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FrontRunner South Commuter Rail
This page was last updated on June 1, 2013.
From Salt Lake Central Station, south along the east side of UP's former D&RGW mainline to Sandy, where FrontRunner will cross over UP's line to the west side. Then continuing south along the west side of UP's line, through the Jordan Narrows, past the west side of the former Geneva Steel site at Vineyard to the former Lakota crossing in north Orem. At that point FrontRunner South enters the former UP mainline that is separate from the former D&RGW line, and continues south to Provo, ending near the University Avenue viaduct.
For the under-construction Frontrunner South service, UTA commissioned 10 Motive Power MPXpress locomotives, 10 Bombardier BiLevel cab cars and eight Bombardier BiLevel passenger cars for use on the FrontRunner South line. Additionally, 10 Comet single level passenger cars, refurbished by Bombardier, will also be used on the line.
[Most recent event listed first]
December 10, 2012
Frontrunner South was opened for full public use on Monday December 10. On Thursday December 6, a special inaugural train ran between Salt Lake City and Provo. Opening ceremonies were held at both Salt Lake City and Provo. On Saturday December 8, free rides were offered to the public in return for donations of non-perishable food. Donated food was collected by the Utah Food Bank and the Community Action Service and Food Bank to help the hungry in Salt Lake and Utah counties.
June 10, 2012
UTA began running test and training trains along the Frontrunner South route. The operation was to continue through early December, when regular revenue operations were set to begin.
April 6, 2012
UTA announced that Frontrunner between Salt Lake City and Provo will open on December 10, 2012, under budget and two years ahead of schedule.
Mid November 2009
The girders were installed on the 9800 South Flyover.
Mid July 2009
First rail was laid, at Orem. (UTA FrontRunner South weekly email update, August 7, 2009, photo dated July 15, 2009)
June 25, 2009
(Railway Age, June 25, 2009):
- Utah Transit Authority still must shift Union Pacific freight tracks to the east through the Jordan River narrows near Bluffdale. And earthmovers are busy digging away at the hillside there just to make room for a second track.
- There also is the matter of 30 bridges -- 28 more than UTA had to erect for FrontRunner north to Ogden.
- 22 percent of the work is done, much of that went toward creating a foundation for the tracks -- not installing the tracks themselves.
- At about 10000 South in Sandy, the concrete supports for a flyover bridge allowing UTA trains to cross the freight route are in place.
- About 215 contractor and subcontractor workers are on the job. It's expected to be completed in late 2012, with passenger service starting in 2013.
- Crews are digging into the east side of the narrows just to make room for a second set of tracks in the wind tunnel of a canyon that connects Utah and Salt Lake counties via the Jordan River. The tracks will traverse a section of the river that few see, well out of sight of Interstate 15 along some little rapids where construction workers say deer hang out.
November 14, 2008
UTA to re-evaluate Draper/Bluffdale FrontRunner Station The Utah Transit Authority is holding two public hearings to give the public the opportunity to comment on a re-evaluation of the proposed location for the future Draper/Bluffdale FrontRunner commuter rail station site. UTA is re-evaluating four potential future commuter rail station sites on the south end of Salt Lake County. UTA will present the four locations, along with an evaluation of the benefits and environmental impacts at both public hearings. At the hearings, there will be opportunities for the public to get answers to their questions and to make official comments. UTA will consider these comments and then select the location of the future Draper/Bluffdale FrontRunner commuter rail station site. FrontRunner South commuter rail is a portion of the FrontLines 2015 project, which also includes Mid-Jordan, West Valley, Draper and Airport TRAX line. The entire project is expected to be complete by 2015. (Railway Age, November 14, 2008)
October 13, 2008
Work started on the flyover at 9800 South, where the FrontRunner track was to crossover Union Pacific tracks, changing from the east side of UP's tracks, to the west side.
August 18, 2008
Salt Lake City Commuter Rail Constructors, as UTA's general contractor for FrontRunner South, began relocation of fiber optic duct banks as the first stage of construction. During late July and early August 2008, the initial work being performed was known as "pioneering," which was the removal of brush and top soil to gain access to the construction zone.
(The fiber optics duct bank had been put in place during the early and mid 1990s by the telecommunications subsidiary of Southern Pacific Railroad. Telecommunication companies had discovered that using railroad easements was the quickest and least expensive way to install their interstate and international communications networks. To take advantage of selling and leasing access to its right-of-way, SP created a subsidiary called SP Telecom, which was spun off in 1991 as a subsidiary of Anschutz Corporation, which also owned SP. In 1994, SP Telecom, merged with Qwest, another Anschutz subsidiary. In 1996, SP was merged with Union Pacific.)
(See also: SP and Sprint)
August 12, 2008
Groundbreaking for Frontrunner South was held on August 12, 2008, at the site of the future Lehi Station near Thanksgiving Point. (Salt Lake Tribune, August 12, 2008; Deseret News, August 13, 2008, "Tuesday")