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Protect railroad history

Locations: Letters Published

Dear Editor:

Railroad history in the West reflects our history, as a nation, as individuals with dreams and with courage, and as communities with a significant place in that history.  Yet, the Union Pacific Railroad Company, owner of the Rail Depot in Glenwood Springs, threatens to put an end to the Rail Museum at the Glenwood Depot so that the Company can add approximately $30,000 to its income.  This amount, although a token in the budget of the Union Pacific, will put to an end the existence of the Museum.

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Following is a letter I recently sent to the Union Pacific representative.  Please add your thoughts to this issue for his consideration.  Let’s save the Museum in its appropriate location, the Rail Station:

Mr. Lance Fritz, Chairman and CEO

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Union Pacific Railroad Company

1400 Douglas St.

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Omaha, NE 68179      

Dear Mr. Fritz,

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As a resident of the Roaring Fork Valley (Glenwood Springs to Aspen, Colorado) for the past half century, as an active participant in governance activities on the local, state, and national levels, and as a community member with a deep interest in historical preservation and community character, I find it both surprising and upsetting that the Union Pacific Railroad Company would even consider an action that threatens to destroy and eliminate the existence of the Glenwood Springs Union Pacific Railroad Museum that exists in the historic Rail Station in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Even a brief review of the history of this area reflects the national significance of the railroads in the development of our nation.  The Union Pacific Railroad Company is significant both in the stories of its past, and in the role it plays in the lives of those who live in and visit our area today.

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The Museum not only educates about and reflects that history, it educates all to the significance of the development and use of railroads in the nation’s westward movement.  School children, railroad buffs, visitors, the casual tourist, those who wish to know about the significance of the place in which they choose to live, and others……. all visit the Museum and learn from the docents and volunteers who manage the Museum for us all.

Many of us use the train for travel adventures.  We look forward to the train’s daily arrival and departure.  Its location near the Museum is significant.

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The nearby Colorado Hotel, the Denver Hotel, and the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs Pool, Redstone’s Cleveholm Manor, and numerous other local, historically designated structures have significant connections to the Rail Station.  The Station, local home for the California Zephyr, is an appropriate site for the attached Museum. The Museum site, although convenient for its current use, is not suitable for many other uses, for numerous and varied reasons.

I hope you will reconsider your request for increased monetary gain, a move that will put the museum out of business.   Instead, allow those of us who support historic preservation and research to move forward, with both social and monetary support from Union Pacific Railroad Company.   

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Thank you for your reconsideration in this matter.

Dorothea Farris

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