The Underground Brewery Stories about brewing beer and train traveling from Tom Coughlin

September 28, 2016

Staying over at Haunted Places— (or: If the place was really haunted, they probably wouldn’t tell you.)

Filed under: Destinations,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Tom @ 6:47 pm
Living room at the Haunted Chamber--the guest quarters at the House of Trembling Madness, in York (UK). Yes, the taxidermy is real.

Living room at the Haunted Chamber–the guest quarters at the House of Trembling Madness, in York (UK). Yes, the taxidermy is real.

A recent stay-over at a purportedly haunted house in York, UK was a disappointment—it was wonderful, cozy and very nice. The place was beautiful in the Morticia Addams-kind of way: taxidermed small animals were everywhere, the floors were creaky and pitched, the bed was huge, and the woodwork was obviously hundreds of years old. But no ghosts– just three wonderful, restful nights in a delightfully quiet spot in the center of bustling York during high tourist season. (York is to the UK what Colonial Williamsburg is to the USA—an intersection of overblown quaintness and precise historical reenactment, topped with a large dollop of swarmy high-kitsch tourism.)

The Haunted Chambers, at the House of the Trembling Madness-- York (UK).

The Haunted Chambers, at the House of the Trembling Madness– York (UK).

That’s okay. It’s better to be sold on ghosts and not run into them, than to actually stay at a place with a serious otherworldly presence. Likely if that AirBnB, or HomeAway rental property had real poltergeists dwelling within, the owners would flat out deny it, and they’d badger the guests to please remove any ghosty comments from their online reviews.

If you *must* stay over at a haunted place, you should check out 18XX Magazine St, in New Orleans. (Sorry about blocking part of the address out. This house is often on the real estate market, and they have enough trouble— but if you want to know where it is, I’ll send you the information by email.) This place was so haunted, that after spending over $100,000 on kitchen and bathroom renovations, the owners couldn’t stay there— instead they ran it as a vacation rental for a couple of years, where it regularly appeared in HomeAway and VRBO. Less than five years after purchasing it and doing some extravagant improvements, the place was put up for sale again. It listed for $800,000, but wound up selling for less than $600,000 several months later.

The Haunted Livingroom, where the curtains kept moving.

The Haunted Livingroom, where the curtains kept moving.

Our little family group (me, wife Meg, Mom and Dad and their little Schnauzer Annie, Mom’s sister Bee, my brother Rob and his girlfriend Carolyn, and Mom’s friends Cyrille, Allie and Annie) spent an unforgettable week there. Was it really haunted or not? You decide.

First off— we all got very sick, likely a Norovirus case that that my dad acquired prior to arrival. I spent two days flat out in bed in the middle of the trip, and Meg was feeling pretty ill on the last day when we got on the Amtrak train home. Being we were to sick to sight-see, it would have been nice to watch television there, but the TV set stop working about an hour after we arrived. Secondly— in a strange freak accident, my brother Rob’s girlfriend Carolyn appeared at the breakfast table one morning looking like a boxer after loosing a prizefight—her eyes and nose were swollen and bruised. She explained that, in the middle of the night she had fallen out of bed, but it looked more like she had been shot out of a cannon and landed face-first on the floor.

The bed that Carolyn was possibly, purportedly thrown from.

The bed that Carolyn was possibly, purportedly thrown from.

“Ghosts? Do you think that Carolyn tripped by herself? She was pushed!” my brother Rob recalled. Rob and Carolyn stayed in the master bedroom at the back of the house, and neither of them got much sleep over the days that they were there. “We had to go into the bathroom four times and turn off the faucet for the bathroom. It kept turning on on its own.” Carolyn also complained that she heard loud tapping many times while trying to sleep. If there was a ghost in the house, it was intent on making sure the two of them would do no sleeping.

My Mom’s friend Allie (a professional trainer of guide dogs for the disabled, a very sensitive person–and also a believer in ghosts) had a lot to say about the events of that week. “Even with the AC off, there were many breezes downstairs. The curtains in the downstairs rooms would start swinging on their own,” she recalled. “At one point I was I was in the living room talking with Cyrille, and this breeze blew between us. I said to Cyrille, ‘did you feel that?’” Cyrille agreed with her, but insisted that they not say anything as they didn’t want to upset my mom by telling ghost stories.

Allie said that she felt that were were actually several ghosts in the house (“at least five,” she recalled) with each one having their own room. The one upstairs in Rob and Carolyn’s room had a mischievous streak—she believed that Carolyn was tripped by the ghost while getting out of bed, but didn’t think it was done out of meanness. The downstairs area was haunted by two separate ghosts— the living room spirit that liked to cause breezes, move things around. (Allie recalled that pair of shoes Cyrille left on the floor moved to two different locations over a period of a few days). The living room ghost had the ability to prevent the television set from working.

The kitchen had a friendly ghost that according to Allie, was fond of us.

The kitchen had a friendly ghost that according to Allie, was fond of us.

“The ghost in the kitchen was friendly and sociable, for a couple of nights, she sat there and happily listened to our stories,” she observed. According to Allie, Annie the dog could see her, and would sit staring at her with her ears cocked up.

My wife Meg and I slept in the bedroom next to Rob and Carolyn in the middle of the second floor. Neither of us saw any direct evidence of ghostly activity, but strangely, after a day or so, Meg gave up using our bathroom. There was something with it that she found creepy–she felt strange being in there alone. The downstairs bathroom a much more peaceful place to take a shower. Meg also noticed that Annie the dog did not want to go upstairs at all. This was unusual–she slept with my parents in their bedroom at home; she spent her nights sleeping alone downstairs. For two days there, I ran a 102 fever, and slept a lot, but I had no problems sleeping in the old four-poster bed in the middle bedroom.

Mom and Dad's front room overlooked Magazine Street.

Mom and Dad’s front room overlooked Magazine Street.

My mom and dad didn’t report anything unusual either. Dad was sick too for a couple of days, and Mom spent her days at home with him—they spent a lot of time in the front bedroom which overlooked Magazine Street, and a well-kept row the Antebellum houses directly across the street from us.

Aunt Bee didn’t see anything either. Recalling the visit in an email, she wrote: “I honestly did not think for a moment that the house in New Orleans was haunted nor did I experience or observe anything that would lead me to that conclusion. I do remember a few mishaps which included Rob acquiring a tummy bug, and Carolyn falling out of bed, but I don’t feel or think the place was haunted.”

My Aunt Bee was haunted by the visit in a different way. Ghosts didn’t keep her up at night, but spending a few days in New Orleans did–the sense of the awful destruction visited on the residents on the night that Hurricane Katrina struck her hard. “I could imagine and picture the dreadful reality of that night when the storm hit. The French Quarter was fascinating and beautiful, it evoked all that my childhood day dreaming had longed to see in reality; the old Parisian style shops, the Afro-American jazz players, and the blended culture–all a showcase of the American dream. My sadness struck as I walked on and realized the very beautiful, and sometimes very young women in the doorways were prostitutes. Perhaps I could say in a figurative way that that sight did haunt me for a long time.”

May 5, 2015

The Traveler’s Rest– eight unusual pubs you can take the train to.

Filed under: Destinations,Uncategorized — Tom @ 1:28 pm

Nothing makes a train trip more enjoyable than a nice beer along the way–and here’s a personal list of all-time favorites:


Upright Brewing, Portland OR
240 N Broadway #2, Portland, OR 97227 (in the basement of the Left Bank Building)
Limited hours– various times Thursday to Sunday only
From the Portland Amtrak Station: walk north from the station over the Broadway Bridge–takes about 15 minutes.

It’s easy to find this brewery that specializes in making sour beers–just follow your nose, which will lead you into the ponderous dungeon of an otherwise nondescript office building. There is no food service here, so pick up some carry-out on your way over. The ambiance is cave-like, and the visitors drink slowly with quiet reverence.  They have a self-service turntable and boxes of LPs to choose on, and on certain days, local musicians perform.


The Map Room Bar, Chicago
1949 North Hoyne Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647
From the Chicago Amtrak Station: take the blue line to Western-O’Hare. Walk north on Western, and make a right on Armitage.

If you come by in the afternoon, the first thing you’ll notice is that very few of the patrons are women. This is one of the most intensely beer-geeky bars in US, and it can be eerily quiet, even when it’s full of people–that grinding noise you hear is 20 patrons chewing on pretzel sticks. The bottle list is a mile long. There’s limited food, but you’ll pass places as you walk.


Brewpub Bruhaha, Montreal
5860 De Lorimier, Montreal, PQ
From Gare Centrale: Ride the metro Rosemont, then take the 197 eastbound bus to De Lorimier

This is a neighborhood brewpub (though the brew system is off-premises), with more than a dozen carefully-chosen taps featuring other Montreal micro- and nano-brews. Montreal is a city of particularly soft water, which under skillful hands, turns into exquisite beer and bread–and this is a great spot to check out the small-time brewers and their ambitious batches. The place has some of the most astounding pub-grub you’ll find anywhere, including fried duck-legs and Alsatian pizza. Unless you speak Quebecois, you might want to pass on comedy night, but you haven’t really visited Canada until you’ve sat in a crowded bar watching the Habs on Hockey Night. English is the second language here, but they treat all beer lovers like family. More info here:


The Brewers Art, Baltimore
1106 N Charles St, Baltimore
From the Baltimore Amtrak Station: walk south four blocks on Charles St.–takes about 3 minutes.

It’s only a few blocks away from the Baltimore train station, and it tends to be a favorite pit stop when I take the train to Washington, DC. Situated in Georgian row-house in a neighborhood that was fashionable a hundred years ago, this place features a crypt-like basement bar, an elegant though small front bar that overlooks the street, great house-made Belgian-style beers, and a top-flight menu. A few Belgian quads later, you’ll be happy you didn’t drive.


Radegast Hall, Brooklyn
113 North 3rd Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
From Amtrak Penn Station, NY: Take the C subway to 14th st. then the L train to Bedford Ave. Walk West on Bedford Ave then left on Berry St, it’s four blocks down.

NYC has way too many crappy beer bars (poor food, high prices, small servings, bad atmosphere and excessive pretense will earn you a spot on my bad list pretty quickly), but this place is a shining exception. Everyone I’ve ever taken here has become a fan. It’s a big place, and it gets crowded at night, but is very peaceful in the afternoon when the sun pours in the skylights in the beer hall. Featuring mostly lagers from Eastern Europe and Germany, they have an inexpensive brats and worst plates which makes for a surprisingly thrifty lunch date.


The Harbour Bar, Bray (Dublin)
1 Strand Road, Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
From Connolly Station, Dublin: take the Dart (rapid transit line) south to Bray, Walk two blocks north on The Strand.

Eclectic hippy-joint of a pub, with various rooms decorated in 1960s and 1970s living room decor and stuffed to the gills with eccentric chachkies. Vending machines are filled with 30-year-old packs of cigarettes, and team of pub cats will entertain you. James Joyce wrote about this place–it was a hippy-joint even back then. Kitchen is outside of the pub building in a converted shipping container. They have bands at night, but with multiple rooms, you can always get away from it if it’s not your speed. Beer selection features local micros and not-so micros.


DBA, New Orleans
618 Frenchmen Street (Marigny District)
From Amtrak, New Orleans: walk out the front of the Amtrak station–keep going to you get to Camp street. Left on Camp, and then on to Chartres St. Left on Frenchmen Street–its a half-block in. (This is a 40 minute walk. You get to walk through the central business district and the French Quarter on your way, which is great–it’s fun to visit, but you wouldn’t want to have a beer there.)

DBA is probably the first bar in New Orleans to serve craft beer, and is noteworthy for it’s lack of televisions (there’s only one small one in the corner, and it’s usually turned off) and being smoke-free. The Marigny District is kind of the Brooklyn of New Orleans, with a lot of chill, transplanted young’uns living nearby. They have bands at night, and a rousing swing-dancing session on Sunday nights, however the pub has two rooms, so you can duck away from it for a more quiet time. Two snugs situated at either side of the front door provide great opportunities for chatting with your beer buds, and are an exquisite aerie for checking out the fascinating nightlife.


House of Trembling Madness, York, UK
48 Stonegate York YO1 8AS
From the York station: make a left turn as you leave the station, walk across the Lendal Bridge and the road continues as Museum St. Go Right on Blake St, and then left on Stonegate. Place is in the middle of the block on the left.

York is to England what Williamsburg, Virginia is to the US– a historically significant, though somewhat adaptively and anachronistically re-interpreted vacation destination, meant to be enjoyed and not taken too seriously. (Not to mention–York is home to the national train museum, one of the best in the world.) Renowned for their devotion to serving Belgian beer, the 500-year-old main bar is upstairs, and many people miss it. Deal-prone visitors can purchase a bottle of wine in the carry-out shop and walk it upstairs. You’ll find private and community tables, and taxidermy trophy heads stare down at you as you sip. In addition, they also have two guest rooms that can be rented for those who need one more day of trains and museums. York has an astounding number of places to have a pint, and is a frequent destination for English pub crawlers.

September 8, 2014

Private car destination guide– Chicago

Filed under: Destinations — Tom @ 2:43 pm
Downtown Chicago, as viewed from the coach yard.

Downtown Chicago, as viewed from the coach yard.

Why go: Chicago is one of North America’s great cities–birthplace of the skyscraper, home to some major museums, and beautiful, walkable neighborhoods. Very easy to get around without a car thanks to a comprehensive subway and bus system. Millennium Park, built on the site of the old, downtown Illinois Central trainyard feature “the bean’ (a two-story-tall, irregularly shaped gazing ball), fountains and gardens. Walk the Magnificent Mile and check out the shops in the Loop downtown.Out in Oak Park, you can tour Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings. It takes about three days to see all the visitor hotspots.

Private Car parking in CHI: Cars are parked in the coachyard, south of the station. You and your car are in a safe place, and you’re close to the Roosevelt Road entrance ramp, which is a 3-4 block walk to the nearest El station. This is a active railroad yard–you need to be sober, wearing shoes, alert for moving trains, and aware of your surroundings at all times. Cars can get switched at any time, and it’s not unusual to leave a car for a few hours and not be able to find it when you return. Guests and owners are generally welcome (tolerated is probably a better word here), it’s not the safest or most convenient spot for staying on the car.

Chicago highlights for private car folks: If you’re working the trip, there’s a Whole Foods and a Trader Joe’s on Roosevelt that you can walk to, but the nearest Grainger Supply is a short cab ride away on the Lower West Side. If you’re sightseeing, public transit is great–a one day pass is $10 and can be purchased at any subway station. Provisioning highlights–Blommer Chocolates (a large chocolate factory very close to Union Station); and Paulina Market which sells wursts and premium butcher and deli items.

Other transportation: Easy trip to Midway Airport for Southwest and Porter flights. Station is a central Amtrak hub with trains leaving for both coasts every day, and there’s a Hertz car rental counter there.

Anything else: In the last ten years, Chicago has become chock-full of gentrified neighborhoods, wonderful restaurants, and beautiful public spaces– my favorite neighborhood strolls are Paulina and Andersonville, and I’ve spent a few rewarding rainy days at the Newberry Library, and Art Institute. Oh, and the beer: Chicago pioneered craft brewing in the 1990s with Goose Island– local favorite craft beer bars include the Hopleaf, and the Map Room.

August 7, 2014

Our summer of some very late trains

Filed under: Destinations,PV trips — Tom @ 4:06 pm

The Mount Vernon’s July 20-27 trip from New York Penn to Minneapolis was particularly noteworthy for very late trains. The Late Shore Limited left NYC more than six hours late, at 9:30 pm due to a rockslide on the tracks in Peekskill, NY. Arriving in Albany after Midnight, the train was held some additional time due to passengers missing the train in New York City. (Amtrak’s mistake, the train left without any announcements, and passengers had wandered away.)

We've been waiting for about six hours when this picture was taken.

We’ve been waiting for about six hours when this picture was taken.

Toledo used to be fully staffed a few years ago during the Roadrailer era at Amtrak. These days, there's just a couple of water stands and lots of desolation.

Toledo used to be fully staffed a few years ago during the Roadrailer era at Amtrak. These days, there’s just a couple of water stands and lots of desolation.

Then things got weird–the six passengers aboard the Mount Vernon went to bed, and when we woke up, the train was still east of Rochester, NY. We enjoyed our breakfast while riding through Buffalo, and got to see Cleveland in sunlight. Before long, Amtrak made the decision to turn the Lake Shore Limited in Toledo, and send the train set back to New York. Had they continued westward with that train set, there would have been an equipment shortage. The regular Amtrak passengers were put on four busses to Chicago, and another group of passengers heading east came in by bus from Chicago to take their place.

As for the Mount Vernon–the car was cut off here, and parked overnight. Early the next morning, the Capitol Limited arrived and picked us up. So far, so good. We’ve only lost one day. We arrived in Chicago pretty much on time that morning, and Amtrak gave us an unusual same day interchange and attached us to the rear of the Empire Builder, which left Chicago on time.

The Late Train Gremlin attacked again–this time it happened a few hundred yards short of the Milwaukee station, where we sat for hours. After a long wait, the train was pulled into the station, where we sat some more. It was dark when we left, when we finally we arrived in St. Paul in time for sunrise–about eight hours late.

Due to the delays, the locomotive engineer and conductor went over their hours of service, and could no longer operate the train. No replacement crew was immediately available.

Due to the delays, the locomotive engineer and conductor when over their hours of service, and could no longer operate the train. No replacement crew was immediately available.

The Minnesota Commercial Railway switches the Mount Vernon off of the Empire Builder, and on to the St. Paul parking track.

The Minnesota Commercial Railway ALCO locomotive switches the Mount Vernon off of the Empire Builder, and on to the St. Paul parking track.

What’s there to say about catastrophically late trains– train travel is not for people in a hurry to get someplace. Late trains can be ghastly (very overused bathrooms, empty water tanks, running out of food, crews that need to stop working due to hours-of-service rules.) If you’re an Amtrak passenger, Amtrak will usually do their best to make it up to you, and sometimes the make-goods are interesting travel treats. Meg and I once got to spend a night at the Allerton Hotel in Chicago on Amtrak’s tab, due to a missed connection, and they fed us, gave us an allowance for cabs and incidentals. A few years ago, we were very late arriving in Washington, DC and had to ride the overnight Amtrak train (train 66) back home to NJ. Amtrak arranged to have the train make an unscheduled special stop at our nearest train station so we would not need to call a cab.

Of course, if you’re lucky enough to travel on a private car, you’re likely to get extra meals and have a chance to spend some more time sitting in the lounge.

December 29, 2012

Wintertime trip on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight–Portland to San Diego (includes brewery tours and lots of mass transit)

Here are some pictures from our latest post-semester cheapo cold weather escape. Using discount tickets on Soutwest Airlines, we flew to Portland OR, caught the Coast Starlight and Surfliner to San Diego (cashed in Amtrak Guest Rewards points), and rode the commuter rail system to Los Angeles. Visited breweries and beer shrines by mass transit. Came back with a tan, and great memories of first class service on the Coast Starlight, and sour beers from Upright Brewing in Portland, and The Bruery, in Placentia (Anaheim)–the two preeminent sour beer breweries in North America.

As a homebrewer and certified beer judge, it’s hard to justify a trip to San Diego without visiting a few of their world-famous breweries. Interestingly, two of their most renowned microbreweries are within walking distance from the Sprinter–a DMU light rail system that connects Oceanside CA (train station on Amtrak Surfliner, San Diego Coaster, and Los Angeles Metrolink system) with Escondido.

Important Suggestions for those wanting to go to Stone and Lost Abbey using public transit:

  • You’ll probably need to take Amtrak to Oceanside ($34 round-trip), as the lower-cost Coaster commuter train runs very infrequently during the day.
  • Do this trip on a Wednesday, when Lost Abbey/Port Brewing is open later and serves food.
  • Go to Stone first. They’re restaurant serves food all day, and it’s one of the best beer-themed restaurants around. Get there by riding the Sprinter to the Nordahl Road station and either walking or taking the 353 bus (runs every 30 minutes). (This is different than their instructions on their website, but it’s a faster trip.)
  • Go to Lost Abbey second. Ride the Sprinter to San Marcos Civc Center. Follow the instructions for getting there published on their website (Google Maps is has some major errors regarding walking trails that don’t really exist.) Leave by 7:30 pm–if you miss the 8:15 pm Sprinter from San Marcos, you’re in for a long wait for a train in Oceanside.
  • If you are a beer brewer, while you’re in town, work in a visit to White Labs’ tasting room (at their facility on Candida St.) for an interesting demo on how yeast selection affects beer making. The #20 bus can take you there from downtown or from the Fashion Valley Mall.

Please roll your mouse over the photo to see the complete caption.

“Pictures from our latest post-semester cheapo cold weather escape. Flew to Portland OR, caught the Coast Starlight and Surfliner to San Diego, and rode the commuter rail system to Los Angeles. Visited breweries and beer shrines by mass transit. Came back with a tan.”

From California Winter Trip 2012. Posted by Tom Coughlin on 12/29/2012 (29 items)

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September 14, 2012

Counting down to the Chattanooga trip–Stocking the bar.

Filed under: Destinations — Tom @ 11:09 pm

It’s very tough to put together a small bar for a railroad car. In the space of a 4′ by 3′ cupboard, you have to represent the latest trends in spirits, while offering the passengers their favorite old standards and traditional refreshments.

In honor of visiting the Old South and for some seasonal adjustment, I added a couple of new whiskies. Concannon Irish Whiskey is new on the market–I’m curious to see how passengers like it. It’s a traditional four-year-old barley whiskey from Cooley Distillers in Ireland that received a few months of additional aging in petite syrah barrels from the Concannon Vineyard in California. Rye whiskey, a beverage that fell out of popularity about 40 years ago, but is making a slow comeback, is represented by both single malt and blended offerings.

Bourbon is a traditional railroad lounge car drink, and you can’t get more traditional than Jim Beam. Knob Creek is a popular new era product that is much less sweet and a tad more serious than the old guard. Just for fun, I added Eagle Rare 10, which is a single barrel bourbon from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky. Single barrel bourbons are unusual–as an unblended product, a lot of variation between bottles is possible. Some bottles will be brilliant, others not so much.

For the Beer list– half of our passengers have asked that we serve hoppy ales, so American Pale Ales and India Pale Ales are deeply presented. By adding some UK ales into the mix, we pick up some historical perspective, and with homebrews we’ll try out some experimental ideas and really get to explore the APA/IPA styles.

For the wine list– Meg did it, I wasn’t paying attention. She’s been working with Chef Charles for about six years, and it usually works out great.

Poland Spring (cooking, coffee service, and for passenger use)

Soft Drinks:
Hansen’s Natural Creamy Root Beer
Hansen’s Natural Ginger Ale
Snapple Arnold Palmer (diet)
Ice Tea
Lemonade (made to order)
Diet Coke
Original Coke
Diet Pepsi

Bar mixers:
Tonic Water
Lemon Juice
Tomato Juice

Sly Fox Royal Weisse
Sly Fox Rt. 113 IPA
Sly Fox Phoenix Pale Ale
Oscar Blues Old Chubb Scotch Ale
Oscar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Southern Tier 2xIPA
Southern Tier Harvest Ale
Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA
Brewdog Punk IPA (Scotland)
Brewdog Hardcore IPA (Scotland)
James Watt (of Brewdog) Old World IPA (Scotland)
McNeill’s Firehouse Amber Ale (VT)
Black Sheep Ale (UK)
Selected assortment of award-winning homebrew beers.

The Stum Jump Shiraz
–McLaren Vale 2010 (Australia)
Sauvignon Blanc
–Oxford Landing Estates 2011 (Australia)
Pinot Noir
–Mark West 2010 (California)
–Concha y Toro 2011 (Chile)
Xplorador Chardonay
–Concha y Toro 2010 (Chile)

Spirits and Fortified Wines:
Blended Scotch Whisky:
Chivas 12 year
Seagram’s VO
Dewar’s White Label
Tangle Ridge 10 year (Canadian Rye Whiskey)

Single Malt Scotch Whisky:
Glenfidditch 12 year (Speyside)
Glenfarclas 12 year (“Highland” Speyside)

Irish Whiskey:

Jim Beam 4 year
Knob Creek 9 year
Eagle Rare 10 year single barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Ketel One

Bacardi 8 year dark rum


Tribuno Sweet Vermouth
Martini and Rossi Dark Vermouth
Martini and Rossi Light Vermouth

July 25, 2012

St. Paul Union Depot–New Amtrak station for Minneapolis and St. Paul, opens fall 2012.

Filed under: Destinations — Tom @ 7:01 pm

Interior of Wating room at St. Paul Union DepotNo announcements yet as to when the actual moving day will take place–likely in November. The station will replace Amtrak’s Midway station and immediately serve the Empire Builder. Between 2012 and 2015, a planned expansion of the Northstar commuter rail service will move in to the station, and an extension of the light rail will open with an underground station below the depot’s front steps.

Plans/renderings available online suggest that there will be three tracks at the station. No information as to whether the station will provide parking/power/water/ice service to visiting private cars. st-pauls-union-depot-renovation-nearing-completion

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