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After 43 years, St. Paul's Union Depot marks return of passenger trains
Pioneer Press ^ | Fred Melo

Posted on 05/09/2014 4:59:55 AM PDT by TurboZamboni

Passenger trains are again rolling into St. Paul's historic Union Depot.

Ramsey County leaders joined their peers from St. Paul and the state Wednesday to welcome Amtrak to their meticulously restored depot. The first train, the westbound Empire Builder from Chicago, arrived at 11:13 p.m. -- 70 minutes late -- en route to Seattle and Portland, Ore.

"Our beautifully restored building is achieving our vision as a multimodal transit facility and a unique gathering place for people," said Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega, chair of the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, said during ceremonies earlier in the day.

But don't call Amtrak's arrival a comeback.

The modern incarnation of passenger rail has never before stopped in downtown St Paul. On April 30, 1971, the last passenger trains -- operated by Burlington Northern -- ended service to the Capital City, shuttering the transit hub on Kellogg Boulevard in Lowertown. When Amtrak officially rolled into being the next day, it stopped in Minneapolis.

(Excerpt) Read more at twincities.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: amtrak; boondoggle; choochoo; freemoney; mn; trains; willie
Funding for Amtrak and other passenger-rail options remains a difficult subject at both the state and federal levels. Ramsey County's renovation of the 1920s-era Union Depot cost $243 million, roughly half of which came from the federal government.

Amtrak carried a record 31.6 million passengers last year, including a record 15.4 million on state-supported corridors. Ticket revenue reached a record $2.1 billion. The quasi-private national carrier nevertheless relies on roughly $1 billion in annual federal funding for new trains, track and operations, on top of growing state contributions.

1 posted on 05/09/2014 4:59:56 AM PDT by TurboZamboni
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To: TurboZamboni

A bridge to the 19th century.


2 posted on 05/09/2014 5:05:07 AM PDT by DManA
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To: TurboZamboni

Seventy minutes late - low speed rail!


3 posted on 05/09/2014 5:06:36 AM PDT by reg45 (Barack 0bama: Implementing class warfare by having no class.)
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To: TurboZamboni
“The first train, the westbound Empire Builder from Chicago, arrived at 11:13 p.m. — 70 minutes late — en route to Seattle and Portland, Ore.”

Guaranteed to be the money line in this one.
And I did not read the entire article.

4 posted on 05/09/2014 5:07:30 AM PDT by Tupelo (I feel more like Philip Nolan every day)
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To: Tupelo

Leftards are already blaming the Koch Bros(I’m not kidding)

Blaming ‘Big Oil’ for taking up rail space. I guess they don’t mind Warren B doing it.


5 posted on 05/09/2014 5:09:50 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: TurboZamboni
Amtrak is a great way to see the USA. Tomorrow is National Train Day and you should visit your local train station. We are going to Union Station to see the trains.

We like trains here, we are thinking of visit family in CT and we are taking the train. Airplanes are becoming problematic with fees and we like see the nation.

6 posted on 05/09/2014 5:18:52 AM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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To: TurboZamboni

I rode AMTRAK for the first time in my life....last July. It was a 18-hour trip from DC to Birmingham. Got a cabin, and did the whole grand dining room tour episode. On a scale of one to ten....I’d give it a four. It was pleasant to note the landscape....but the track is unstable and you can’t sleep on any part of the railway in NC or Georgia. The food is marginal but free (because I got the cabin). And the cabin car felt like it was manufactured in the 1970s....with the toilet barely working and nothing really that clean.

So, to the European railway. I travel a good bit, and am very familiar with conditions. I won’t rate anything on the German railway system less than an ‘8’, except the toilet paper which is more like sandpaper. You could easily sleep on any train, and most will run forty to fifty mph. Drinks and food aren’t outrageous like Amtrak. And the train stations in Europe don’t make you feel like you just coasted into the worst part of Memphis on a Friday night.


7 posted on 05/09/2014 5:22:13 AM PDT by pepsionice
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To: TurboZamboni

yep- 150 Million in local taxpayer money-

BUT- close to 1.2 BILLION-!! yes billion
for an 11 MILE spur to down mpls!

HEY those couple of Hundred taxpayer/union thugs
will have some cushy govt jobs running the Choo-choos

Next a spur to ...? nowhere


8 posted on 05/09/2014 5:25:50 AM PDT by mj1234
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To: reg45
Amtrak except in the northeast, where they own the rails, are run on freight railroads. BNSF makes $$ on freight, so Amtrak might get delayed.

That said, Amtrak future is rosy. Air travel is a pain and people are looking at trains again. It might not be a quick as air, but us can meet people.

I would love to see Amtrak privatived. I think you might soon.

9 posted on 05/09/2014 5:28:48 AM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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To: mj1234

As pols are fond of saying, “If we didn’t take the (’free’) federal money,someone else would have.”


10 posted on 05/09/2014 5:29:47 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: pepsionice

Took the train to Seattle a few times from MN as a yute.

The only reason we could somewhat afford it was the half price discount for dad working for the railroad.


11 posted on 05/09/2014 5:31:32 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: ExCTCitizen

TSA will make trains as miserable as planes as soon as they possibly can.

Bet on it. Citizens cannot be allowed to freely travel about without suspicion.


12 posted on 05/09/2014 5:32:56 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: pepsionice
Europe's rail is made for passengers ours are made for freight. Europe has welded rail while ours is still sectional. If we get better passenger cars and welded rails we might have a good rail system soon.

Hartford's Union Station is in an area if some bars and restaurants. Tampa is at the edge of downtown.

13 posted on 05/09/2014 5:37:14 AM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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To: TurboZamboni

so....the train is stopping in St. Paul instead of Minneapolis? Is that big news?


14 posted on 05/09/2014 5:48:26 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: pepsionice
And the train stations in Europe don’t make you feel like you just coasted into the worst part of Memphis on a Friday night.

I've traveled by rail in Germany and France and definitely agree. It's a bit amusing, though, that a few miles outside of Paris you see the same sort of things you do near Memphis - abandoned industrial sites, auto salvage yards, etc.

Oddly, my last Amtrak experience (around ten years ago) was a trip to Memphis from New Orleans. In addition to the arrival experience that you described, I got there four hours behind schedule. All because Amtrak serves as sort of a public bus, stopping at every unmarked crossing to let one or two people board and pay a small fee to ride a few unmarked stops north. Actually, a bus would've been faster.

15 posted on 05/09/2014 6:40:56 AM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: Charles Martel

On my Amtrak trip out of Virginia....I was kinda amazed at looking at various small towns, and industrial buildings next to the railway....all deserted. Same thing in Atlanta. Same thing in Birmingham. I can show you hundreds of buildings like that around Mainz and Wiesbaden too. Urban decay....no one agrees to tear down these buildings. Detroit is a perfect example....half the city nears to be destroyed.


16 posted on 05/09/2014 6:55:21 AM PDT by pepsionice
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To: TurboZamboni

Our beautifully restored building is achieving our vision as a multimodal transit facility and a unique gathering place for people...


And by diverting gas tax dollars, they bankrupted the highway fund, and Obama is talking about putting tolls on the Interstates.


17 posted on 05/09/2014 7:18:00 AM PDT by Freeping Since 2001
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To: ExCTCitizen

“That said, Amtrak future is rosy. Air travel is a pain and people are looking at trains again. It might not be a quick as air, but us can meet people.

I would love to see Amtrak privatived. I think you might soon.”

If it was so rosy, wouldn’t the private railways be looking into it? I think the hassle and legal liabilities will keep them from hauling freight that can sue.


18 posted on 05/09/2014 5:28:20 PM PDT by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: Freeping Since 2001

“Amtrak’s debut at Union Depot: Better late than never”
http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_25725057/amtrak-rail-lines-look-address-delays?source=hottopics

I could have been three days late. Leftists are just happy to spend money.


19 posted on 05/10/2014 7:30:14 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: TurboZamboni

Hopefully, the TSA will be shut down. We should get the tea party to tell us that the TSA will be defunded.


20 posted on 05/12/2014 4:37:55 AM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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To: TurboZamboni

Willie Green rejoices.


25 posted on 05/13/2014 6:38:30 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator
There were all sorts of federal vehicles and local bureaucrats gladhanding and congratulating each other down there.
26 posted on 05/13/2014 6:57:15 PM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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