nice if that were the case for Natchitoches?
I have no way of knowing if this has been explored before but with what this could bring to our City, I feel that officials with Amtrak would be at least willing to listen to a serious proposition.
Just a thought for you to ponder and I would be open to help in any way that I can….