Tuesday, July 14, 2020

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Moab, UT

95.3 F
Moab
More

    Rail group seeks support for statewide study

    Featured Stories

    Tales of Trails: Savor spectacular views from thrilling Shafer Trail

    In the 1890s, Moab pioneer brothers Frank M. And John S. Shafer developed the route from what had been a Native American pathway connecting what is now Canyonlands National Park to the river below.

    At 99, Moab man is knighted by France

    “The French people will never forget his courage and devotion to the great cause of freedom,”

    Leaving Guatemala, Part 4: ‘A year in the land of eternal spring’

    Though I planned to return someday, whether as a Peace Corps volunteer or not, this experience proved that even the best-laid plans go awry.

    Leaving Guatemala, Part 3: Sudden departure came with painful goodbyes

    Men donned wooden masks and numerous layers of sweatshirts and ponchos then proceeded to hit each other with whips as they danced around the town square.

    Leaving Guatemala Part 2: There wasn’t enough time to say goodbye

    To say I woke up on the Monday morning of the evacuation...
    Carter Pape
    Carter Papehttp://moabtimes.awebstudio.com/author/carter-pape/
    Reporter Carter Pape covers news out of the Grand County Council Chambers, including housing, tourism, crime, and more.

    Passenger service between Moab, SLC, Grand Junction included in plan

    This map illustrates proposed train routes through Utah being promoted by the Utah Rail Passenger Association.
    Graphic courtesy of Mike Christensen

    A nonprofit passenger rail organization is looking to have the Utah Department of Transportation commission a study of a proposed passenger rail system operated by Amtrak that would run between Salt Lake City, Saint George, Logan, Moab, other Utah cities and Grand Junction, Colorado.

    According to Mike Christensen, executive director of the Utah Rail Passengers Association, the study would be a counterpart to a study UDOT is already conducting. The existing study, which has a price tag of $65,000, seeks to determine how much demand there is for rail service in Utah.

    Christensen said the additional study could cost roughly $2-3 million and that it would be a “pre-implementation” step to realizing his proposed rail plan for statewide passenger service.

    Christensen said that, if implemented, his plan could be in place within the next five years.

    Although the plan includes a stop in Moab, that phase would be in place later than the rest of the system, perhaps 10 to 15 years away.

    This estimate is based on how long Moab’s Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action project will take to complete. UMTRA is currently using the freight rail north of Moab to transport uranium mill tailings from north of town to a permanent disposal site in Crescent Junction.

    Until all 16 million tons of contaminated material is removed, the rail will be dedicated to transporting the tailings.

    How the rail system would work

    Passenger railroads in the United States are primarily operated by Amtrak, which is publicly subsidized. Amtrak operates on freight lines built by private companies, such as Union Pacific and CSX.

    Amtrak currently services Salt Lake City and Grand Junction via its California Zephyr route, but according to Christensen, traveling by rail between those two destinations is less than optimal. Each day, one trip goes from Salt Lake to Grand Junction, and it leaves at 3:30 a.m.

    Christensen’s proposed plan would bring state-sponsored Amtrak service to Utah, which would mean more train service at better times for travelers and service to more cities.

    Currently, Provo, Helper and Green River are the only other cities in Utah on Amtrak’s route from San Francisco to Chicago. Christensen’s plan would bring Amtrak service to Logan, Saint George, Moab and other cities in between, and with more frequent service. Christensen said the service could be as frequent as three times daily.

    The plan would require rail to be built from Cedar City to Saint George, where none currently exists. Rail to the other stops on the routes is already laid down and owned by Union Pacific, which owns rail operated by Amtrak in other states, as well.

    For more information about the rail plan, visit UtahRPA.org.

    Share this!

    - Advertisement -

    Latest News

    County: Mask mandate is official

    Southeast Utah Health Department Director Bradon Bradford modeled the local order after those in Salt Lake and Summit counties.

    Lionsback Resort project begins on Sand Flats Road

    The City of Moab will have oversight of the project, which was not something that was always on the table because state law allows SITLA to develop projects without input from local authorities.

    Drought conditions grip Utah; stats are grim

    It’s unlikely things will improve this late in the water year.

    State provides 75,000 more facemasks for Moab businesses, visitors

    Local businesses may pick up free face coverings at the Canyonlands Copy Center, 375 S. Main St., in Moab.

    County approves letter opposing September gas lease sales

    The oppositional letter asserts that the lease sale “threatens the core of our tourism economy by locking in long-term oil and gas leases on and around popular recreation areas that are vital to our local economy.”