Train service between SLC and LV?

I’m all for more train service between cities in the western U.S., but I don’t understand why it will take longer than driving, as stated in the article. This is not a scenic route, why not high speed rail?

We have needed high speed rail between the major urban centers of the west for DECADES. If we want to reduce air pollution, we have to focus on moving people around and not pushing tin down a road.


High speed train service from Boise to SLC to LV is a great idea. Moderately quick train service with too many stops is a lousy one. When this story was first reported in the Tribune a couple of weeks back I did some calculations ratioing a high-speed train route I rode from Paris to Saint-Malo to the distance to LV. The Paris to Saint-Malo had probably 6 to 8 stops along the 250ish mile route and did it in 3 1/2 hours. An SLC to LV route should then be about 6 hours, figuring stops in Provo, Nephi, Scipio or Beaver, Cedar City, & St. George at the most.

The biggest advantage of riding a train even if it’s longer than by car is it’s more relaxing. You can get up and pee whenever you want. You can walk to the bar car and grab a drink. You can sit down and read a book. You can take a decent nap. Those high speed trains in Europe and Japan I’ve been on accelerate and decelerate so smoothly you don’t get jerked around at every start and stop. It’s amazing. I drove back to SLC from Castle Pines, CO yesterday. It was brutal. Do a Denver to SLC in 10 hours v the 16 hours it currently takes Amtrak (with a 3:30am departure from SLC if you’re going that direction - yuck!) and I’d take the train every time.


When traveling in Japan, it used to take me a little over 3 hours to get from Narita Airport to Yuzawa Town - a distance that was roughly equivalent to driving from Magna to St. George. My travel time included a walk across Tokyo Station to get to the Shinkansen for the trip to Yuzawa. The Shinkansen stopped several times along the route, too.

The short answer…we’re getting it wrong here.


'Merica, greatest country on earth! Capitalism will prevail! :person_facepalming:

High speed makes a ton of sense in the East Coast in a Europe style network. In the west, probably just major corridors (Boise - SLC - Las Vegas - maybe extend to LA?; SF - LA - SD; (KC - OKC -) Dal - Austin - San Antonio | probably also Dal - Houston or a triangle of sorts). Maybe here in Denver - connect east and west?

Stuff like this reminds me of:

All of these are available flying small planes with a decent autopilot. Sure, passengers tend to get a little freaked out, but if they get annoying you just put on the O2 mask and climb until they pass out.



That’s totally demented…I like it! :joy::joy::joy:

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No Nephi or Scipio. It could stop in Milford instead of Beaver.
I’d take an extra four hours to avoid my wife freaking out. She would too.

SLC to LV could have stops in Orem, Nephi, Fillmore, Beaver, Cedar City, St. George, Mesquite, then Vegas.

Some would say more stops. My retort is We have Frontrunner for the local commute. Even then, the Express would still see its share of commuters.

I just know it sucked big donkey balls when I wanted to go the the 2021 Rose Bowl and the only travel option was driving. All the planes were book to overflowing; riding a hell bus (been there, done that) wasn’t a choice; and driving on such a short turnaround (due to work) was too grueling to consider. So my lens was the TV lens for history instead of being there to see and experience it.

On another note, a spur to Reno / SF and east to Denver / St. Louis wouldn’t blow either.


There’s a nice train station in Milford. I assume the passenger trains used to go through there.


US Laws and lack of experience really hurt high speed rail.

The Buy America program has inhibited high speed rail, as there are no high speed rail cars or other components made in the US.

We also lack the engineering and other know how to build the system


A good chunk of HSR is built by Stadler Rail. They started building commuter rail cars in SLC about three years ago.

If we want to build it, given the size and scope of what we would need, the foreign companies would have to build manufacturing and maintenance equipment facilities here. Those facilities would qualify under the “Built American” rules.


Flights from SLC to Las Vegas (roundtrip) run from $50 to $75 and take 90 mins. I love train travel but I’m not sure its practical (slc to las)

Train travel between Vegas and LA makes sense because of the weekend car traffic on I-15 between those two cities. They desperately need something to help allievate that mess.

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While they would, it’s cost prohibitive.

As Siemens has pointed out, their plants do not have any of the equipment needed to produce high speed trains. Nor do they have the staff.

Even if they did, entirely new rail lines would have to be built as existing lines are not acceptable for high speed use.

Can it be done? Absolutely, but it’s an insanely expensive project. The Las Vegas to LA line has stalled for these exact reasons, already seeing it change hands and still not even close to reality.


High speed rail makes a lot of sense, but the obstacles are pretty acute, as Diehard points out.

Look for SAF (biodiesel flavor of jet fuel) in 5 years and Hydrogen in the next 20 years to have an impact on longer aviation flights.

Look for short haul electric air taxis in 5 years that seat 4-6. One of the leaders in the emerging air taxi market has proven San Francisco to Lake Tahoe kind of range in about an hour. These overgrown drones are much more efficient and far less complicated than helicopters.

The FAA has provided the certification framework, several vendors are making it happen. Cool stuff.