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UTA Sugar House Streetcar, 'S' Line
This page was last updated on March 21, 2016.
The route of the Sugar House Streetcar is from UTA's TRAX Central Point light rail station at 2100 South, eastward along the abandoned D&RGW Sugar House Branch to about 1100 East, just west of Highland Drive.
In addition to being a route for streetcars, the corridor also has a walking and biking trail that connects the Bonneville Shoreline Trail at the east end, with the Jordan River Parkway at the west end.
Streetcars are the same as UTA's TRAX newer light rail cars, the standard low-floor Siemens S70 light rail vehicle used on light rail systems in several U. S. cities. The route is single track with a short passing track at 500 East, and allows stops more often.
Construction began in May 2012, and the Sugar House streetcar line, known as the 'S' Line, was completed and opened to the public on December 7, 2013.
(most recent first)
December 7, 2013
The Sugar House streetcar began carrying customers on Saturday December 7, 2013. UTA reported that 2,300 persons rode the new streetcar during the public hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Regular paying service started the following day Sunday December 8th. (Railway Age, December 4, 2013; Progressive Railroading, December 6, 2013; UTA press release dated December 9, 2013)
"Salt Lake City's Sugar House Streetcar -- In early December 2013, the Utah Transit Authority opened its new Sugar House Streetcar for revenue service. The new line is designed to fit nicely into a quiet neighborhood, and the streetcars travel slowly in order to be good neighbors. The Sugar House line connects with the higher speed TRAX service at the Central Pointe Station. The line extends two miles east with seven stops. The project cost was $37 million. The cars used are single units and they will not be coupled into multi-car trains on the Sugar House Line. The new service utilizes an old railroad right-of-way that has been part of the community for many years. The setting is like a linear park with walking and biking trails parallel to the tracks. The line may be extended in the future. Many thanks to Nate Goodman for the good news." (Railfan & Railroad, April 2014, page 48)
September 5, 2013
UTA announced that the Sugar House Streetcar was to be called its "S-Line." At the same time, UTA announced that construction was complete and that test trains would start running, with a projected start date for regular service on December 8, 2013. (Salt Lake Tribune, September 5, 2013).
The new streetcars were to have a special paint scheme, white trimmed in silver, instead of the standard UTA TRAX white trimmed with red and blue scheme.
Early September 2013
UTA began running test trains on the Sugar House street car line. (Railway Age, August 29, 2013, "next week")
May 9, 2012
Construction started with a groundbreaking ceremony, including the ceremonial removal of a twenty-foot piece of rail and tie structure of the former D&RGW branch along the same route. (Progressive Railroading, May 9, 2012; Salt Lake Tribune, May 10, 2012; Railway Age, May 10, 2012; USDOT Blog page, with video)
December 21, 2011
UTA approved its budget for 2012. "The budget includes $19.3 million to start construction on the Sugar House streetcar project next spring. The board on Wednesday [Dec 21st] also approved an interlocal agreement with Salt Lake City and South Salt Lake for that line. The first two-mile phase of the streetcar will run from the TRAX Central Pointe station on 2100 South to McClelland Avenue on the western edge of Sugar House's Central Business District. It is expected to cost $55.5 million, including the value of land already purchased. Construction is projected at $37.2 million, with $26 million from federal grants and an $11.2 million local shares. About 3,000 daily riders are expected at the planned opening in 2014." (Salt Lake Tribune, December 21, 2011)
October 19, 2011
UTA received federal funding for the Sugar House Streetcar project in the form of a $26 million grant from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. The $26 million awarded to the Sugar House streetcar project with the fourth highest figure granted in this second round of TIGER funding, which included $600 million for 42 capital construction projects and 33 planning projects in 40 states.
The $37.2 million Sugar House Streetcar project is funded from a $26 million federal TIGER II grant and $11.2 million from South Salt Lake, Salt Lake City and UTA funds.
September 14, 2011
From Railway Age, September 14, 2011 issue:
The Utah Transit Authority hired HDR to provide preliminary engineering, with the option to provide final design and design services during construction, for the Sugar House Streetcar project in Salt Lake City and South Salt Lake City, Utah.
The proposed two-mile streetcar line is jointly owned by the Utah Transit Authority, South Salt Lake and Salt Lake City. Project goals include designing and developing a transit corridor with an emphasis on economic potential, livability and walkability.
As part of the new contract, HDR will provide preliminary engineering and final design services for the track work, structures, drainage, utility relocations, stations, street reconstruction and at-grade crossings. Construction costs are estimated to be approximately $37 million, with the streetcar opening as early as 2013.
"Streetcar service is also in UTA's plans, with its $55 million, 2.74-mile Sugar House streetcar project designed to link the namesake neighborhood in Salt Lake City with South South Lake, Utah. The project received $26 million in TIGER funding in October; Salt Lake City has pledged $2.5 million in funding. The line would connect with existing TRAX light rail service at Central Pointe Station." (Progressive Railroading, March 2011, page G11)
October 21, 2010
UTA received a $26 million grant for its Sugar House Streetcar Project, as part of the overall $600 million TIGER II grant program from U.S. Department of Transportation. "In total, the $600 million in TIGER II funding included 42 capital construction projects and 33 planning projects in 40 states. The program was funded through the FY2010 transportation appropriations process. It was heavily oversubscribed, with the DOT receiving more than 1,000 applications seeking more than $19 billion in grant support." (Railway Age, October 21, 2010)
The track along the entire route were removed duirng October 2008. (James Belmont, message posted to Trainorders.com on October 10, 2008)
July 23, 2008
Salt Lake City adds streetcar line to transit mix -- Add Salt Lake City to the growing list of western U.S. cities committing to streetcar lines. The Utah capital's city council voted 5-0 Tuesday to proceed with plans to establish a two-mile streetcar route, dubbed the Sugar House Transit Corridor. The route would provide stops every two blocks along 2300 South, Utah Transit Authority's Central Pointe TRAX light rail station with Granite Block, near Sugar House Park. UTA, Salt Lake City, and South Salt Lake will fund the project, estimated to cost $9.8 million to construct. Included within the project is parallel right-of-way for a pedestrian and bicycle path. UTA projects daily ridership of 2,264, marginally higher than a light rail alternative and significantly higher than a bus rapid transit (BRT) option. (Railway Age, July 23, 2008)
The former D&RGW Sugar House Branch was part of the group of rail properties UTA purchased from Union Pacific, a total of 62.77 miles. UP formally abandoned freight service along the "Sugar House Industrial lead" in June 2005.
UTA no. 1177 at 700 East (photo by James Belmont)
UTA no. 1177 at 500 East (photo by James Belmont)