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

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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:41 pm

I think it is CP Hoffman, but one of the real railroaders would know better. Informally, most local railfans know the wye as Hoffman Junction.
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby AMTK1007 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:45 pm

I'll double check the timetables but I think on the CP it is Hoffman Avenue and on the BNSF it is Hoffman, I'll try to check tonight
Conductors Portable calling the Head End of Amtrak 7, we have a green on the starting system, America's train can Depart Chicago on signal indication, lets go to channel 44
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby David Benton » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:56 pm

trains mag news wire specifically mentions UP as the third railroad .
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby AMTK1007 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:20 pm

I stand corrected it is Hoffman Ave on both the CP and the BNSF
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby EricL » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:52 pm

Here is a quick and dirty map to give you an idea how the major lines are situated. Mr. Benton is correct about the UP being the third player in this situation. The west end of the depot track would need to tie into the Robert Street interlocking, and the east end would probably tie into the existing south leg of the wye.

As currently built, there is only one storage track at the facility, with no "lead" track, so any time cars (e.g. PVs, cut-off coach, etc.) have to be set-off, the train would need to take headroom at Robert Street - of course after waiting for any conflicting movements to clear.

That, and the train would have to continue on its present routing to use the new station, unless it stayed on the BN and had to back in to/out of the depot from both directions. This is the reason why everyone keeps saying that the train will continue to stop at Midway - it's already going that way, anyhow...

(present "normal" routing, for those unaware, is Hoffman Ave -> Merriam Park -> Midway -> St Anthony -> University, and vice versa.)
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:56 pm

For those following along at home: http://www.twincities.com/opinion/ci_23 ... on-citizen

The trains are coming

Since a $243 million restoration to prepare it for new life as a "multi-modal transit hub," St. Paul's Union Depot has been missing its signature mode.

That will change in the fourth quarter of this year when Amtrak's Empire Builder arrives, linking the landmark depot in Lowertown with Seattle, Portland and Chicago.

This week the County Board, meeting as the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, approved final contracts that will complete arrangements for Amtrak's move from the Midway area.

I'll see if I can't get some pictures of the work, but hopefully one of our other MSP area posters will also be able to help.
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Saint Paul Union Depot - Relaunch 2014

Postby Pacific 2-3-1 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:48 am

RAILWAY AGE's website reports that Greyhound began service to St. Paul Union Depot on Tuesday, March 11, after initially balking at having two Twin Cities stops (the other being Minneapolis).

So when does the Empire Builder get there?

(mod note: re-titled)
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Re: DOG n SPUD

Postby EricL » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:58 pm

I haven't heard anything lately, but I've been pretty removed from the area. A couple of news outlets previously reported that Amtrak signed a lease agreeing to move in by the end of Q1 2014. So assuming they don't renege on that stipulation, then, very soon.
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Re: DOG n SPUD

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:05 pm

Track work is complete as far as I could tell last time I drove down there (a few weeks ago), but I don't know about signals. The concourse is likewise rehabilitated and ready for Amtrak to move in, but I haven't seen whether they have installed partitions for waiting areas, a baggage check area, or even a customer service desk. Next time I'm able to stop by SPUD, I plan to take pictures to post here.

Otherwise, bus service to SPUD has been provided for a while now, via Metro Transit and regional Greyhound affiliate Jefferson Lines. I think one can now catch Megabus there too.
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Re: DOG n SPUD

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:47 am

As I posted in the Empire Builder thread:

mtuandrew wrote:It's official: the Empire Builder is moving to St. Paul Union Depot on May 7. From the Union Depot Facebook account:

St. Paul Union Depot wrote:Passenger rail service is returning Union Depot on May 7 with the evening arrival of the Amtrak Empire Builder! Celebrate all things trains on National Train Day on May 10 at Union Depot.

(picture of the William Crooks)


:-D
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Amtrak n SPUD

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:47 am

Well, so far, this immediate item is 'news' to the Amtrak website.

Checking a June date for #7, there is no reference whatever to the change. If they are to close, and I'm unaware one way or the other, the existing Minnesota Transfer station, I'd think the word would be out at the website.

Even though the source was properly documented by Mr. Stephens, one must ask just how 'official' is that referenced Facebook page?
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Re: Amtrak n SPUD

Postby Ridgefielder » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:35 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Well, so far, this immediate item is 'news' to the Amtrak website.

Checking a June date for #7, there is no reference whatever to the change. If they are to close, and I'm unaware one way or the other, the existing Minnesota Transfer station, I'd think the word would be out at the website.

Even though the source was properly documented by Mr. Stephens, one must ask just how 'official' is that referenced Facebook page?

Might not be on the Amtrak website, but it's on the St. Paul Union Depot website:

UNION DEPOT wrote:Passenger rail service will return to Union Depot in St. Paul on May 7 with the evening arrival of the Amtrak Empire Builder from Chicago, officials with Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority (RCRRA), owners of Union Depot, announced today. The Amtrak station on 730 Transfer Road will close after the Chicago-bound Empire Builder departs that morning. Operations will move to Union Depot’s Kellogg Entry at 240 Kellogg Blvd., E., in the Lowertown neighborhood of St. Paul for the arrival of the evening train.

http://www.uniondepot.org/union-depot-o ... lebration/
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Re: DOG n SPUD

Postby Pacific 2-3-1 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:52 pm

Had this been announced yesterday, April 1, I too would have been skeptical.
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Re: DOG n SPUD

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:07 pm

One would think Amtrak would have announced it, yes, but the Facebook page and the Union Depot website referenced are both official media outlets of the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority. If they say it, it's official.

I was just over there yesterday, actually. Didn't go inside, but I did look at the trackwork from the Robert Street bridge and thought, "Hm, that looks very complete. Switches are all in place, there are new signal bridges... I wonder when service starts." Glad to see that it's starting now! I do want to check more closely, just to see whether the westbound station track is accessible from the ex-CGW (UP) bridge, or only from the joint Milwaukee-Omaha (CP-UP) main.
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Re: DOG n SPUD

Postby David Benton » Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:15 pm

Trains magazine is reporting it as May 7th . And adds timing.
"Beginning May 7, the westbound Empire Builder, Nos. 7, 27, and 807, will arrive at Union Depot at 10:03 p.m. and depart at 10:10 p.m. Beginning May 8, the eastbound counterpart, Nos. 8, 28, and 808, will arrive at 7:52 a.m. and depart at 8:00 a.m. These are slightly different times than are used at Midway station."
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