Construction starts on $243M train hub in St. Paul

The Union Depot
The Union Depot was completed in 1923. The big, grand sky-lit lobby (known as the "head house") now contains a restaurant, and still is open to the public today.
MPR Photo/Tom Crann

Ramsey County officials say Amtrak passenger rail service will be restored to downtown St. Paul when renovation of the Union Depot is complete next year.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the $243 million Union Depot renovation will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough said besides the Empire Builder passengers, the depot in Lowertown will also be used by Greyhound and Jefferson interstate bus riders and city bus passengers.

"There will be kind of a integrated bus service there where their buses will stop right in back there where people can get right on their buses," McDonough said.

If final funding is approved, the Central Corridor light rail line will have a stop in front of Union Depot. Passenger rail service at the depot ended in l971.

McDonough said about $135 million of the Union Depot renovation money is from federal dollars, another $50 million is from county funds and about $10 million comes from the state.

Now, the classic rail terminal building houses offices, restaurants and condominiums.

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