Ramsey board purchases Union Depot for rail

by Briana Bierschbach

The Ramsey County Board approved spending $8.1 million Tuesday to purchase the main building of the Union Depot in downtown St. Paul, according to the Star Tribune.


The commissioners voted 6-0 to purchase the portion of the Depot, known as the head house, which they hope to return to a regional transportation hub for rail, buses, bicycles and taxies.


Current plans place the last stop of the Central Corridor light-rail line at the Depot, but some commissioners would like to see the line extended to the "rear concourse," according to the Star Tribune.


A due diligence report completed by the county shows the building will need about $350,000 worth of repairs, including fixing concrete sidewalk and curbs, roof repairs and electrical updates.


The Union Depot was built between 1918 and 1923 on the site of an earlier train station that burned down in 1915. Nine railroads operated out of the Depot in its heyday, and more than 20 million pieces of mail passed through the station each year.