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Amtrak Starts St. Paul Service For First Time Since 1971

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS) Nina Moini
Nina Moini joined the WCCO-TV team in August of 2013. She reports f...
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Passenger trains are rolling through historic Union Depot in St. Paul again. Amtrak service picked up passengers Wednesday night and will again on Thursday for the first time since 1971.

The train was supposed to arrive in St. Paul at about 8 a.m., but was delayed several hours and was expected to get to the Union Depot by about 12:30 p.m. The light rail transit station in St. Paul is part of an ongoing effort to be a main transportation hub and grow the downtown area.

The St. Paul Union Depot underwent renovations totaling $240 million over the past few years, paid for mostly with federal grant money, to connect St. Paul with more cities and be a main transportation hub. Transportation officials said it’s good for the area of downtown St. Paul, allowing for passengers and visitors to check out area businesses.

One passenger, who was waiting for several hours on Thursday, said it’s at least a good reason to get to St. Paul more often.

“We have connections in Union Depot to transit, so Minnesota Valley, Metro Transit and we have bike storage,” said Deborah Carter McCoy with Ramsey County.

“There’s like the Science Museum and the Capitol and stuff to see, but it’s just nice to have another reason to come down here and a way to get there that’s so easy,” said train rider David Lundin.

The new green line light rail opening up this summer is also at Union Depot, connecting St. Paul with several more stops also help with tourism impact. So with the delay Thursday and last night for a couple of hours, is it something passengers should expect regularly?

Officials said at the start of a project like this some delays are expected because the trains share the railways with several freight trains. It was the same situation when the line was at Midway.

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