UTAH

Would you take a new rail line from SLC to Las Vegas, Boise or LA?

May 22, 2023, 4:00 PM | Updated: Jun 3, 2023, 11:34 am

The view from the 600 South TRAX train is pictured in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Of...

The view from the 600 South TRAX train is pictured in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Officials say the station is anticipated to open in the spring. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new rail line from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas, Boise and Los Angeles may be in the works. The Utah Transit Authority is exploring the idea of creating these new lines to allow more travel options from Salt Lake. 

Jay Evensen with the Deseret News joined Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic, D2, on a recent episode to discuss the possibility following a joint KSL-Deseret News editorial board meeting last week where UTA brought up the idea. 

Evensen said two things come to mind when discussing such a rail line expansion: potential ridership and cost. For example, Evensen said California passed a $9 billion bond in 2009 to build a high-speed rail between San Francisco and LA. But no tracks have been laid and the current cost has now reached about $28 billion. 

Is there a market for the new rail lines?

Evensen went on to tell Dave and Debbie that he doesn’t expect much ridership to take place from Salt Lake to Vegas if the rail was constructed. 

“Between Los Angeles and Vegas is bumper-to-bumper traffic on a Friday night, but once you leave Las Vegas it’s crickets. There’s no traffic between there [Las Vegas] and here [Utah] on a weekend. So I think there’s probably enough interest in going from LA to Las Vegas, I’m just not sure you’d get that much ridership from Salt Lake to Las Vegas,” Evensen explained. 

As for a rail line to Boise, Evensen said he can only imagine a market for such a thing if it opened a corridor to the northwest. That said, he highlights that competition with air traffic would still be present. 

“It would be a lot longer, probably more hassle and I don’t know if Americans are up for that,” he said when comparing a rail line to flying. 

He said that to potentially reach a market with the idea, the rail line would have to be high-speed. Currently, high-speed rails reach up to 150 mph, however, Evensen said that number may increase. 

“But they’re talking about eventually maybe 200-220 mph,” he said. 

Although this idea is worth looking at, the actuality of it is many years into the future. Thus far, there is no dollar amount of what it would cost to construct these rail lines.

UTA is only in the talking stage surrounding the idea. 

Listen to the full episode below. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Utah

The Pony Express Monument at this is the Place Heritage Park. Pony Express 150th anniversary. Tuesd...

Mary Culbertson

Pony Express to hit stops in Utah on commemorative ride of historic route

The Pony Express re-ride will be fully completed over the course of 10 days. Over 750 riders participate each year.

2 hours ago

A Herriman fire broke out on Sunday, leaving almost 6,000 people without power....

Kennedy Camarena

Downed powerline left close to 6,000 without power in Herriman

About 6,000 people were left without power on Sunday after a powerline fell and caused a fire in Herriman, Utah.

4 hours ago

Flash floods could appear in Southern Utah on Sunday and Monday. The Virgin River flows through thr...

Kennedy Camarena and Mark Jackson

Southern Utah: Potential for flash floods on Sunday and Monday, some flooding in Capitol Reef reported

The National Weather Service is predicting a potential of flash floods for Southern Utah on Sunday and Monday.

6 hours ago

Parts of Utah have been given a heat advisory on Sunday. A view of the state Capitol and the Salt L...

Kennedy Camarena

Parts of Utah under excessive heat warning

Utah has been given two different kinds of heat advisories for parts of the state by the National Weather Service on Sunday.

8 hours ago

Highway 128 is covered in mud after a severe storm and flooding in the area....

Kyle Remund

Cleanup begins after severe storm in eastern Utah

After a severe storm passed through Grand County, Utah, on Friday, officials are beginning cleanup and mitigation.

1 day ago

The rescue of an injured hiker at Lisa Falls...

Kyle Remund

Search and rescue pulls hiker from Lisa Falls

On Friday, search and rescue teams came to the aid of a hiker who had fallen at Lisa Falls in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Would you take a new rail line from SLC to Las Vegas, Boise or LA?