A decade after $243 million renovation, St. Paul’s Union Depot struggles to gain traction

A decade ago, Ramsey County leaders pooled $243 million to buy and restore the historic Union Depot, with a vision for a bustling, modern-day transit hub in downtown St. Paul.

Today, the building with vaulted ceilings and 10,000 square feet of Tennessee pink marble underfoot is a visual showstopper — one that often feels sparsely populated and quiet as a library. Just one Amtrak train to and from Chicago stops there each day, and a smattering of Green Line light rail riders load and unload outside.

But county leaders insist that saving the Depot — which, after federal, state and