News: April 2000
29 April 2000
- Rock Springs has become the third city in Wyoming (in addition to Riverton and Cheyenne) to support the restoration of rail passenger service to Southern Wyoming. All three cities see rail passenger service as essential to the travel market and essential during the winter season when I-80 is closed.
- The Utah Transit Authority has said that it is not looking to add any stations to the present North-South light rail line. The only possible stop that UTA is looking at is in downtown around 700 South. At the present time the trains have a large gap between the Courthouse Station and the Ballpark Station (about 2 miles). Meanwhile the UTA is saying no to car dealer (and Utah Jazz) owner Larry Miller for a stop at his entertainment complex at 9400 South which is only 4 blocks from the Historic Sandy Station, and the city of Murray who wants an additional station in its city limits.
- Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson has come up with a new proposal for an InterModal Terminal. He wants to have the intermodal terminal at the former Rio Grande station with passengers shuttled either by bus or people mover to a waiting room at the location of the present "temporary station." The major obstacle to his plans is that the Rio Grande station is owned by the state and most of the building is used as the Utah History Museum.
- Amtrak is looking at having up to 26 trailers of apples per day on the rear of the Empire Builder from Eastern Washington to Chicago. Where the trailers would be added is uncertain in addition to the problems that will occur during the switching procedure in Spokane. The track layout in Spokane is not designed to handle trains that long and will block the very busy main line of the BNSF. Grade crossings will not be an issue since the route through downtown Spokane is grade seperated.
- Yesterday, the Utah Department of Transportation came out with a revised traffic and impact study for the proposed Legacy Highway between Salt Lake and Ogden. The study was ordered redone last year by the Federal Highway Administration due to seemingly optimistic projections. Already several groups have come out criticizing the new study as still being to optimistic on the impacts of the highway. The also are highly critical of UDOT stating they are too busy bending to the wishes of Governor Leavitt who wants the highway as his legacy.
- The first fatality involving TRAX occurred when a 63 year old lady rushing to board, was hit by the train she was trying to catch. Our condolences go out to the family of lady who was killed.
- The tragedy involving the TRAX train must serve as a reminder that utmost care must be taken when trains are involved. Teaching safety is an important part of being a rail passenger advocate as we all know.