I spent the afternoon wandering through the recently refurbished St. Paul depot. It’s a beautiful building, largely brought back to its original glory for use as an Amtrak hub station and a downtown LRT station for the central corridor. It was a Sunday afternoon so there wasn’t much going on, but even so I was curious why there was nothing inside the depot that tried to separate me from my money. There is one restaurant, but it’s the same one that was there before the upgrade, wasn’t open at the time and doesn’t seem like it will be a popular stop for people going through the building for either Amtrak or LRT. I would have thought that a hub in downtown St. Paul would attract some kind of entrepreneurs wanting to sell food, books and newspapers, souvenirs…something. I hope this investment doesn’t become another huge upfront expense and effort with no follow-up.
I also stopped by the St. Paul Midway rail yard just to see the cars loaded with containers from all over the world. Walking the lines I heard the crowd and organ from a St. Paul Saints game going on across Energy Park Drive at Midway Stadium and had a nice view of the St. Paul skyline.