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Monday, December 9, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: railroads


100 years ago in Spokane: Boys accused of “forcibly hugging and kissing” telephone operators given lecture by judge

Three boys were on trial in police court for “forcibly hugging and kissing” two young telephone operators.


Then and Now: The Milwaukee Road freight office

In 1909, The Milwaukee Road became the third transcontinental railroad to connect through Spokane to Seattle. Expansion of its electric routes in the West cost the railroad company dearly and …


UPDATED: Mon., June 3, 2019

100 years ago in Spokane: Labor endorses government ownership of railroads

Government control of railroads was popular in some quarters, including Spokane’s Central Labor Council. The government had assumed control of the rail lines for national security reasons during the war, …


100 years ago in Central Washington: Railroad workers strike over lack of bathtubs, decent meals

About 300 men working on a project to electrify the Milwaukee Railroad’s line through Washington were on strike at their job site west of the Columbia River.


100 years ago in Spokane: Investigators consider manslaughter charge for driver in deadly North Side crash

A group of young people went dancing at the Silver Grill, had several drinks of illicit whiskey, then went on an early-morning drive in a seven-passenger Buick.


UPDATED: Tue., Jan. 8, 2019

Getting There: The curious case of Benjamin Burr

Critics have skewered the unimaginative name of the University District Gateway Bridge. And let’s be honest, “Centennial Trail” does nothing to describe the 61 miles of paved trail that follows …


Then and Now: Union Station

Historian Robert Hyslop, in his book “Spokane Building Blocks,” explains why Spokane’s Union Station, shown under construction in 1913, was called a station and not a depot. There had already …


Then and Now: Washington Street Bridge

Early bridges across the various channels of the Spokane River were made of wood, then steel and, eventually, concrete or stone. And when the Great Northern Railroad depot opened on …


Then and Now: Spokane in 1910

1910 was a watershed year for Spokane.


Then and Now: Union Station

Bob Strahorn planned the downtown Spokane Union Station, opened in 1914, to compete with the Great Northern depot, built in 1902.


UPDATED: Sat., April 7, 2018

Amtrak grades host railroads for delays to passenger service

In terms of causing fewer train delays, Amtrak’s host railroads in the Pacific Northwest performed pretty well last year, especially compared with other companies around the United States and Canada.


BNSF to double track on line linking Spokane Valley to Hauser, Idaho

As part of its 2018 capital expenditure plan to invest $160 million for infrastructure improvements in Washington state, BNSF Railway Co. is planning to upgrade its rail lines by installing …


Rail industry says key safety technology not due until 2020

The railroad industry is downplaying expectations that a safety technology that could have prevented recent deadly train crashes will be in operation across the country by the end of the …


UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 18, 2017

State figures show trains carried 56 million barrels of crude across state in a year

Railroads shipped nearly 56 million barrels of crude oil across Washington in 82,000 rail cars, according to information from October 2016 through September of this year. That represents about 2.5 …


Then and Now: University District

Until Expo ’74, the University District was a maze of railroad tracks and warehouses. Today it is being transformed into a combination of modern college campus, scientific business incubator and …


Then and Now: Opportunity Township

Townships were a way for rural areas to have a local government of their own, outside of cities and outside of county government. In Washington, only Spokane and Whatcom counties …


Editorial: Prop. 2 well-meaning but misdirected

Ultimately this is a federal matter, so voters should turn down Proposition 2. But that doesn’t mean community leaders and citizens shouldn’t keep up the pressure.


UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 16, 2017

Oil, coal train fines in Spokane go to voters with legal path unclear

On the question of whether Spokane can – or should – fine the owners of rail cars transporting certain crude oil and coal through downtown, both sides say they’re on …


Then and now: Construction, redesign of Riverfront Park

In the early 1960s, business and city leaders believed that Spokane needed something to bring it out of its funk. The economy was stagnant. Railroads were still shipping, but passenger …


UPDATED: Mon., June 26, 2017

Initiatives on oil trains, pot sales near churches in Spokane move closer to ballot

The city clerk’s office will review thousands of signatures on the two petitions, gathered in advance of the November ballot. Opponents of the proposal to fine coal and oil trains …


Michael J. Rush: Local laws would impede railroad operations

One wouldn’t have guessed from some of the publicity surrounding crude oil shipments, but more than 99.99 percent of all railroad shipments involving crude oil reach their destination without an …


Track inspectors on front lines of safe shipment of crude oil, state says

Since trains began hauling flammable crude oil from the Northern Plains to Western Washington ports and refineries, state and local attention to rail infrastructure has increased. Track inspectors are on …


Madi Clark: Regulatory grip too tight for proposed terminal

Ecology’s completely new regulatory concept would hinder the ability of infrastructure to develop and make it impossible for Millennium to operate.


Knezovich vows legal challenge to proposed oil, coal train ban in Spokane

An independent legal review of a proposal to fine the shippers of coal and oil through downtown Spokane determined it violates federal law, but City Councilman Breean Beggs said he’ll …


Millwood rail crossing on oil train route will get safety improvements

A Union Pacific rail crossing used by oil trains through Millwood is targeted for more than $450,000 in safety improvements.


Railroads keep most bridge inspection data secret

With railroad bridges carrying oil, coal and hazardous cargo through cities and towns, local officials are asking whether the structures are safe, but can’t get much information.


Three ‘Raging Grannies’ arrested for blocking oil and coal trains

About 20 protestors are blocking rail lines on Trent Avenue to protest the movement of oil and coal trains through Spokane.


100 years ago in Spokane: Farmers worry crops won’t make it to markets as railroad workers prepare to strike

From our archives, 100 years ago The railroad unions called for a nationwide strike to begin in several days and the repercussions were already felt in Spokane.


Oregon officials seek to suspend oil trains after derailment

Oregon transportation officials are asking federal rail authorities to suspend crude oil trains in the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia River Gorge until there is a better understanding of what caused a …


Shawn Vestal: Safety upgrades for rail tank cars coming much too slowly

Something to consider about the 30,000-gallon tank cars full of Bakken crude oil that regularly pass through Spokane: The oil industry says the “arbitrary, capricious” federal government must give it …