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

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Re: DOG n SPUD

Postby AMTK1007 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:08 am

Yeah, it's going to happen May 7th.. that is all I will say so as to not offend anyone.

(and for the record I am NOT against stopping at SPUD)
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Re: DOG n SPUD

Postby 25Hz » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:43 am

Any plans for underneath the elevated section(s)?
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Re: DOG n SPUD

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:55 pm

Some of the platform spaces are reserved for local and intercity bus service, others are set aside for future commuter and intercity rail.
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Re: DOG n SPUD

Postby jhdeasy » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:37 am

As of 1230 EDT April 7, Amtrak's website makes no mention of trains 7/27 and 8/28 stopping at St Paul Union Depot starting today. Everything still points to the Midway Station, rather than SPUD.

Are there any support facilities (HEP and potable water) for private car parking at SPUD, or will that still be provided by means of a service (non-passenger) stop with switching at Midway Station?

Doesn't Amtrak operate a CHI-MSP coach on the rear of the Empire Builder? If that car line still operates, will that coach still be picked up and set out at Midway Station, rather than SPUD?
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Re: DOG n SPUD

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:07 pm

There are support facilities to some extent (def. HEP, not sure about septic or water), but cars will still be spotted at Midway. Talk to MNNR if you want it elsewhere. Same with the 807/808 coach for the time being, unless someone buys the RCRRA a Trackmobile.
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Re: DOG n SPUD

Postby shadyjay » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:21 pm

jhdeasy wrote:As of 1230 EDT April 7, Amtrak's website makes no mention of trains 7/27 and 8/28 stopping at St Paul Union Depot starting today. Everything still points to the Midway Station, rather than SPUD.


Still one month to go... May 7 according to posts above.
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Re: DOG n SPUD

Postby lirr42 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:06 am

If you believe everything you read on Wikipedia, Amtrak moved out of Midway last month!
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Re: DOG n SPUD

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:38 pm

Looks like Amtrak finally acknowledged the move on their site. http://blog.amtrak.com/2014/04/watch-st ... customers/

Customers planning to ride our Empire Builder through St. Paul, Minn., this summer are in for a treat. A total restoration of St. Paul Union Depot (affectionately called "SPUD" by savvy travelers) is now complete, and beginning May 7, Amtrak will begin service to the magnificent building.

The service will begin before the celebrations on May 10 for National Train Day, a free day of family-friendly festivities across the country.


The Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority also included a video - watch it here: http://youtu.be/9axqB-akv2Q
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Re: DOG n SPUD

Postby ThirdRail7 » Sat May 03, 2014 9:43 am

A test train is headed to this station on the 7(3). It will operate on all tracks on the 4th before returning back to Chi on 5th.
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby gokeefe » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:54 am

Amtrak has now been at St. Paul for a little over a month. Initial videos of the first train left something to be desired. However, this video of the second train coming was right on the money and captured the moment almost perfectly.
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby gokeefe » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:38 am

One more quick look on May 9, 2014. Train arrives on videographers side of platform and passengers are silhouetted in the shadow of the canopy.
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby gokeefe » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:42 pm

The Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority has posted the full version on YouTube of a documentary that was made about the renovation of St. Paul Union Station.

I was very surprised at how comprehensive the reconstruction was. Most of the press has emphasized the restoration of the waiting room but in truth the track platform work and surrounding grounds was a far more significant portion of the job. There was an extraordinary amount of attention given to the historic portions of the structure, much of it in ways or places that would not at all be obvious.

One of the most gratifying scenes is at the end when retired railroad employees came to the Grand Reopening wearing their old uniforms. They were obviously quite touched. One of the first arrivals of the Empire Builder is the final cut.
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby Tadman » Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:08 pm

Reminds me of KC union station. A giant 20-track station sitting on top of three active tracks for one train/day in each direction. (I think KCUS sees 3/day in each direction).
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby gokeefe » Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:25 pm

The thought crossed my mind as well. KCY is served by the Southwest Chief (2x trains daily, one each way) to Chicago and the Missouri River Runner to St. Louis (4x trains daily, two each way).

One of the statements from the movie that struck me was something to the effect of how the station would never again see 200 trains/day or need all of its platforms. I certainly am not predicting otherwise but I did note that as designed the planners made it relatively easy for platforms to be converted back to passenger train use should then need arise.

When I visited Kansas City in 2012 I noted much the same situation. Should the need ever arise it would not be overly complicated to make the necessary changes to increase the capacity of the station to serve rail passengers again.

What was not preserved at MSP were the mail and express facilities underneath the passenger platforms. No loss there whatsoever and the added benefit of new parking allows the station to better serve passengers.
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Re: St Paul Union Depot

Postby gokeefe » Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:49 pm

Friends of the 261 operated a very nice North Pole Express Christmas train for children from the new passenger platform at St. Paul Union Depot.

This should bring back some memories.
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