I originally posted this information on my old website on March 26, 2009, and last updated it on December 18, 2009.
Rail service first came to Kelso in 1872, when the Northern Pacific Railway built north from a river connection at Kalama, Washington toward Seattle. This brick depot opened on February 12, 1912, replacing an earlier wood-frame depot built in the 1800s.
By the early 1990s, the depot was locked up. Amtrak trains still stopped at the station, but there were no personnel at the station and passengers had to wait outside. Tickets had to be purchased in advance, either from a travel agent, or from another station with Amtrak personnel.
In September 1994, after years of neglect, a major renovation and restoration of the depot was started to turn the depot into a multimodal transportation hub for Cowlitz County. The renovation included the addition of a clock tower and putting a full basement under the depot, which had never had one before, to be used for retail space.
The renovation was completed and the depot was dedicated as the "Kelso Intermodal Facility" at 2:30 PM on September 23, 1995.
Since then, the depot has become a Greyhound bus station in accordance with the multimodal plans, but the basement has never had a tenant and while Amtrak trains continue to stop here, no Amtrak personnel are assigned to the station. For a time it was possible to buy a Greyhound ticket but not an Amtrak ticket, but an automated Amtrak ticket machine has since been installed.
NOTE: The clock tower does not have a permanent pointed spire on top of it; in the photos that shows it, it is a temporary holiday decoration (though I think it makes the clock tower look better).
The renderings below were used for the invitations to the Grand Opening of the Kelso Intermodal Facility and the "Keeping Kids on Track" festival on Saturday, September 23, 1995. There are a number of differences between these renderings and the finished project, including the covered platform and the design of the clock tower and its base.
Kelso Depot, 1920s (Washington State Railroads Historical Society)
Passenger Train at Kelso Depot, 8/21/72 (RRPictureArchives.net)
Freight Train at Kelso Depot, 8/22/72 (RRPictureArchives.net)