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Associated Press, Published September 23 2013

New benches complete restoration of Minot depot

MINOT, N.D. — The restoration of Minot's Amtrak depot is complete after 16 wooden benches were installed this month inside the historic railroad building, which was inundated by record Souris River flooding in 2013.

The depot and boarding platform were damaged by the high water, and passenger service was interrupted for five months from a flood that damaged more than 4,000 homes and businesses. Officials began using a temporary waiting room and ticket office in November 2011.

Repairs to the building cost more than $500,000. The Minot Area Community Foundation donated $30,000 to replace plastic seating with the eight-foot wooden benches.

"The new look of the old look of the station is much more attractive," Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said. "We appreciate what the community has done to continue to show their affection for the station, because the affection is mutual."

The depot is on the Empire Builder route, which runs between Chicago and Seattle.

"They were all very excited to see it come back," city planner Donna Bye said, referring to a restoration committee. "It's really an entrance into our community. It's a way a lot of people arrive here from all parts of the country, and that's a very good first impression for us to have."