MARIENVILLE, Pa. – Phase I of the Marienville Railroad Station renovation has been completed – now it’s on to Phase II.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced a grant was approved for $814,000 on Tuesday at the station’s open house to continue on to the second phase.
“We’re certainly grateful to the ARC, DCED (Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development) and everyone involved for helping to make this possible,” said Jenks County Supervisor Greg Geyer.
Phase I mostly involved restoration – including painting of the station, updating of utilities, new restrooms being installed and the restoration of the roof and office floor.
“This is just the first step,” Geyer said.
The station was part of the Knox and Kane Railroad, which operated steam driven excursion trains from Marienville to the Kinzua Bridge, a 97-mile round trip, from 1987 until 2004
A Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) grant in the amount of $307,000 has also been secured for Phase II of the project, which will include bringing the station to life with new features.
“We’re going to have an expanded parking area, a pavilion, bike racks, picnic tables and signage,” Geyer said. “We’ll also have walking trail updates and paving.”
The final product is part of what will become a four seasons trail hub and visitors center.
“The plan is to turn it into a Pennsylvania Wilds Conservation shop, and eventually sell railroad memorabilia,” Geyer said.
In addition, the station was officially dedicated to Ronald “Hoss” Slater as well a former Jenks Township employee and lifelong resident of Marienville. Slater also worked for PennDot and the Knox and Kane railroad. He served on the Marienville Volunteer Fire Department, and was also an Army Veteran who served in Vietnam.
“Ron was a dear friend, and it’s a pleasure to dedicate this building to him,” Geyer said.