Arizona mayors support plan to restore passenger train service to Phoenix, Tucson – Northeast Valley News

0
158
Arizona mayors support plan to restore passenger train service to Phoenix, Tucson – Northeast Valley News

Officials say the service would boost the economy and ease traffic on Interstate 10. With the exception of the light rail, there is no passenger train service in the greater Phoenix area. Little of the Phoenix area, especially the younger generation, is unaware that this service operated in Arizona’s capital for a century – and may soon do so again. Amtrak, the government passenger train system, is 50 years old this year. Between 1971 and 1996, Amtrak stopped at historic Union Station at 401 South 4th Avenue in downtown Phoenix. The structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in November 1985. Union Station opened in 1923 and was the main transportation hub in Phoenix before Sky Harbor Airport took that name in the 1950s. Amtrak then operated the passenger train route through Phoenix called Sunset Limited. This route, which originated in 1894, runs cross-country from New Orleans to Los Angeles. It is the oldest named train route in the United States, older than Amtrak. The train stopped in Tucson before continuing to Phoenix and then California. In October 1995, an Amtrak train derailed on this route about 80 kilometers west of Phoenix in an isolated stretch of desert. Eight of the twelve cars derailed, four of them fell 9 meters from a trestle bridge into a dry river bed below. One person, an Amtrak employee, was killed. 78 people were injured. Foul play caused the derailment, but the case was never resolved. Shortly thereafter, Amtrak service in Phoenix was discontinued and Union Station, which was already in disrepair, was finally closed to passenger traffic on June 3, 1996 by Phoenix. However, the planned renovation of Union Station and the restoration of Amtrak service from Tucson to Phoenix is ​​part of the Biden administration’s $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure program. Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix and Mayor of Tucson, Regina Romero, and a dozen other Arizona mayors are calling on the Arizona Congress delegation to support the move. They say it will generate $ 77.7 million a year in local economic activity, along with a one-time $ 1.9 billion investment in federal infrastructure. It would also reconnect Arizona’s two largest metro areas by passenger rail.

[ad_2]