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Amtrak’s expansion would connect to more of the United States, but not southern Idaho

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There is currently no Amtrak plan to expand passenger train service in Idaho.

BOISE, Idaho This week, President Biden unveiled his $ 2 trillion “American Jobs Plan,” a plan intended to give a big federal boost to American infrastructure.

There is an $ 80 billion call for U.S. railways, especially passenger service, a move Amtrak said this nation is waiting for.

Well, we’ll probably just keep waiting in southern Idaho.

This is how Amtrak sees America – a lot of rail lines on the East Coast and in the Midwest. They say their goal is to connect the country.

And with the presidents’ proposal to increase train travel by $ 80 billion, their vision is to add 20 million more passengers by visiting 160 additional communities, with multiple daily trips to 15 other states by 2035.

The light blue lines on the map would be new routes, dark blue are already in play, and yellow would be improved routes. Here’s to you Chicago.

But as you move west … well, it seems like those aspirations are a bit scarce.

Wyoming, you’ll finally have a stop, barely. Say hello to Cheyenne.

And here we have Idaho. It looks like the trail skipped the south section and the middle section.

If it weren’t for a whistle blast at Sandpoint, which already exists, this plan is already derailed.

Well, at least we’re not South Dakota, which hasn’t had passenger train service since 1969.

Boise hasn’t had service since 1997, when Amtrak’s Pioneer Line ran between Salt Lake City and Seattle.

We asked Amtrak why southern Idaho was not on the map. We were told this was just an aspiration meant to stimulate conversations. And that if you want Amtrak service in southern Idaho and have any ideas on how to get there, they’d love to hear about it.

They also suggested starting with one of our metro planning organizations, then maybe the Idaho Department of Transportation, or even contacting one or two members of Congress.

There have been several attempts to revive passenger rail service through Boise. The most recent involved Senator Mike Crapo in 2009. But cost was a factor and it collapsed.

Maybe $ 80 billion would?

Join the conversation “The 208”:

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