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Ceremony Set;`Empire Builder' 75th Anniversary

Passenger train will mark milestone on Friday

The Empire Builder, the long-distance passenger train that has served Bingen-White Salmon since 1929, will mark its 75th anniversary during its regular westbound station stop in Bingen on Friday, June 11.

A brief ceremony will take place, including a presentation to the mayors of Bingen and White Salmon, both of whom have been invited to be at the station.

"I plan on being there," said White Salmon Mayor Linda Jones.

"It'll be fun. It will roll in and roll out, and there will be a brief ceremony, no more than 10 minutes," said Steve Wolford, owner of Antiques & Oddities in Bingen.

Wolford has been working with Amtrak's marketing staff to develop the passenger train to bring in tour groups and others to help boost business in Bingen.

The Great Northern Railway inaugurated the train in 1929, and the Empire Builder name was retained when Amtrak took over service along the Chicago-Seattle route in 1971. A second section of the train runs between Spokane and Portland, via Bingen-White Salmon.

"It is the Bingen-White Salmon station, and we should get the communities together," he added.

The westbound Empire Builder is scheduled for arrival in Bingen at 8:05 a.m.

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