El Garces Intermodal Transportation Facility

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El Garces Intermodal Transportation Facility
A two-story white hotel with a grass lawn surrounded by palm trees
El Garces Hotel in July 2014
Location900 Front Street, Needles, California
Line(s)BNSF Railway Southern Transcon
(Needles Subdivision, Seligman Subdivision)
Platforms1 side + 1 island platform
ConnectionsBus transport VVTA: 200
Bus transport Needles Area Transit
Other information
Station codeNDL
Passengers (2017)9,176[1]Increase 14.5%
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
toward Los Angeles
Southwest Chief
toward Chicago
  Former services  
Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe
toward Los Angeles
Main Line
(Major stations)
El Garces
El Garces Intermodal Transportation Facility is located in California
El Garces Intermodal Transportation Facility
El Garces Intermodal Transportation Facility is located in the United States
El Garces Intermodal Transportation Facility
Location950 Front Street, Needles, California
Coordinates34°50′27″N 114°36′20″W / 34.84083°N 114.60556°W / 34.84083; -114.60556Coordinates: 34°50′27″N 114°36′20″W / 34.84083°N 114.60556°W / 34.84083; -114.60556
ArchitectFrancis W. Wilson
Architectural styleClassical Revival
NRHP reference #02000537 [2]
Added to NRHPMay 17, 2002

The El Garces Intermodal Transportation Facility (also known as Needles station) is an Amtrak intercity rail station in Needles, California. The structure was originally built in 1908 as the El Garces Hotel, a Harvey House and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad station. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.


By the 1880s, the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP) and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad (ATSF) were in competition to monopolize the rapidly growing Southwestern United States. On August 9, 1883, the SP completed its line eastward from Mojave, California to Needles, where it met the westward-expanding ATSF subsidiary Atlantic and Pacific Railroad;[3][4] the depot - a utilitarian, one-story wood structure - was among the first buildings constructed in the new town.[5] The ATSF soon believed that the SP would redirect traffic away from the Needles interchange in favor of its longer Overland Route and Sunset Route, which would be more profitable for the SP;[3] the ATSF threatened to build a competing line west from Needles; in August 1884, the SP sold the Mojave–Needles line to the Atlantic and Pacific.[3][4] In 1898, the ATSF added a Harvey House and retrofitted the depot with a second story with hotel rooms to house passengers and Harvey House staff.[5]

Built by the Santa Fe Railroad under contract with the Fred Harvey Company in 1908, the hotel was designed in an elegant Neoclassical and Beaux-Arts style and was considered "the Crown Jewel" of the entire Fred Harvey chain; this early Harvey House was designed by architect Francis W. Wilson. The hotel was named in honor of Spanish missionary Father Francisco Garcés, an explorer in 1774 with Juan Bautista de Anza and the legendary De Anza expedition; the hotel's restaurant was staffed by the famous Harvey Girls, young women who worked for the Fred Harvey Company. The El Garces Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 17, 2002.

El Garces hotel and restaurant closed in 1949,[6] it is located near the original station, which closed in 1958 and underwent extensive restoration.[7]Historic U.S. Route 66 went by the hotel from the 1920s through the 1960s. The Santa Fe railroad station was used by Amtrak until it closed in 1988. Restoration and reconstruction of the historic El Garces began on March 7, 2007.[8] Allen Affeldt, owner of the historic La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona, intended to buy the station, opening an upscale hotel and restaurant, but abandoned that plan after a 2009 audit; the Federal Transit Administration determined that, because it had granted $4.8 million in public funding for construction, ownership has to remain with the city.[9] City redevelopment of the intermodal transportation facility continued (without the proposed Needles Chamber of Commerce, hotel, and restaurant);[10][11] the El Garces intermodal transportation facility renovation project was completed in 2014.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2017, State of California" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  2. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  3. ^ a b c Hofsommer, Don L. (1986). The Southern Pacific: 1901–1985. Texas A&M University Press. p. 43. ISBN 0890962464.
  4. ^ a b California Board of Railroad Commissioners (1889). Tenth Annual Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners of the State of California for the Year Ending December 31, 1889. State of California. pp. 11, 12 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ a b Donaldson, Wavne; Maqno Historian, Eileen; Harrinqton, Page (January 2002). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form". National Register of Historic Places. National Parks Service.
  6. ^ "Historic El Garces Harvey House and RR Depot". Needles, CA, USA: East Mojave Historic Route 66 Association. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  7. ^ "Needles, CA (NDL)". Great American Stations (Amtrak). Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  8. ^ "El Garces Hotel". Archived from the original on March 27, 2009.
  9. ^ What’s happening with El Garces?, updated July 19, 2011.
  10. ^ JENNIFER DENEVAN Needles Desert Star. "Mohave Daily News: Needles Desert Star". Thedesertstar.com. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  11. ^ "About Needles". Cityofneedles.com. Archived from the original on 2014-04-26. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  12. ^ Denevan, Jennifer (May 1, 2014). "Needles to cut the ribbon on renovated El Garces intermodal facility". Mohave Daily News.

External links[edit]