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Federal Railroad Administration plans for long-distance trains could go through Boise

Boise Depot with empty track.
Frankie Barnhill
Boise State Public Radio, Frankie Barnhill
Regular Amtrak service ended in Boise in 1997

The Federal Railroad Administration conducted a recent study to determine next steps for restoring intercity passenger rail service that could go through Boise.

Projects like restoring long-distance passenger rails can take a lot of time, money, and resources. The FRA used the Long-Distance Service Study to look at the feasibility and necessary funding to bring these services to life.

The federal agency proposed routes that would serve multiple cities in the West, one from Seattle to Denver would go through Boise and Pocatello and on to Salt Lake City. The second would go from Los Angeles to Denver through Salt Lake.

Advocates for rail transport say trains would be a reliable form of long-distance transportation and would serve rural communities.

Earlier this year, BoiseDev reported the Idaho Transportation Department did not properly apply for the grant to study rail service between Boise and Salt Lake City.

ITD said when the grant application reopens in 2025 they would like to reapply.

The Federal Railroad Administration said the preferred routes still have to go through project planning and development before anything is implemented.

I am currently a junior at Boise State University majoring in Communication with Minors in Spanish and Mexican American Studies. I have also earned my certificate in American Sign Language (ASL). I am fortunate to have taken several educational and inspirational communication and media writing courses while at Boise State. I have been able to witness the power of communication at its best, and the dire consequences of a lack thereof. I seek to exist in a space where I am part of the flow of information, catalyst for positive change and a facilitator for inclusivity and respectful discourse.

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