Train Day will be celebrated at Union Depot in St. Paul on Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This free, fun annual event will offer guests a glimpse of the history and future of passenger train travel, the historic and current role of freight railroads in our region, and changing transportation trends and needs. The day will include exhibits of train equipment, historic railcars, new and vintage buses, bike test drives, and other activities for all ages.
Train enthusiasts will be able to take in the sights of life-size locomotives and railcars on display. New to Train Day this year is the Soo Line Locomotive No. 559, painted in Soo Line’s iconic maroon and yellow “Pine Tree” scheme. The Great Northern Railway Business Car A-11 is also making its debut. Originally built as a sleeping car in 1911, it was converted into a business car in the 1920s and is one of the oldest cars to ever appear at Train Day. Other train cars on display include Burlington Northern 6234, making its first appearance at Train Day; Empire Builder dining car No. 1097; and Northern Pacific Railway Post Office/Combine Car No. 1102.
Guests also will have the chance to go on a 45-minute walking tour of the Metro Transit Operations & Maintenance where the light rail trains “sleep” when not in use. Departing every half hour from the Head House of Union Depot, guests will walk approximately eight blocks to see where the Green Line vehicles are repaired, washed, cleaned, stored and wrapped with advertising. To RSVP for a tour guests may register online. Note: due to limited space and narrow passageways, strollers are discouraged on this tour.
Another new feature on view at Train Day will be the ultra-efficient, A Line Rapid Transit Bus. Like regular buses the A Line easily navigates busy urban streets but at faster speeds and offers passengers free Wi-Fi. In vintage contrast, the iconic, double-decker Greyhound Scenicruiser No. 822, will also be on hand.
For those who enjoy pedal power, Lowertown Bike Shop for the first time this year will offer guests a chance to test drive the latest designs in cycling. Novices and aficionados alike are invited to the East Plaza to learn more about the latest trends and hear from the experts on what to look for when purchasing a new or used bicycle.
Model trains are an important part of Train Day and this year for the first time the Granite City O-Gaugers of St. Cloud will have their layout on display, joining the standard gauge display. Children will love these layouts with all the buttons and levers that make it go!
In addition, several ticketed events have been added to Train Day, including a night photography opportunity and multi-media shows by well-known railroad photographers.
Plus, Crave Catering will be providing concessions throughout the day in the Head House and on the train platform.
Train Day attendees will be able to download free Metro Transit ride passes to enjoy the ride to Union Depot on the Green Line or Metro Transit buses.
For more information about Union Depot Train Day, visit https://www.uniondepot.org/traindays/.