Here is the latest news from Cascade Rail Foundation (CRF).
Review of Cooperative Agreement and Strategic Plan
As part of the November board meeting, CRF board members met with State Parks staff to review the 2004 cooperative agreement between CRF and State Parks regarding operation of the South Cle Elum Rail Yard. The primary outcome of this review will be the development of an addendum to the agreement that includes all the procedures and related forms necessary for implementing the agreement. The group also discussed the next steps in implementing the strategic plan for the Rail Yard. The pros and cons of different projects were debated. State Parks will try to make a State Parks facilitator available to CRF at a future board meeting to assist the board in clarifying priorities. The strategic plan for the South Cle Elum Rail Yard is available on the CRF web site at: http://www.milwelectric.org/download/index.html
The Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive web site is now up at http://PNRArchive.org. PNRA expects to have the building permit for improvements at the archive facility by early December. If the weather cooperates, CRF plans to start moving collections over to the PNRA facility in Burien from Cle Elum in January.
Depot Café concession
The CRF board is reviewing a proposal from a concessionaire to operate the Depot Cafe. The concessionaire proposes to operate the café all year, with regular hours on the weekends (Thursday night through Sunday) and special events scheduled during the rest of the week.
Interpretive trail panels
The manufacturer of the panels on the Interpretive Trail is providing replacements for all of them because they were made with defective material. CRF should receive the new panels soon.
This month CRF learned that two grant applications were unsuccessful. One application was for federal transportation enhancement funds to purchase Substation Operator Bungalow Number 1 (the Douglas Munro home). The other application was for the annual Trains magazine preservation award, requesting funds for archive equipment. Other funding sources will be pursued for these projects.
The Mountains to Sound Greenway Heritage Study
The Mountains to Sound Greenway organization is coordinating a planning process that involves multiple jurisdictions, agencies, and private organizations that have a stake in the greenway. The purpose of the process is to establish a formal boundary for the greenway, identify important assets within the greenway and establish a framework for cooperatively managing those assets. The study may identify funding sources that could be used for projects within the greenway. CRF has a representative on the Kittitas working group and has submitted a list of potential projects to be considered during the planning process. More information can be found on the Greenway web site: http://mtsgreenway.org/heritagestudy/heritagestudy.
Snoqualmie Tunnel repairs
State Parks has told CRF that the work on the tunnel lining near the portals is going a little slower than planned. However, the work should be done early in December. Next spring the drainage work will be done. State Parks expects that the tunnel will be reopened July 1, 2011.