At present, UTA’s commuter rail system, FrontRunner, operates between Ogden and Provo along an 83-mile route, stopping at 15 stops in Weber, Davis, Salt Lake, and Utah Counties. Diesel-powered push/pull locomotives allow FrontRunner trains to go as fast as 79 miles per hour. Usually, these trains offer a special car for stowing bikes, as well as free Wi-Fi, bathrooms, and other amenities for their riders.
As of right now, you may catch a ride on FrontRunner any day of the week within 30 minutes during rush hour and within 60 minutes during off-peak periods or on weekends. There is no cost to park at the station, and the station provides access to other UTA lines.
The Utah state legislature allocated $300 million in early 2021 to double-track key areas to boost FrontRunner service. To boost the current FrontRunner service’s speed, dependability, and regularity, the FrontRunner Forward Program is working with the Utah Department of Transportation to investigate potential locations for these double-track stretches throughout the present FrontRunner corridor.
To improve the FrontRunner system, the FrontRunner Forward Program is collaborating with UDOT and local government partners to perform a thorough examination of prospective double-tracking areas, such as those depicted on the map to the right.
Each double-track length is analyzed for its potential local and systemwide effects, the proposed service type (such as express service that bypasses specific stops during rush hour), and potential links to existing UTA services in the area. The program is also investigating the potential environmental effects of double-tracking.
TRAX Light Rail
Utah Transit Authority (UTA) runs a light rail system called TRAX along the Wasatch Front. The airport, the Intermodal Hub, the Utah Jazz’s Vivint Smart Home Arena, Temple Square, Downtown Salt Lake, the University of Utah, and Rio Tinto Stadium are all accessible via TRAX (home of Real Salt Lake).
The current service on the TRAX Green Line connects the Salt Lake City International Airport with downtown terminals and onto West Valley. From the Intermodal Hub a few streets west of downtown (where you can transfer to FrontRunner to Ogden or Provo or Amtrak’s California Zephyr), the Blue Line travels through the heart of Salt Lake City and out to the southern part of the Salt Lake Valley (Draper Town Center near 12300 South). The eastern end of the red line connects with the University of Utah and the University of Utah Medical Center, while the western end of the red line leads to South Jordan and Daybreak.
If you are taking the Courthouse stop from the airport or the FrontRunner commuter rail and are planning to get off in the University area, you will need to transfer to the eastbound Red Line at the 450 So. Main Street stop. An additional streetcar route, the “S” Line, connects the central TRAX lines to the trendy Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City.
All three of Salt Lake City’s major shopping malls are within walking distance of TRAX stops, as are the downtown business sector, Temple Square, Gallivan Plaza, and many other popular tourist locations.
For the most up-to-date information on rates, schedules, and other details, visit UTA. As of 2015, the going rate for a ride on the rails is anything from $2.50 (one way) to $5 (round trip) or $6.25 (day pass). If you’re in Salt Lake City for a conference or just a day trip, take advantage of the city’s free fare zone.
State-Sponsored Amtrak Service
To construct a passenger rail system between cities, different operational models might be used. There are several potential solutions to Utah’s intercity transportation problems, but few of them are practical anytime soon.
When most people think of an intercity passenger rail system, they picture a brand-new railway constructed along a brand-new right of way. At the University of Utah’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2015, students analyzed the feasibility of a high-speed passenger rail line between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
The project counted on electric trains powered by an overhead catenary system to move at speeds of up to 250 mph (400 km/h), assuming traditional steel tracks. It would take roughly 2 hours and 40 minutes to drive from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas.
The cost estimate for the project offers light on the difficulties of establishing a new railway, although the study mostly ignored the transportation needs of persons traveling within Utah. In all, the cost of building the new railway was $14.4 billion. Simply said, high-speed rail as a mode of transportation in Utah is decades away due to the lengthy approval and construction period and expensive cost.
The high price of acquiring new rights of way makes it necessary to make use of preexisting rights of way and railways. In 2010, the Transportation Research Board oversaw the creation of the Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors. In this manual, we cover the most effective ways to utilize already established train lines and rights of way.