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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak arrives at Union Depot in St. Paul for first time

Amtrak earlier this week marked the debut of service to Union Depot in St. Paul, Minn., with the arrival of the Empire Builder.

Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Boardman was among transportation leaders who helped cut the ribbon for the first-ever Amtrak service to the downtown station.

"We know from experience that travel brings business — and that stations bring business to the surrounding community," said Boardman in a prepared statement.

The historic station recently underwent a $243 million restoration to turn it into a multi-modal facility with funding from federal, state and local agencies.

One of the largest grants was a $45.3 million allocation under the SAFETEA-LU federal transportation bill for fiscal years 2005-2009. And in 2010, the Ramsey Regional Railroad Authority, the station's owner, was awarded a $35 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In addition, $40 million came from the Federal Railroad Administration's High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program, while $4 million was provided through the Federal Transit Administration's Bus and Bus Facilities Program.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/9/2014