Letter to the editor: Full rail station, not just platform

I would like to voice my agreement with David Carlson (Letters, May 31) on the importance of providing a covering for the new rail platform, and would go a step further.
In order to foster the use of rail as an alternative means of transportation, and at the same time encourage tourism, I would suggest that we consider a rail station instead of a simple platform.
A little more information on the Waterbury station — first of all this station was already in existence but needed extensive renovations. In order for this to happen, a non-profit organization took on the task. This opened up state funding that wouldn’t have been available to a for-profit company. Once the station was ready for use, this organization leased the majority of the station space to Green Mountain Coffee. The remainder of the space is for a visitor’s center.
In Middlebury we already have an historic railroad station, we have a non-profit organization with extensive experience running a visitor’s center, we have an initiative in town working toward alternative means for transportation to protect the environment, and we have a coffee company and various bakeries capable of providing refreshments for waiting train passengers.
Cooperation across the community is essential in order for us to end up with the best solution for Middlebury, one that will strengthen the downtown and encourage the use of alternative forms of transportation to ease the parking crisis. And the potential is there for this station to become its own destination, as we see in Waterbury.
Rob Carter
Addison County Chamber of Commerce

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