Monthly Archives: June 2014

Union Depot to Host Food Truck Fridays for Two Weeks in June

June 4, 2014

Union Depot in St. Paul will host two Food Truck Fridays, June 20 and 27, with a variety of cuisine ranging from savories to sweets from eight respected culinary purveyors.  These celebrations of local food will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the East Plaza at Union Depot.  From gourmet takes on classic favorites like mac & cheese, grilled cheese and hotdogs to healthful and spicy fusions of world flavors, there will be something for everyone from carnivores to vegans to those seeking gluten-free alternatives.  The METRO Green Line will begin running the weekend before these events take place so it will be easier than ever for people working in or near downtown St. Paul to make Union Depot their destination for lunch.

Guests are invited to enjoy their lunch from the food trucks outdoors on the East Plaza or in the beautiful new Rail View Picnic Area (a ten minute walk).  In the case of inclement weather, guests are able to eat their lunch inside Union Depot in the Waiting Room area.

“Rail View Picnic Area” Chosen as Name of Union Depot Train View Spot

June 2, 2014

St. Paul’s Union Depot has named the new picnic area overlooking the St. Paul Lowertown train tracks and the Division Street wye.  The name is “Rail View Picnic Area,” an apt description for the lush park-like setting located on the northeast corner of Lot C along Kellogg Boulevard. The winning name was voted on by the general public through a Facebook campaign and in person at the May 10 National Train Day event.

The beautifully landscaped area, complete with six picnic tables covered with pergolas and bicycle parking, allows viewers to watch Amtrak Empire Builder passenger train arrivals and departures, as well as freight trains, with the mighty Mississippi River in the background.  The Division Street wye, a triangular shaped arrangement of rail tracks where two rail lines meet, adds to the viewing excitement. The wye has a switch at each corner of the triangle that allows trains to pass from one line to the other line.  The Division Street wye is part of a dense, rail rich area which sees up to 10,000 freight rail cars, or 5% of the nation’s freight volume, each day. With the many Lowertown restaurants and delis and the St. Paul Farmer’s Market, it’s easy to pick up lunch to enjoy from the picturesque spot.  Adding to the viewing excitement are planes from nearby Holman Field and barge traffic on the Mississippi River.

The site is open to the public from sunrise to sunset and is adjacent to the location of the bike trail that will open in late 2015, following completion of the Lafayette bridge construction, and will also connect to the Bruce Vento bike trail.  The picnic area is accessible by sidewalk on the southside of Kellogg Boulevard, or by parking in Lot C, just to the east of the Lafayette bridge.

Railfans can also view trains through the Union Depot Railfan Cams!  Check them out online at www.uniondepot.org.