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Historic train depot restoration begins

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The Ellis County Press

WAXAHACHIE – Originally built by the Dallas and Waco Railroad in 1886 to connect its two namesake towns and completed four years later; the well known Missouri-Kansas-Texas Depot is now undergoing a new kind of renovation, as well as new parking facilities.

Purchased by Waxahachie in 2008, the city plans to restore the building and upon completion, the depot will be outfitted to house a restaurant for all train aficionados and locals alike.

With the restoration of the Depot on South Rogers Street, the parking lot on the north side of the Rogers Street Bridge will be temporarily closed.

"The new parking lot will add more parking, a total of twenty-two new spaces, that will provide parking for the restored depot and the hike and bike trail," said City Manager Paul Stevens.

During the construction of the new lot, citizens may access the hike and bike trail from the parking lot on the south end of the Rogers Street Bridge.

Stevens said the street to the south of the depot and the parking lot will both be done near the beginning of the project, estimating completion around 120 days.

Other parking options for the trail include Getzendaner Park, Lions Park and Richards Park.

"It is also important to note that the drive from Rogers Street to Boyce Feed Store will remain open through the construction process," said Stevens.

As a safety precaution, the construction areas, including the new parking facilities and the depot building have both been secured with fencing around the perimeter.

Motorists are encouraged to use caution when driving through these areas to ensure the safety of construction personnel and pedestrians.

The restoration project will be paid for with Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone funds.

Within the coming months, a public request for proposals will be submitted and after reviewing, the MKT Depot Committee will then select a tenant.

Originally, the depot made connection with the main line of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT, or "The Katy") in Hillsboro, north of Waco, and was built northeast through Waxahachie to reach Dallas.

Construction of the depot is expected to be completed within 180 days.

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