Preserving History

Renovated St. Paul Union Depot Train Station Opens to Public Use

Monday, December 17 2012 07:52   Preservation
The historic St. Paul Union Depot (SPUD) in St. Paul, Minn. has reopened to the public following a $243 million rehabilitation project that transformed the 1923 building into a 21st century multimodal transportation hub.

Initially served by
Metro Transit buses, other transportation options will be added over the next few years. Jefferson City intercity buses will begin stopping at the station in early 2013, followed by Amtrak's twice daily Empire Builder in September.

st_paul_stationThere will also be a bike repair facility with bike storage, showers and lockers. In 2014, the
Central Corridor light rail - an 11 mile line connecting downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis via the University of Minnesota, the Midway district and the Capitol - will go into operation in front of SPUD. The station is also designed to accommodate proposed commuter rail lines and high-speed service to Chicago.

The opening celebration on Dec. 8, 2012 kicked off with a public dedication and unveiling of the waiting room, followed by tours of the station, live music, theatrical performances, discussions with local artists and a family movie night in the waiting room.

In attendance were local and state officials including Ramsey County Commissioners Jim McDonough and Rafael Ortega, U.S. Representative Betty McCollum, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Mayor Chris Coleman and others.

In the early 2000s, St. Paul officials began to contemplate a restoration of service to SPUD, which had been separated into two parts and sold to different owners following the removal of intercity passenger rail service in 1971.

The rehabilitation project included many components: installation of light rail tracks along 4th Street; reconstruction of the plaza in front of the headhouse; restoration of historic features in the Great Hall and concourse; construction of new staircases, elevators and escalators from the concourse to ground level; and installation of platforms with tactile edges and canopies.

While the light rail will run along 4th Street, the train platforms and bus bays are located south of Kellogg Blvd. with access from the concourse as well as new entrances from the street.

Funding for the project was obtained from a diverse mix of federal, state and local agencies. One of the largest grants was $45.3 million allocated under Section 1301 of SAFETEA-LU, the federal transportation bill for fiscal years 2005-2009. In early 2010, the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority was awarded a $35 million
Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation.


Related Articles