SAINT PAUL, Minn. (April 6, 2016) – Union Depot in St. Paul will host two fun-filled, jam-packed Train Days, April 30 – May 1, offering an array of railroad-themed treats including historic locomotives, model train displays, train merchandise, kids’ activities, special ticketed events and free educational sessions.
The Amtrak® Exhibit Train, showcasing the past, present and future of America’s Railroad®, will roll into Union Depot for free tours as part of Union Depot Train Days, marking the first time the special train has been in Minnesota since its inception.
In addition, life-size railroad equipment will be on display, giving train enthusiasts a glimpse into the region’s passenger and freight railroads’ past and insight into how both shaped the future of transportation. Visitors will have the opportunity see several railroad giants on display for the first time at Union Depot including: Great Northern Railway SDP40 No. 325; Northern Pacific Railway Post Office/Combine Car No. 1102; the 1950s era Soo Line FP7 No. 2500A; and a Twin Cities & Western modern, short line freight railroad locomotive. The popular steam engine Milwaukee Road Steam Locomotive No. 261 also will be returning for this year’s Train Days.
Also new this year, Train Days will feature a variety of free activities for all ages including the Chuggington® Kids Depot with train-themed activities based on the popular children’s animated television series on Disney Junior; a large 40 X 40 foot MN Free-MO Modular Railroading exhibit; and a large-scale, steam model Soo Line passenger locomotive. Among the many favorite, returning activities will be exhibits by Operation Life Saver and the National Park Service.
Another new feature for Union Depot’s 2016 Train Days will be vendors selling a wide variety of railroad-themed books, photographs, sketches, model railroad supplies and train memorabilia.
On the morning of April 30, three railroad professionals and photographers will conduct free educational sessions to discuss their personal experiences with the privately-operated passenger trains that operated out of Union Depot through the early 1970s. These new public sessions will be held in the Veterans Gallery. The presenters include Willmar native Gary Nelson, who will discuss his experiences working for the Great Northern Railway passenger trains; Charles B. McCreary, who will discuss and show his photographs of the trains of the Union Depot in the 1940s and 1950s; and Byron D. Olsen, who will describe his experiences photographing and riding trains out of Union Depot in the 1960s and 1970s.
In addition, several new ticketed events have been added to Train Days, including a night photography opportunity and multi-media shows by well-known railroad photographers.
May 1 also will mark the opening of Lowertown Bike Shop at Union Depot, further demonstrating the variety of transportation modes available at the depot. The new Lowertown Bike Shop will offer a bike repair shop and indoor bike storage facility with shower services on the lower level of the Head House. In addition, the Lowertown Bike retail shop will be located on the main level of the Head House in Suite 160. The new bike/walk trail from Union Depot to the RailView Picnic Area also will open this weekend.
During Union Depot Train Days, visitors can also enjoy a free ride on a vintage bus to the Minnesota Transportation Museum (MTM) in St. Paul. Those who stop by the MTM booth and take the free shuttle will receive a discounted ticket to the museum.
For more information about Union Depot Train Days, visit http://www.uniondepot.org/traindays/.
About UNION DEPOT...The beautifully renovated Union Depot is one of American’s great rail stations from the early 20th century. Celebrating 90 years since its completion in 1926, Union Depot was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and certified LEED® Gold in 2014. Today, it is a welcoming destination for all and serves as a major transportation center and dynamic event venue in the heart of the Twin Cities. Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority owns Union Depot which offers a full complement of transportation services: Amtrak®, Green Line, Jefferson Lines, Greyhound, megabus.com, Metro Transit and MVTA buses, car sharing (Zipcar and Car2Go), and parking - including electric vehicle charging and bicycle storage. The Regional Railroad Authority is dedicated to a long-range vision that addresses changing transportation needs by preserving rail transit corridors for future transit use, studying transit options and providing transit services. JLL, under contract with the Regional Railroad Authority, is responsible for management of Union Depot and working collaboratively to establish a welcoming community gathering place at the historic landmark. For more information, go to uniondepot.org.
About Amtrak®…Amtrak – America’s Railroad® – is dedicated to safe and reliable mobility as the nation’s intercity passenger rail service provider and its high-speed rail operator. With our state and commuter partners, we move people, the economy and the nation forward, carrying more than 30 million Amtrak passengers for each of the past five years. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Learn more at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and other information. Check us out at blog.Amtrak.com, Like us on Facebook.com and Follow us on Twitter @Amtrak.
About JLL…JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. A Fortune 500 company with annual fee revenue of $5.2 billion and gross revenue of $6.0 billion, JLL has more than 230 corporate offices, operates in more than 80 countries and has a global workforce of more than 60,000. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 4.0 billion square feet, or 372 million square meters, and completed $138 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2015. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $56.4 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit www.jll.com.