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Spur rail opens next week

The Geiger Spur, the new rail line near Airway Heights and Medical Lake, was completed in late November and officially opens Jan. 2.

“I hope it brings new business to the area, that’s one of the main reasons for the construction,” said Andrew Wood, deputy rail director for the state Department of Transportation.

The Geiger Spur rail connection was built to replace a line that ran through Fairchild Air Force Base after the base declined to renew its lease with Spokane County.

The new line runs for about 3.5 miles from the Palouse River Coulee City Railroad by Craig Road to the Geiger Spur by McFarlane Road, all near Airway Heights. The track crosses Highway 902 at one point.

Just one or two trains a week will use the track to begin with, Wood said.

“That’s the first time people will start seeing barriers (railroad crossing signals) go down on 902,” Wood said.

The plans for a transload facility in Airway Heights are still under way as WSDOT officials consider several locations in the city and continue to search for funding.

A transload facility is a “kind of park and ride for trains and trucks.” Businesses can upload or unload their supplies at such a facility, receiving or sending off shipments.

Gym hosting contest

A new gym in Airway Heights is opening a contest to find the “Biggest Loser” in 2009.

Contestants begin in February with a series of weight-loss exercises and diet tips from the gym’s equipment and nutritionist. The contest goes through March and there are two ways to win; lose the most weight, or earn the most points as you succeed at various points in the program.

“It gives them structure and a goal to work on. You can make a New Year’s resolution that you are going to do something, but if you don’t have a plan, it’s harder to last that long,” said Beth Mathison, co-owner of West Plains Fitness.

Call the gym at 744-9378 to sign up.

Contact correspondent Jeslyn Lemke by e-mail at

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