Monthly Archives: April 2017

Northern Pacific Railway Post Office Car No. 1102 to Make First Appearance in More than 40 Years at Union Depot Train Day

April 26, 2017

For the first time in 40 years, the Northern Pacific Railway Post Office Car No. 1102 will be accepting mail for Railway Post Office cancellation when it appears at Union Depot’s Train Day on Saturday, May 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Special envelopes with a special cancellation stamp will be available for purchase ($10) and representatives from the United States Postal Service will be on hand to commemorate this unique event and assist guests with mailing their items on the train car.

Shipment of mail by train began in the United States in the 1830s, after having launched in the United Kingdom in 1830. The Railway Post Office was introduced in the United States in July of 1862, initially using converted baggage cars on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad. Soon thereafter, purpose-built Railway Post Office (RPO) cars were introduced. Two years later, the first permanent Railway Post Office route was established, distinguished from the original operation because the mail was sorted to and received from each post office along the route, as well as major post offices beyond the route’s end-points.

St. Paul and Minneapolis were widely regarded as essential rail mail stops and considered to be the gateway for all mail moving west – even to points across the Pacific Ocean. The two cities were among the busiest in the U.S. Railway Mail Service network based on the number of miles covered along routes originating from St. Paul and Minneapolis. The Railway Post Office connected communities across the United States in an efficient and reliable way by carrying boxes, letters, magazines, newspapers, money, tools, home supplies and more. Sears, Roebuck & Co. even got its start on the railroad in Minnesota.

The Northern Pacific Railway Post Office Car No. 1102, originally established in 1914 as a passenger coach, was rebuilt in 1947 into a “combine” car with sections for the RPO, Railway Express Agency, and seats for up to 20 paying passengers The car was retired in 1970, then purchased in 1976 by the Minnesota Transportation Museum, whose volunteers restored the car, over a two-year period, to operation in its post-1947 triple-combined appearance. It’s currently the only RPO car known to be operational and certified for operation on commercial rail. The train’s appearance at Union Depot will mark the 40th anniversary of the end of RPO service and will be part of the venue’s “Last Mail Train” display at the Train Day event. At the end of Train Day, the RPO will depart for Osceola, WI, carrying the commemorative envelopes and postcards to be sent all across the United States.

Train Day will offer fun experiences for railroad enthusiasts of all ages; more details can be found at uniondepot.org/trainday

  • David Thompson will present an educational session on “RPOs Across America: A Century of Running the Mail on America’s Railroads.” His father, the late Arne Thompson, was a Railway Mail Service Foreman/Clerk in Charge on six RPOs that ran out of Minnesota from 1945 to 1962. David’s presentation will cover several topics including the early history of RPOs, “Fast Mail” express trains on American railroads, what it was like to work in an RPO car, and how a perfect storm of events ended Railway Post Office service on America’s railroads.
  • A RPO movie titled “Mail in Motion” will be shown at 11:30.
  • Guests will have the opportunity to pick up a Union Depot commemorative post card for mailing on the RPO (or saving as a keepsake). The first 100 people stopping at the Union Depot information station at 10a, 11a, 12p, 1p, 2p, and 3p will be able to take one.

 

Train Day attendees are encouraged to download free Metro Transit ride passes for the ride to Union Depot on the Green Line or Metro Transit buses. Visitors can also enjoy a free ride on a vintage bus transfer between Union Depot, Minnesota Transportation Museum, Twin City Model Railroad Museum and James J. Hill Center.

For more information about Union Depot Train Day, visit https://www.uniondepot.org/trainday.

###

Getting to Union Depot

 

Bike:   Bicycle parking is located at the East Plaza/bus platform, North Plaza/4th Street, Kellogg entrances, Rail View Picnic Area and throughout the parking facilities
Bus: Daily service to bus platform on Metro Transit buses 3, 16, 21 and 54, Metro Transit buses 63, 70, 350, 351, 361 and 364 stop at the corner of Kellogg Boulevard and Broadway Street
  Weekday-only service on Metro Transit buses 94, 262, 417 | MVTA buses 480, 484, 489
Light Rail: Daily service on Metro Transit’s Green Line
Park: Union Depot parking facilities and electric vehicle charging stations
Car Share: Zipcar
Car Rental: Hertz

Nearly 40 Artists to Exhibit at Union Depot During Saint Paul Art Crawl

April 20, 2017

Union Depot will be a hotspot in downtown Saint Paul when more than 30 local businesses celebrate the Spring Saint Paul Art Crawl, April 28-30. In its 26th year, the Saint Paul Art Crawl is nationally recognized as one of the largest cultural events of the year, featuring more than 400 artists and live entertainment in venues across the city.

 

A variety of visual artists will be featured at Union Depot during the three-day event on Friday, April 28 from 6-10 p.m.; Saturday April 29 from noon to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, April 30 from noon to 5 p.m. Art exhibits will be displayed in the Head House and will include work by photographer Bruce Siebold, painter Mark Lindstrom, potter Joan Miller, and many more.

 

Highlighted Artists:

  • Bruce Siebold – Eighty Acres Photography: For the past 26 years, Siebold has taken nature photos exclusively on eighty acres located near Menomonie, Wisconsin. His work focuses on nature and is featured in his book, Thank You Sun, which was published in 2016. For more information, visit http://www.eightyacresphotography.com/
  • Mark Lindstrom – Mark Lindstrom Art: A self-taught artist, Lindstrom’s oil paintings feature expressive movement covering a wide range of genres. For more information visit MarkLindstromArt.com.
  • Joan Miller – Grey Cloud Pottery: Miller was selected as a District Spotlight Winner by Art Crawl sponsor, the Northwestern Building. Her pieces reflect nature as an inspiration.

 

The Saint Paul Art Crawl and exhibits at Union Depot are free and open to the public.  For more information about the Spring Saint Paul Art Crawl and to download free Metro Transit passes, please visit www.saintpaulartcrawl.org. Visitors for the Saint Paul Art Crawl events are encouraged to explore the public art installations within Union Depot.

 

Getting to Union Depot 

Bike:   Bicycle parking is located at the East Plaza/bus platform, North Plaza/4th Street, Kellogg entrances, Rail View Picnic Area and throughout the parking facilities
Bus:  Daily service to bus platform on Metro Transit buses 3, 16, 21 and 54, Metro Transit buses 63, 70, 350, 351, 361 and 364 stop at the corner of Kellogg Boulevard and Broadway Street
  Weekday-only service on Metro Transit buses 94, 262, 417 | MVTA buses 480, 484, 489
Light Rail: Daily service on Metro Transit’s Green Line
Park: Union Depot parking facilities and electric vehicle charging stations
Car Share: Zipcar
Car Rental:  Hertz

Lowertown Pop Minnesota Maker’s Market Returns to Union Depot on April 15 with the Twin Cities’ Most Talented Artisans and Craftspeople

April 3, 2017

The popular Lowertown Pop Minnesota Makers’ market will return to Union Depot in downtown St. Paul for its second year on Saturday, April 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the venue’s Waiting Room.  The event, held in partnership with Becky Sturm of StormSister Spatique, will feature an array of local artisans and craftspeople including brewers, bakers, distillers, musicians, and visual artists, and will include live demos on the main stage throughout the event.

 

Fifty percent of event ticket sales will be donated to River’s Edge Academy, a nonprofit organization that challenges students to discover their greatness by learning through experience in a small, supportive community, and fifty percent will be given to one lucky Minnesota Maker. Last year’s Minnesota Maker winner of half of the event ticket sales was Melissa Boyle who owns and designs the Wooly Wearables and Marvelous Melissa cat toy lines. The $4,100 she received allowed her to purchase her first cell phone for the business, and allowed her to hire an additional production assistant, pay for professional product photography, and participate in two large makers’ events that had previously been too costly.

 

This year’s participating vendors includes Moxie Malas, Nest Pure, Sidhe Brewing Company, Desdamona Doolittle, Gardenagerie, Hart and Soul Herbal, 212 West, Tonja’s Table, and many more. For a complete list of vendors, which is regularly updated in the weeks leading up to the event, visit https://www.uniondepot.org/lowertownpopmakers/.

 

Advance tickets are $10, with free admission for children ages five and under. Tickets are $15 at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.lowertownpop.com.  For information about River’s Edge Academy, visit http://www.riversedgeacademy.org/.

 

Getting to Union Depot

Bike:   Bicycle parking is located at the East Plaza/bus platform, North Plaza/4th Street, Kellogg entrances, Rail View Picnic Area and throughout the parking facilities
Bus: Daily service to bus platform on Metro Transit buses 3, 16, 21 and 54, Metro Transit buses 63, 70, 350, 351, 361 and 364 stop at the corner of Kellogg Boulevard and Broadway Street
  Weekday-only service on Metro Transit buses 94, 262, 417 | MVTA buses 480, 484, 489
Light Rail: Daily service on Metro Transit’s Green Line
Park: Union Depot parking facilities and electric vehicle charging stations
Car Share: Zipcar
Car Rental: Hertz