Monday, November 20, 2006

Heavy rail overlooked option for Arizona commute

MAP_5-6.gif (195740 bytes)

TUCSON -- Railroads through Tucson run along I-10 & I-19. With some investment, these heavy rails could become hosts to daily passenger service from Benson -- Tucson -- Marana, with key stops and connecting bus service. We could also have daily trains to Phoenix and even Yuma.

We've got these rails in place, but can the Union Pacific RR be convinced to share? Could be a problem.

Imagine a nice train ride from the NW side, SE side, S side or Nogales in to downtown or UA, or many other stops along the way. No car stress, less cost, and the fun of the train.


Tom Prezelski said...

Actually, ADOT now has staff that deals with nothing but rail. I met some of these guys, they are quite enthusiastic about their work.

Heck, it's a start.

DRP said...

Good to know. Please ask them to explore and pursue commuter rail options for Tucson.

Anonymous said...

Great idea, but I guess you really haven't thought through the realities. What would be the cost of maintaining the trains, stations, employees, etc.? Since Amtrak is constantly a money loser and their ridership is MUCH greater, I doubt you would have the ridership to support such an effort. I do agree that train service to places like Flagstaff-Phoenix-Tucson-Nogalas have a place. I would love to be able to take the train down to Nogalas or Tucson for the day. Or high speed trains to locations like Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, etc. In Europe you hae car trains where you load your car on the train and drive off at the destination These are all great ideas....the problem is COST. Why not lobby that any developer building around a major metropolitan area, such as the proposed Anthem complex in Benson, be required to fund a light rail system into the city. This should go for Phoenix also. The Anthem complex in New River has completely choked the existing routes and the proposed Anthem in Buckeye will add more traffic to an already choked I-10. A light rail system within Tucson makes more sense. We should also be making the developers foot the bill for these systems since it is their developments that are causing the problems.