ELLENSBURG, Wash.--It's a sight and sound that people living in Ellensburg haven't seen or heard in awhile.
Twenty-eight passenger train cars stopped briefly near the terminal Thursday before continuing on their tour of the Pacific Northwest. But Steve Hayden, Founder and President of the "Friends of the Northern Pacific Depot" group is working hard to make this a more regular occurrence.
"The other day we were asked to join for the Eastern Washington leg for rail service to get Amtrak back over here, which would be great for this town, great for students," said Hayden.
"Anywhere east of the mountains, you don't have north, south traffic for rail traffic, and it should be," said Don Haley.
$1.2 million in private funds have been invested in the 104-year-old building for preservation and maintenance. Volunteers said they're upgrading to modern technology while keeping the historic look and feel.
"Architecturally, historically, I've had the gutters all re-created from the original drawings," said Hayden. "I went to the Minnesota Historical Society and got drawings that showed how everything looked inside."
Community members we spoke with said they're all on board.
"It's well spent money," said Haley. "It's something that's been needed for a very long time and the whole population of Ellensburg and surrounding are behind it all the way."
Hayden said the depot project is about 60 percent complete, but they will need to raise another $800,000 in private funds for more upkeep.