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Passenger train transportation is not what it used to be.
Boise’s famous Train Depot, was originally built by Union Pacific in 1925. It was one stop along the Portland Rose line from Chicago to Seattle.
As the years passed, Union Pacific shut down its passenger trains and Amtrak took over. In the 1970s, the Boise Train Depot was on a line called Pioneer that Salt Lake City into its former list of destinations. But these lines eventually shrank down to as far east as Shoshone, and as far west as Nampa, and then were dropped completely by 1981, seven years after being officially recognized as a historical location by the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1982, the Union Pacific donated the Depot and its grounds to the City of Boise.
As of 1997, passenger trains to the Boise Depot on the Pioneer line, and any other line, were officially closed down.
However, the station was not left to wither away. Morrison-Knudsen, a major Boise mining and construction company that was bought out years ago, cleaned the place up, and gave it a new face with Spanish style architecture. It stands next to Platt Gardens, a work of landscaping that includes footpaths, fountains, pools, and a variety of beautiful flowers, trees, and plants.
One portion of the garden was designed to hearken back to the days when the Boise Train Depot was still operating. Family and friends would often wait on the grounds for expected passengers, and on nice afternoons it was not uncommon for people to gather and picnic. This activity is still popular today, despite the lack of train and passengers.
The Boise Train Depot is open to tours and events, with an elegant Great Hall that is ideal for weddings or other important parties. Make reservation here for such an event.
Whether you are just visiting Boise, or you are a long term resident, you really should Go! See the Boise Train Depot Sundays and Mondays 11:00 am – 5:00 pm and get a taste of some old Boise history.