The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

May 8, 2014

Passenger trains return to historic depot

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Passenger trains have arrived at St. Paul's historic Union Depot for the first time in 43 years.

The 1920s-era depot opened late in 2012 after a $243 renovation. But, Amtrak was delayed in using the station because of coordination with three freight railways and the Federal Railroad Administration.

Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle says Amtrak's arrival at Union Depot Wednesday is just the beginning. The St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://bit.ly/RqCOLu ) says Zelle listed a handful of potential passenger-rail routes from the Twin Cities, including service to Duluth and high-speed rail to Rochester.

Federal Railroad Administration deputy administrator Karen Hedlund talked about the difficulty in approaching Congress for declining amounts of federal Amtrak subsidies on an annual basis.

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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

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