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Dec. 8 public event to celebrate reopening of historic Union Depot in St. Paul
On Saturday, December 8, Metro Transit bus service will begin at Union Depot and the building will be open to the public for the first time in 40 years. Visit Union Depot and rediscover the newly renovated, state-of-the-art multimodal regional transportation hub.
At 9:30 a.m., hear from public officials who were part of making this project happen, including: Ramsey County Commissioners Jim McDonough and Rafael Ortega, Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Mayor Chris Coleman, Metropolitan Council Chair Susan Haigh and more at a "Bringing Down the Wall" celebration.
For more information, visit blog.regionalrail.org.
The Union Depot Multimodal Transit Center represents the next stage in the St. Paul - Minneapolis' region's transportation future. A revitalized Union Depot will blend transit modes that exist today with others that are programmed in the region's long range plan in one historic location. This facility will allow for a seamless transfer among transportation modes while providing access to all of downtown St. Paul's services for passengers and those meeting them. It would serve regional, state and community needs.
Multi-Modal Transit Center
In 2002, RCRRA formed a group, the LOCATE Task Force, of stakeholders, made up of business and civic leaders, to discuss sitting a potential multi-modal transit center in downtown St. Paul. The group evaluated locations for the transit center and assessed which transit modes might be suitable for the facility. One facility stood out. Union Depot is located in the heart of the capital city, St. Paul, as well as in a busy downtown area. Union Depot enjoys:
Existing rail lines that allow for easy access to new lines.
Convenient highway connections.
A beautiful historic building ripe for reuse.
Adjacent sites that would be developed to support and complement the transportation use.
Proximity to the Mississippi River.
A central location near St. Paul's commerce, event, and entertainment areas.
Thus, Union Depot was confirmed as the best site for a multimodal facility that takes advantage of the area's geography and infrastructure.
History of Union Depot
Completed in 1923, Union Depot provided passenger and freight railroad services for both the Twin Cities and the state of Minnesota. Located in downtown St. Paul near the Mississippi River, Union Depot is a complex of facilities and elements that served some 282 trains and 20,000 passengers daily in the 1920s. The head house, or the lobby portion of the complex, is shown below.
Union Depot head house, 1925
Beyond the head house is a 45-foot wide entrance passage that was built as a bridge over Kellogg Boulevard to connect to the concourse, which provided access to railroad platforms. At one time, there were 18 railroad tracks serving Union Depot. After passenger rail service was discontinued to the depot in 1971, sections of the depot complex were sold to various entities. This includes part of the bridge over Kellogg, the concourse, and land near the concourse which were sold to the Postal Service for truck circulation and bulk mail handling.
As part of the work by the LOCATE Task Force and RCRRA, analysis concluded that the return of passenger rail services to Union Depot depended on the relocation of the Post Office's facilities. The Postal Service had previously indicated a preference to move its St. Paul operations, and in June 2005, announced its intentions to relocate the St. Paul mail processing operations to Eagan.
In 2007, the RCRRA reached an agreement to purchase the waiting room, concourse and adjacent track from the U.S. Postal Service. In June 2009, the RCRRA purchased the head house. By the end of 2012, the redevelopment will be complete and the depot will serve Metro Transit buses. In early 2013, additional modes will join the depot including a state-of-the-art bicycle center, Jefferson Lines intercity bus service and casino shuttle service. Amtrak passenger rail to Chicago and the Pacific Northwest will also begin in 2013. The Central Corridor Light Rail Line will begin service in 2014 in front of the depot's head house. Upon completion the depot will be ready to accommodate the Rush Line and Red Rock commuter rail lines, as well as high-speed rail to Chicago.
Total project cost is estimated at $243 million.
Union Depot has been identified as a project of national and regional significance in the federal transportation bill, and has been awarded more than $124 million in federal funds supporting the renovation.
For more information, contact Tim Mayasich, RCRRA Director, at email@example.com or at 651-266-2762.
The following are downloadable sections of the St. Paul Union Depot Analysis work prepared for the RCRRA by LTK, November 2003. These are all pdf files.
Body of the Report
Figures 1-2, 1-3, 3-3, 4-1, 4-2, 5-1, 5-2, 5-3, 5-4
Figures 2-1 through 2-10, 3-1, 3-2