Midway (Amtrak station)

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Midway Station
Amtrak station
(Still used as a service stop, but not for passenger service)
Midway Station 2014.jpg
Midway Station viewed from the northwest, July 2014
Location 730 Transfer Road
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114
 United States
Coordinates 44°57′47″N 93°11′05″W / 44.9631°N 93.1846°W / 44.9631; -93.1846Coordinates: 44°57′47″N 93°11′05″W / 44.9631°N 93.1846°W / 44.9631; -93.1846
Elevation 870 feet (270 m)[1]
Owned by Amtrak
Some track owned by Minnesota Commercial Railway[2]
Platforms 1 side platform
1 island platform
Tracks 3
Other information
Station code MSP[2][Note 1]
Opened March 1, 1978[4]
Closed May 7, 2014[3]
Passengers (FY2013) 116,991[5]Decrease 2.92% (Amtrak)
  Former services  
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
Empire Builder
toward Chicago
toward Duluth
North Star
North Star
toward Chicago
toward Seattle
North Coast Hiawatha
Location of the Midway Amtrak Station
Location of the Midway Amtrak Station
Midway Station
Location of Midway Station in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minnesota area

Midway was 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 to service the Empire Builder.[6]


Inside the Midway Station, before it was closed to passenger service

The Midway Station is located at 730 Transfer Road[7] and is named after the Midway area of Saint Paul.[Note 2] Its Amtrak station code was MSP[2][Note 1] and from 1978 to 2014 it 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.[Note 3] The station has an elevation of 870 feet (270 m).[1]

Prior to closing for passenger service, the station offered an indoor waiting area, ticketing service and a Quik-Trak kiosk, restrooms, payphones, baggage assistance, and checked baggage. Free long and short parking was also available.[6] Station hours were from 6:00 am to 11:45 pm daily.[2]

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.

Of the six Minnesota stations served by Amtrak, Midway was the busiest for the Fiscal Year 2013 (its last full year of service), boarding or detraining an average of approximately 321 passengers daily (more than twice the ridership all other Minnesota stations combined).[5]


When it opened on March 1, 1978, Midway Station took over Amtrak's 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.[4] The Great Northern Depot was later demolished. On May 7, 2014, the Amtrak passenger stop in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis–Saint Paul) moved to the renovated and reopened Saint Paul Union Depot.[3] At that time the Midway station was closed to the public, but still serves as a service stop for the Empire Builder.[9][6]

Former services[edit]

The Empire Builder at the Midway Station, August 2011

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 in St. Cloud and the next eastbound stop was in Red Wing, both in Minnesota. About one-eighth of Empire Builder passengers boarded or arrived at this station.

After opening in 1978, 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 also been in St. Cloud and the next eastbound stop having also been in Red Wing. 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 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The station code MSP is now used by the Saint Paul Union Depot.[8]
  2. ^ The Midway area received its name because it is located halfway between Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Moreover, it is also at the midpoint between the North Pole and the Equator.[2]
  3. ^ To access the Midway Station from I‑94/US‑12/US‑52 take the Cretin Avenue North/Vandalia Street interchange (Exit 237) and head northeast on Vandalia Street for about two blocks. Turn right and head southeast on University Avenue West for about another block. Turn left (north) onto Transfer Road and continue for about one more block until the station is reached.


  1. ^ a b Nagasaki, Hikki. "USA Rail Guide: Saint Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota (MSP)". trainweb.org. Archived from the original on 14 Dec 2013. Retrieved 18 Jan 2015 – via web.archive.org. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN (MSP)". www.greatamericanstations.com. Amtrak. Archived from the original on 2 Nov 2014. Retrieved 18 Jan 2015 – via web.archive.org. 
  3. ^ a b "Union Depot Officials Announce Amtrak Arrival Date and National Train Day Celebration". www.uniondepot.org. Union Depot. 2 Apr 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "The Empire Builder 75th Anniversary". gnrhs.org. Great Northern Railway Historical Society. 11 Jun 2004. Retrieved 10 Sep 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2013, State of Minnesota" (PDF). amtrak.com. Amtrak. Nov 2013. Retrieved 3 Dec 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "What’s New". www.allaboardmn.org. All Aboard Minnesota. 2014. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 19 Jan 2015 – via web.archive.org. 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. 
  7. ^ Amtrak (8 Nov 2010). "Amtrak System Timetables". timetables.org. The Museum of Railway Timetables. p. 21. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "St. Paul, MN (MSP)". amtrak.com. Amtrak. Retrieved 18 Jan 2015. 
  9. ^ Bowen, Douglas John (8 May 2014). "Amtrak moves into St. Paul Union Depot". Railway Age (Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation). Retrieved 29 May 2014. 

External links[edit]