News: March 2000
15 March 2000
- The LDS church is exploring paying the Utah Transit Authority to run the TRAX light rail system on Sunday April 3. The church will be using its new Meeting Hall for the first time in April. It is expected that more people will travel Salt Lake for the Semi-Annual Conference than ever before. The UTA is looking into the cost for providing the service, and whether it will provide it.
- The Utah Department of Transportation has changed stance, and is now
pushing for commuter rail to start within three years. At one time it was felt
it would be five to ten years before any commuter rail service would start.
Among the stumbling blocks is an agreement with the Union Pacific Railroad.
Another stumbling block is an adequate station facility in Downtown Salt Lake.
There is still no definite plans to start construction on the promised
Intermodal Depot. In addition, it is felt that the proposed Intermodal depot is
too far from the main employment area.
Note: This sudden change in DOT's comes on the heels of a report that says even with the expansion of I-15 north of Salt Lake by 2 lanes in each way and the construction of the controversial Legacy Highway the roads will be beyond capacity by 2010.
- Last month Amtrak finally released its Market Study. What does it mean for InterRail's territory? Nothing except the possible cutting of the third sleeper of the Zephyr during the busy summer season except between Denver and Chicago. Amtrak did hint that they are still working on a fast express train between Portland and Chicago bypassing Denver.
- Questions still remain on the proposed Los Angeles to Las Vegas TALGO train. Union Pacific claims the train will not happen until double tracking is done over Cima Hill which cannot be done until an environmental report is done. Many advocates question the operation of this train, and its long term prospects.
- A Court Judge in Seattle struck down as Unconstitutional Washington's Initiative 695 which lowered car tabs to $30.00. This put the future of the Cascade service in jeopardy, and the future of an expansion of service from Seattle to Spokane and into North Idaho.