Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Freq)

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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:14 pm

Station Aficionado wrote:Indeed. I've been to St. Paul a number of times on account of my wife's family ties. This time, I particularly enjoyed the beer and burgers at the Blue Door Pub.

I'm sure they'll work out some sort of interim Minneapolis connection for the EB. Is there currently some sort of transit bus service between Midway Station and the two downtowns? I've never seen anything advertised.

I was just thinking about the Blue Door today! Did you try a Jiffy Burger?

Midway Station doesn't have a bus route stopping at its door, but it's only about a block and a half from University Avenue, which has bus service to Minneapolis and St. Paul around the clock.
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby Station Aficionado » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:58 pm

mtuandrew wrote:I was just thinking about the Blue Door today! Did you try a Jiffy Burger?

Midway Station doesn't have a bus route stopping at its door, but it's only about a block and a half from University Avenue, which has bus service to Minneapolis and St. Paul around the clock.

One of the folks I was with recommended the Jiffy Burger, but I just couldn't get my head around peanut butter on burger. I went with the Breakfast Bluicy--can't resist a fried egg on a burger.
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby TCRT612 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:52 pm

Station Aficionado wrote:I'm sure they'll work out some sort of interim Minneapolis connection for the EB. Is there currently some sort of transit bus service between Midway Station and the two downtowns? I've never seen anything advertised.


My guess is that they don't have this service in place because a cab from Midway to Minneapolis or Saint Paul is fairly cheap and much, much faster than the bus routes down University and the EB only stops twice a day. Ironically, the time issue will probably change once the bus routes give way to the Green Line.

As for some sort of interim extension of a bus route once SPUD reopens (since a cab to Minneapolis is getting pricey at that distance), would Metro Transit have to do that for all trips or would it just be a few near the Empire Builder's schedule?

Oh, and I'd agree the Blue Door is good, but I was always a Groveland Tap guy myself.
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:56 pm

Partly related to the Union Depot - this line's proposed terminus:

KSTP Channel 5 wrote:Mississippi River Route is Preferred for Commuter Train

The Federal Railroad Administration says a route running along the Mississippi River is the most feasible and reasonable for a proposed high-speed commuter train between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

Federal officials and the Minnesota Department of Transportation say other route possibilities are no longer an option. MnDOT rail director Dan Krom tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press the state can now focus its efforts on the river route.


(Ignore the part about commuter rail - though the Red Rock Corridor is proposed as far as Red Wing, they really mean high-speed intercity rail.)

The short article goes on to say that the line's terminus will be at St. Paul Union Depot, hence the tie-in, and that the cities of Rochester, MN and Eau Claire, WI have expressed disappointment over the decision.
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby george matthews » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:25 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Partly related to the Union Depot - this line's proposed terminus:

KSTP Channel 5 wrote:Mississippi River Route is Preferred for Commuter Train

The Federal Railroad Administration says a route running along the Mississippi River is the most feasible and reasonable for a proposed high-speed commuter train between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

Federal officials and the Minnesota Department of Transportation say other route possibilities are no longer an option. MnDOT rail director Dan Krom tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press the state can now focus its efforts on the river route.


(Ignore the part about commuter rail - though the Red Rock Corridor is proposed as far as Red Wing, they really mean high-speed intercity rail.)

The short article goes on to say that the line's terminus will be at St. Paul Union Depot, hence the tie-in, and that the cities of Rochester, MN and Eau Claire, WI have expressed disappointment over the decision.

Would this route be vulnerable to river floods?
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby Station Aficionado » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:20 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Partly related to the Union Depot - this line's proposed terminus:

KSTP Channel 5 wrote:Mississippi River Route is Preferred for Commuter Train

The Federal Railroad Administration says a route running along the Mississippi River is the most feasible and reasonable for a proposed high-speed commuter train between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

Federal officials and the Minnesota Department of Transportation say other route possibilities are no longer an option. MnDOT rail director Dan Krom tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press the state can now focus its efforts on the river route.


(Ignore the part about commuter rail - though the Red Rock Corridor is proposed as far as Red Wing, they really mean high-speed intercity rail.)

The short article goes on to say that the line's terminus will be at St. Paul Union Depot, hence the tie-in, and that the cities of Rochester, MN and Eau Claire, WI have expressed disappointment over the decision.

I assume they mean the EB's current route on CP?
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:42 pm

george matthews wrote:Would this route be vulnerable to river floods?

Somewhat. Amtrak sometimes detours over the parallel BNSF route during flood season, and during severe flooding they take the UP route through Eau Claire, but presumably a high speed rail route would be raised further above river level than the current CP Rail route.

At least, I'd hope they would raise it further above river level. :wink:
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St Paul Union Station reopening

Postby theo » Mon May 14, 2012 4:45 pm

Is there a date in 2012 agreed for this? I ask as we are due to travel there in September
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Re: St Paul Union Station reopening

Postby neroden » Tue May 15, 2012 2:01 am

Early 2013. No date set, but definitely not until January -- sorry.
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Re: St Paul Union Station reopening

Postby mtuandrew » Wed May 16, 2012 7:00 pm

On the contrary, Ramsey County plans to formally open the station this fall or early winter. While it isn't posted on their website besides stating that the station will be complete in late 2012, I recently took a public tour of the project during which the presenter said they planned to host Amtrak before 2013.

See the Northstar Commuter Rail thread in General Discussion: Passenger Rail for more information, as well as the Union Depot's Facebook page.
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby Jeff Smith » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:40 pm

Update: Pioneer Press Twincities.com

Union Depot's first Amtrak trains might not come until end of year

The almost eerie quiet in the St. Paul Union Depot's historic waiting room isn't going away anytime soon.

The depot's meticulously restored rail concourse reopened last month after sitting empty for decades. But passenger rail service will not roll into the transit hub for at least another nine months, Amtrak officials said.

The carrier needs to wait for construction of a spur connection from the depot's passenger loading platform to the mainline freight track before service can begin, likely in the fourth quarter of 2013.

...

Amtrak's Empire Builder makes two stops daily on Transfer Road -- one trip to and one from Chicago -- but the company is studying the feasibility of adding service through the Twin Cities. Midway Station opened in 1978, about seven years after the last Amtrak train left the Union Depot.

Amtrak owns no mainline track in the Twin Cities, and the Empire Builder mostly travels on track operated by CP, also known as Canadian Pacific Railway, to Chicago. Heading west from the Twin Cities, Amtrak follows track controlled by BNSF railway.
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:58 pm

I found Amtrak's Magliari's comment interesting about connectivity to other modes. Perhaps for the Builder eastbound, but I'm dubious about any transit connections available for the westbound, given the time it operates.
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby Jersey_Mike » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:54 am

Is Amtrak going to stop serving Midway or just start making both stops?
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby electricron » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:51 pm

From what I've read previously, Amtrak will continue to stop at Midway, not only to drop off and pick up passengers, but to change train crews and refuel the locomotives.
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby AMTK1007 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:20 pm

Crews do not change at Midway, they change at St Cloud. Also Locos are not fueled at Midway except in an emergency, Fueling is done both directions at Minot along with the 1500 Mile / Daily inspections.

Having worked in T&E, I would much rather do the work at Midway, where there is Ground power, ( as far as I know, and I may be wrong, they didn't put ground power in at SPUD) and little traffic to contend with.. Additionally if I have to turn a train for whatever reason, I would rather do it at Merriam Park then to have to try to do it at Hoffman Av., for the same reason I would not want to have to back in or out of Spud to head up the St Paul or Midway sub.. WAY too much traffic.

That is just my personal opinion
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