Amtrak’s arrival at St. Paul Union Depot celebrated

May 8, 2014

Ramsey County leaders joined their peers from St. Paul and the state Wednesday to welcome Amtrak to their meticulously restored depot. The first train, the westbound Empire Builder from Chicago, was scheduled to arrive just after 10 p.m. en route to Seattle/Portland, Ore.

“Our beautifully restored building is achieving our vision as a multimodal transit facility and a unique gathering place for people,” said Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega, chair of the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority…

Amtrak… has never before stopped in downtown St Paul…

Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle said Amtrak’s arrival at Union Depot is just the beginning. Zelle listed a handful of potential passenger-rail routes from the Twin Cities, including service to Duluth and high-speed rail to Rochester…

“A second departure to Chicago is probably the nearest-term service that could be accomplished,” said Zelle, noting that the added trips likely would require track improvements…

After that, the proposed Northern Lights passenger train from Minneapolis to Duluth is probably the furthest along in planning…

Read the rest of the story in the St. Cloud Times, 8 May 2014.

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