Midway (Amtrak station)
(Still used as a service stop, but not for passenger service)
|Address||730 Transfer Road
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114
|Platforms||1 side platform
1 island platform
|Opened||March 1, 1978|
|Closed||May 7, 2014|
|Station code||MSP[Note 1]|
Some track owned by Minnesota Commercial Railway
[not in citation given]
|Passengers (FY2013)||116,991 2.9% (Amtrak)|
Midway Station is an Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) train station in the Midway neighborhood of Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States. It was served by Amtrak's daily Empire Builder (with service from Chicago, Illinois to Seattle, Washington or Portland, Oregon and for a time by the North Star (with service from Chicago [but later truncated to this station] to Duluth, Minnesota) as well as briefly by the North Coast Hiawatha (with service from Chicago to Seattle). Midway station was closed for passenger service on May 7, 2014, with passenger service being moved to the restored Saint Paul Union Depot. However, the station is still owned by Amtrak and continues to be used by Amtrak to service the Empire Builder.
The Midway Station is located at 730 Transfer Road in Saint Paul and is named after the Midway area which is roughly halfway between the downtowns of Saint Paul and neighboring Minneapolis. Its Amtrak station code was MSP and from 1978 to 2014 served as the only intercity train station for the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area. The station can be easily accessed from I-94/US 12/US 52, by way of the Cretin Avenue North/Vandalia Street interchange (Exit 237). To reach the station, turn north onto Vandalia Street, then southeast onto University Avenue West, and then north onto Transfer Road. The station is located next to tracks owned by the Minnesota Commercial Railway and marks a division point between running on the Canadian Pacific Railway (former Milwaukee Road tracks between Chicago and St. Paul) and the BNSF Railway (former Great Northern Railway tracks between Minneapolis and Seattle.) There are two platforms at the station, though the Empire Builder only used the side platform nearest the station building. There is a second island platform that serves two tracks, but it was rarely used. There are also two spurs behind the main platform which are used for storage and display of historic train cars.
When it opened in 1978, Midway Station took over traffic from the Minneapolis Great Northern Depot, which itself had combined the services of the Minneapolis station and the Saint Paul Union Depot when Amtrak began operating in 1971. The Great Northern Depot was later demolished. On May 7, 2014, the Amtrak passenger stop in the Twin Cities moved to the renovated and reopened Saint Paul Union Depot. At that time the Midway station was closed to the public, but still serves as a service stop for the train.
After opening, the station briefly served the North Coast Hiawatha until that service ended 1979. The North Coast Hiawatha ran three times per week from Chicago to Seattle with the next westbound stop having been in St. Cloud, Minnesota and the next eastbound stop having been in Red Wing, Minnesota. The station was also served by the North Star with service to from Chicago to Duluth, with the stop having been in Cambridge, Minnesota and the next southbound stop having also been in Red Wing until serviced was truncated from Chicago to this station in 1981. After the North Star was discontinued in 1985, Amtrak has continued service to Duluth with its Thruway Motorcoach service.
The primary rail service at this station for most of its existence was the Empire Builder, named to honor Saint Paul-based mogul James J. Hill who constructed the Great Northern Railway, and whose nickname was "The Empire Builder". Westbound trains head for Spokane, Washington (splitting to serve Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon) while eastbound trains head for Chicago. There were several intermittent stops between. The next westbound stop for the Empire Builder was also in St. Cloud and the next eastbound stop was also in Red Wing. About one-eighth of Empire Builder passengers boarded or arrived at this station.
- Saint Paul Union Depot – Current St. Paul passenger train destination replacing Midway
- Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Depot Freight House and Train Shed – Former Minneapolis destination for Milwaukee Road, Soo Line, and Rock Island passenger trains
- Minneapolis Great Northern Depot – Former Minneapolis destination for Chicago and Northwestern, Great Northern, and Northern Pacific passenger trains
- "The Empire Builder 75th Anniversary". Great Northern Railway Historical Society. 11 Jun 2004. Retrieved 10 Sep 2010.
- "Union Depot Officials Announce Amtrak Arrival Date and National Train Day Celebration". www.uniondepot.org. Union Depot. 2 Apr 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- "St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN (MSP)". www.greatamericanstations.com. Amtrak. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2013, State of Minnesota" (PDF). amtrak.com. Amtrak. Nov 2013. Retrieved 3 Dec 2013.
- "What’s New". www.allaboardmn.org. All Aboard Minnesota. 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014. "Amtrak plans to stop the Empire Builder at Midway each day to water and service the train and add/drop off coaches and private cars."
- Amtrak (8 Nov 2010). "Amtrak System Timetables". timetables.org. The Museum of Railway Timetables. p. 21. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- Bowen, Douglas John (8 May 2014). "Amtrak moves into St. Paul Union Depot". Railway Age (Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation). Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- St. Paul-Minneapolis Amtrak Station (USA Rail Guide -- Train Web)
- Minneapolis-St. Paul's Midway Station (The SubwayNut)
- March 2004 Photo by Greg Smith (Amtrak Photo Archives)