Breaking News: Downtown Needles, CA: Needles City Manager Rick Daniels announces Amtrak waiting room inside El Garces Train Depot will no longer available because of the vandalism and other problems.

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

Source: Needles City Manager Rick Daniels (Information):

Downtown Needles, California: Needles City Manager Rick Daniels has announced to members of the Needles City Council and to the public that the Amtrak waiting room inside El Garces Train Depot will no longer available because of the vandalism and other problems.

The announcement by Needles City Manager Rick Daniels occurred during the regular meeting held on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022 inside the Needles City Council Chambers that we (the City of Needles) been having some problems with the Amtrak station.

Although there are 750 or so passengers that got on or off the train a month, the lease with had with Amtrak require us to have a time doors so they unlock at 11:30 p.m. (PT) and then lock again at 1:30 a.m. (PT) and what happen was they were been blocked open, and we had intruders into the building all times of the day and night causing damages, and most recently threaten the building by starting a fire that fortunately we caught. So we noticed Amtrak that the lease has expired after 5 years and it’s terminated. So… but in talking with some of the Amtrak passengers, they’ve said they don’t go in there anyways because what they do is they sit in their car and they get a texts when the train gets within 10 miles – that tells them to go out – to the landing area. So we’re going to make the inside area (Waiting Room) not available because of the vandalism and other problems,” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.

Back on Tuesday, September 8th, 2015, members of the Needles City Council approved a resolution back o approving a lease between the City of Needles and National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) for an approximately 2,500 square foot portion of the El Garces Train Depot for an indoor Amtrak passenger station.

The vote was 5 to 1 with Needles City Council Member Tony Frazier voting “No” on the lease inside the El Garces Train Depot located on the 900 block of Front Street in Downtown Needles, California.

Issue regarding the doors being messed with was brought up to the Needles City Manager, members of the Needles City Council and to Amtrak by ZachNews; including when ZachNews was heading on Amtrak to report on the International Council of Shopping Centers’ Western Conference and Deal Making 2019 back in September 2019 and when ZachNews was heading on Amtrak to report on a protest in Downtown Kingman, Arizona back in June 2020.

ZachNews warned about the doors to the Amtrak waiting room area being jammed to stay open and the doors not opening because of the door being broken at night for some passengers who wanted to get out of the cold night waiting for the train.

But like with many things ZachNews alerted the City of Needles in the past of, the issue was sadly ignored and is now being address after what has occurred in recent months.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels added tonight that, “we can reviews this in time, but it was a frightening event when the fire started in the restroom.”

Stay tuned to ZachNews for any news updates regarding this breaking news.

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