Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Idaho eyes Amtrak

This is an odd story from a Pocatello television station. I am going to need some help from people with better memories because I do not remember all the circumstances under which the Pioneer was discontinued. I DO recall that it was highly popular, well traveled, and hardly a “failure.”

I also vividly recall a great deal of political backing for the train within Idaho, a state that needs transportation options during the harsh winters.

It is, of course a positive development that there is talk about restoring an essential portion of the national transportation system. It is a bit mystifying as to how the service would be provided without available equipment.

Don’t anybody mention that Sunset. We don’t start up one service by canibalizing another.

How would these TV reporters come to the conclusion that the Pioneer “railed?” Do they suppose highways and airports are self-supporting?

 Amtrak may soon be stopping in a town near you. A plan is in the works to return passenger rail service to Idaho. And as Channel 3 Eyewitness news reporter Sarah Schwabe reports, this service isn’t new to Pocatello.

A passenger rail service use to run through the Gate City up until 1997, when a lack of interest forced Amtrak to shut down the line. Now the question is, is it worth the risk for Amtrak to make a come back?

It’s been over a decade since a passenger train rolled into Pocatello.

“As a kid, I use to ride it all the time back and forth from Pocatello to Glen’s Ferry on the weekends to see my grandparents,” says Greater Pocatello Chamber of Commerce chairman Loren Azzola.

Now state officials are considering reviving the Pioneer Train, which once connected Pocatello, and other Idaho cities to Seattle, Chicago and Denver. That is if Amtrak decides there would be enough passengers to bring back the service.

“Our community as a whole is growing, more people, more people need to be transported, more options to transport,” says Azzola.

Filed under: Amtrak, Regional USA Passenger Rail

One Response

  1. Rob Hallanger says:

    Interesting, the U.S. Senate is already looking into reviving the line.

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October 2007


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