FrontRunner

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FrontRunner
Utah Transit Authority's commuter rail
Frontrunner logo.jpg
Front Runner (1141456610).jpg
A FrontRunner train heading toward Davis County
Overview
Owner Utah Transit Authority (UTA)
Locale Wasatch Front, Utah
 United States
Transit type Commuter rail
Number of lines 1 (UTA route 750)
Number of stations 16
Daily ridership 14,700[1]
Annual ridership 2,800,400[1]
Headquarters 3600 South 700 West
South Salt Lake, Utah 84119-4122[2]
Website rideuta.com
Operation
Began operation April 26, 2008[3]
Operator(s) UTA
Reporting marks UTAX[4]
Technical
System length 88 miles (142 km)
29.5 mi (47.5 km) single track (original line)
8.5 mi (13.7 km) double track (original line)[5]
No. of tracks 1-2
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Top speed 79 mph (127 km/h)
System map

Trax and FrontRunner c. 2013.png
A map of the entire UTA rail system by August 2013


The FrontRunner is a commuter rail train operated by the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) that serves the Wasatch Front from Pleasant View in northern Weber County through Ogden, Davis County, Salt Lake City, and Salt Lake County to Provo in central Utah County.

Description[edit]

The FrontRunner runs south from Pleasant View to Provo with a total length of 88 miles (142 km). The name is most often stylized by UTA as FRONTRUNNER.

The route uses a portion of the right-of-way of the historic Utah Central Railroad, built in 1869 to connect the First Transcontinental Railroad with Salt Lake City and acquired by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1878.[6] UTA-owned track parallels UP track until Ogden, where UP and UTA share the final 6 mi (9.7 km) of track to Pleasant View.

Most of the route used by the FrontRunner is single-tracked (though it runs parallel to UP tracks), with double track at stations and several other points along the route to allow trains to pass each other. The FrontRunner closely parallels Interstate 15 for most of the route.

There are about 25 round trips on weekdays between Ogden and Provo (through Salt Lake City). Trains run hourly from about 4:30 am to just after midnight on weekdays (increasing to half hour runs for the morning and evening commutes). Saturdays train run every hour and a half from about 6:00 am to 1:30 am the next morning. As of August 2013 the FrontRunner does not run on Sundays or holidays.[7] FrontRunner is a push–pull train locomotive system (with the locomotives running "backwards" half the time).[8] FrontRunner trains "face" north, regardless of the direction of travel.

Each station (except North Temple Bridge/Guadalupe)[Note 1] has a Park and Ride lot. There is no charge for parking in these lots (except at Draper) and the number of parking spaces available at each station ranges from "limited" to 874.[9][Note 2]

All of UTA's TRAX and FrontRunner trains and stations, streetcars and streetcar stops, and all fixed route buses, are compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act and are therefore accessible to those with disabilities.[11] Since not all FrontRunner passenger cars are wheelchair accessible, signage at the stations, on the passenger platforms, and on the passenger cars clearly indicate accessibility options. In addition, each train has one or more Train Hosts available to provide assistance as may be needed, including the placement of ramps for wheelchair boarding (if necessary).[12] In accordance with the Utah Clean Air Act and UTA ordinance, "smoking is prohibited on UTA vehicles as well as UTA bus stops, TRAX stations, and FrontRunner stations".[13]

History[edit]

Work started on the initial section of the line (from Salt Lake City to Ogden) in 2005. Seven of the planned eight stations opened to riders on April 26, 2008.[3] Eight more stations opened on December 10, 2012.

Pleasant View[edit]

The station in Pleasant View was supposed to open along with the rest of the line in April 2008, but improvements to the shared stretch of track owned by Union Pacific were delayed when railroad workers were diverted to repair tracks damaged by a landslide near Oakridge, Oregon.[14] Only bus service was used between Ogden and Pleasant View until September 29, 2008, when the track improvements were complete.[15][16]

Union Pacific limited the FrontRunner to one southbound train in the morning and one northbound in the evening after the Pleasant View station opened to rail traffic. Riders were required to transfer from one train to another at the Ogden Intermodal Transit Center. In January 2009 this was increased to three trains for each morning and evening, with one running straight through in each direction, though the other two still required transfers between trains.[17]

Service to Pleasant View temporarily ended September 6, 2011. The FrontRunner trains were able to run only four times daily to Pleasant View due to the sharing of track with Union Pacific; low ridership exacerbated the problem.[18] Limited weekday-only commuter service to Pleasant View resumed on December 10, 2012 with two trains picking up passengers in the morning and two trains dropping off passengers in the evening. However, no transfers between trains are required, as was sometimes the case in the past. Notwithstanding, service is supplemented by regular bus runs between Pleasant View and the Ogden Intermodal Transit Center for the morning and evening weekday commutes.[19]

FrontRunner South[edit]

Utah is the second fastest growing state in the United States. UTA's rail expansion is the largest and most ambitious project in the Western United States and is designed to specifically address the growing transportation need.[20] 44 miles (71 km) have been added to the FrontRunner line with the opening of the southern extension, which UTA refers to as FrontRunner South. The extension expands the former southern terminus from Salt Lake Central (Salt Lake City Intermodal Hub) to Provo Station. The expansion of UTA and the addition of the FrontRunner South rail successfully meet UTA's goals of increasing transportation opportunities to those living along the Wasatch Front and of decreasing traffic congestion caused by the transportation needs of a growing population.[citation needed] Seven new stations were built in Murray, South Jordan, Draper, Lehi, American Fork, Orem, and Provo, with one more planned in Vineyard in the future.[21] The Utah Transit Authority began work on the line after a ground breaking ceremony on August 12, 2008 and service began on the new section on December 10, 2012.[22][23] Funds were appropriated to accommodate this project in 2006 via a sales tax increase referendum,[24] and the remaining funding was obtained through a letter of intent signed with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on September 24, 2007.

Following its opening for service on December 10, 2012, early estimates of ridership for the FrontRunner South exceeded expectations. UTA's anticipated about 6,800 riders per day, but during the first week of operation, UTA reported more than 7,800 riders per day. However, UTA also indicated that it was not entirely unexpected as there is usually a high number of riders when a line opens before a longer term pattern of regular ridership is established.[25] At the same time the FrontRunner South opened for service North Temple Bridge/Guadalupe, a new infill station on the previous line, opened as well.

The FrontRunner South opened with service to Utah County at about the same time as the I-15 CORE project was completed (which was a rebuild of I-15 along much of the same corridor as the FrontRunner South.)[26] Both projects added substantial transportation improvements to Utah County.

The city of Lehi continues investigating options to build overpasses or underpasses to separate the rail traffic from the Main Street vehicle traffic, though the status of this is unlikely as the cost of the project would exceed twenty million dollars.[27][28][29] Since the original planning for FrontRunner South, two additional east-west alternative routes in Lehi have opened that do not have at-grade crossings for rail traffic: 2100 North (SR-85) and Pioneer Crossing (SR-145).

Future extensions[edit]

Future extensions are envisioned that would eventually encompass over 135 miles (217 km) along the Wasatch Front, providing service as far north as Brigham City and as far south as Nephi.[30] UTA has specific plans to extend the FrontRunner further south to Payson and has owned the needed railway right-of-way for several years. However, one of the major reasons for not including this further extension in the construction of the FrontRunner South is that a flying junction will have to be built just southeast of the Provo Station to allow the FrontRunner to cross over the Union Pacific tracks in that immediate area. The location of the station in Brigham City will likely be on the existing railway right-of-way near the no-longer-used Brigham City Depot at 900 West Forest Street, with an additional station in Willard just east of I-15 at about 750 North.[31] The location of the station in Springville is anticipated to be approximately 1500 West and 450 South. Heading south from that area it will connect with the UTA owned railway right-of-way (the Tintic Branch).[Note 3] The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has announced that accommodations for a FrontRunner station just west of I-15 are included in the overall plans for a new interchange at Spanish Fork Center Street. The location of the station in Payson is anticipated to be just west of I-15 at about 800 South.[32] As with all existing FrontRunner and TRAX stations, all future extensions of the FrontRunner will be integrated with UTA's bus system.

Route[edit]

The FrontRunner is designated as UTA Route 750.

The entire route was built within the existing Union Pacific corridor and the FrontRunner tracks run parallel to the Union Pacific tracks, sometimes on the east and sometimes on the west. Both times the FrontRunner switches sides with the Union Pacific tracks it crosses over top of the Union Pacific tracks. Except for the very northernmost section, the FrontRunner operates on its own dedicated tracks.

Quiet Zone[edit]

The entire length of the FrontRunner corridor (including the southern extension) has been approved as a "Quiet Zone" by the Federal Railroad Administration. "Typically, federal railroad safety regulations require that all train operators sound their horns for 15 to 20 seconds as they approach any road crossing."[33] Essentially a Quiet Zone designation eliminates this requirement. However, for obvious safety reasons, they are not prohibited from sounding their horn, if appropriate. The Quiet Zone applies to all trains (including freight trains) within the same corridor. Each city along the route had to individually apply for the designation, but UTA provided substantial assistance with the process. Several safety upgrades must be in place at all public crossings in order to receive Quiet Zone approval.[33] In addition to the normal automatic warning bells and lights, required upgrades include crossing guards, signs warning that trains do not blare horns in the area, and raised medians (which prevent cars from driving around lowered gates). There are also additional safety features for pedestrians. Prior to the southern extension, the FrontRunner had the longest Quiet Zone in the nation—the southern extension doubled the length of the previous Quiet Zone.[34][35][36][37]

Utah County[edit]

Art at the Provo Station

The FrontRunner's current southern terminus is in the city of Provo with the southern most station being Provo. Although the official address of this station is 690 South University Avenue (US-189), it is actually located between 200 West and South University Avenue on the south side of the FrontRunner and Union Pacific railroad tracks which run immediately south of 600 South. This station is also just southwest of Amtrak's Provo Station, which is a stop for the California Zephyr. (Although this station is the southern terminus, the FrontRunner tracks continue east for almost a half a mile.) Heading west from this station, the FrontRunner crosses 200 West (Freedom Boulevard), 500 West, and 700 West before it curves toward the north. After crossing 900 West at 500 South it heads northwest until it crosses under West Center Street (SR-114) just east of the I-15/Center Street interchange. It then crosses Draper Lane before crossing over the Provo River Parkway trail and the Provo River. Continuing northwest it crosses 820 North at 1950 West and then crosses under the "S curve" of I-15. Running along the west side of I-15 it crosses 1680 North at 2550 West, 2800 West just south of 2000 North, and 2000 North (Provo grid) /2000 South (Orem grid) just west of 2800 West. At 2000 North, the FrontRunner leaves Provo and briefly enters unincorporated Utah County.

Continuing northwest the FrontRunner leaves unincorporated Utah County and enters the city of Orem at 1550 South before crossing under West University Parkway (SR-265) immediately west of the I-15/University Parkway interchange. At 900 South 1350 West it reaches the next station, Orem. This station is located on the west side of I-15 from most of the Utah Valley University campus. From this station (while I-15 heads directly north) the FrontRunner maintains its northwestern course, crossing 800 South at 1300 West and then 400 South and Geneva Road (1600 West/SR-114) in quick succession. Upon crossing Geneva Road, the FrontRunner leaves Orem and enters the city of Vineyard. Continuing northwest, with Vineyard Road briefly running on the west side of the tracks and the site of the former Geneva Steel on the east, it eventually reaches the site where the future station, Vineyard, will be built at approximately 4700 North and 3100 West. Heading further northwest it crosses Vineyard Road (5200 North/600 South) at 2000 West.

American Fork Station passenger platform.

Upon crossing Vineyard Road, the FrontRunner leaves Vineyard, enters the city of Lindon, and briefly passes by the northeast shore of Utah Lake as it continues on its northwest course. The FrontRunner then leaves Lindon and briefly enters unincorporated Utah County again before entering the city of American Fork at 1500 South and 700 East (6400 North and 5050 West on the Utah County grid). Maintaining its northwest course along the edge of American Fork's city limits, the FrontRunner transitions between American Fork and unincorporated Utah County several times before it finally enters the city of Lehi. After crossing 1100 South at 425 East (5350 West on the Utah County grid), 5750 West at 7250 North (100 East at 575 South on the American Fork grid), and 100 West at 375 South, the FrontRunner begins to curve toward a nearly due west course as it parallels I-15. It then crosses Storrs Avenue (about 265 West at 250 South) followed by 200 South at 390 West before reaching the next station, American Fork. The address of this station is 782 West 200 South (7750 on the Utah County grid).

Continuing on, the FrontRunner enters Lehi just before crossing over Spring Creek and then directly underneath the intersection of Pioneer Crossing (SR-145) and Mill Pond Road (850 East). It briefly transitions back into unincorporated Utah County before crossing South Center Street at 560 South and entering Lehi once again. It then curves to a brief due north course as it crosses 200 South and West Main Street (SR-73), both at 400 West. At 100 North (as it passes the Lehi Round-up Rodeo Grounds on the west) it curves back to its previous northwestern course and crosses 500 West (SR-197) at 330 North. Continuing on a northwest course, the FrontRunner transitions between Lehi City and unincorporated Utah County several times before it finally leaves Utah County. After crossing over Waste Ditch, it crosses 900 North at 1030 West and 1500 North (960 North on the Utah County grid) at 1630 West. It then crosses over the newl built 2100 North (Mountain View Corridor/SR-85) at 2050 West and then over 2300 West at 2275 North as it approaches Thanksgiving Point.

With Garden Drive on its immediate west, it reaches the next station, Lehi, in the middle of Thanksgiving Point (at approximately 3100 North and 2800 West). The given address of this station is 3101 North Ashton Boulevard, but it is also accessible directly from Executive Parkway. Just after that station it crosses under Clubhouse Drive and then passes to the east of Thanksgiving Point Gardens before curving to west and entering the Jordan Narrows. As passes through the Jordan Narrows, it briefly parallels the Jordan River on the south, with Camp Williams on the far side of the river further west. While passing through the Jordan Narrows the FrontRunner also leaves Lehi and Utah County and enters Salt Lake County.

The Jordan Narrows are the most scenic area along the entire the FrontRunner route and includes views that could not otherwise be readily seen (particularly from I-15).[38] However this stretch, including the area immediately north, was also one of the most difficult to build. Prior to construction there was only a very narrow pass occupied by the Union Pacific tracks which are used multiple times each day. In addition several irrigation canals had to be rerouted.[39]

Salt Lake County[edit]

As it passes through the Jordan Narrows the FrontRunner enters Salt Lake County and the city of Bluffdale as well. As it leaves the Jordan Narrows it curves north as it passes just east of Turner Dam and the pumping stations while crossing over East Jordan Canal and the Jordan River. It then curves west as it continues on between the Jordan River on the east and 985 West and the Utah and Salt Lake Canal on the west. It then curves north again as it passes just west of the Joint Dam and then crosses over the South Jordan Canal. It then crosses back over the Jordan River and then the Jordan and Salt Lake City Canal. Continuing north, and slightly to the east, it parallels the South Jordan Canal, the South Jordan Canal Trail, and the Jordan River on the west and 1300 West on the east until about 15300 South. It then curves to the northeast and crosses 1300 West at 15175 South. Maintaining its northeast heading, the FrontRunner crosses over 14600 South (SR-140) at 1055 West and, just before crossing over Bangerter Highway (SR-154) at 765 West, it leaves Bluffdale and enters the city of Draper.

After entering Draper it continues its northeast course until about 13250 South, at which point it curves back to the north and reaches the next station, Draper at 12997 South FrontRunner Boulevard. From that station, it continues north, crossing over 12300 South (SR-71) at 540 West, before curving slightly to the east again. At about 11800 South it crosses an unnamed farm road before continuing on to cross under 11400 South (SR-175) at about 375 West. Upon crossing under 11400 South it leaves Draper and enters the city of South Jordan.

Continuing north, and still slightly to the east, the FrontRunner crosses South Jordan Gateway (at about 10900 South and 350 West) and then crosses over South Jordan Parkway (10600 South/SR-151) and Jerry Seiner Road at 290 West before reaching then next station, South Jordan at 10351 South Jordan Gateway. This station is located on the west side of I-15 from the South Towne Center Mall. From this station, it curves to the north and slightly to the west before crossing 10000 South at 375 West. It then curves back toward the north, and slightly to the east, as it leaves South Jordan and enters the city of Sandy.

Just after entering Sandy it crosses over to the east side of the Union Pacific tracks at a flying junction. It then continues north, and slightly to the east, as it crosses 9400 South at 445 West and then crosses over 9120 South at 435 West. After crossing over 9000 South (SR-209) at 425 West, it curves back again to the north, and slightly to the west and then parallels the immediate west side of I-15. Maintaining this course it leaves Sandy and enters the city of Midvale at 8500 South and 410 West. Continuing on the same heading, and still between the Union Pacific tracks and I-15, it crosses over Wasatch Drive (8000 South) at 200 West and then over West Center Street (7720 South) at 450 West. After West Center Street it curves back once again to the north, and slightly to the east, and then crosses Jordan River Boulevard (7200 South/SR-151) at 560 West and continues on, passing the Union Pacific rail yard on the west, until it crosses under the I-15 on ramp from eastbound I-215 (Belt Route) as well as I-15 at 400 West.

Just after crossing under I-15, the FrontRunner leaves Midvale and enters the city of Murray. After crossing over the TRAX Red Line at another flying junction and Winchester Street (6670 South) at 735 West just after the Red Line. Following Winchester Street, it crosses under the I-15 northbound off ramp to I-215 westbound, crosses over I-215 eastbound and I-215 westbound (including the I-215 westbound off ramp to I-15) at 365 West. It then curves back to the north before crossing 5900 South at 350 West. At 5600 South it curves one more time to the north, and slightly to the east, and is joined by the TRAX Blue Line and Red Line tracks on the east side as they all cross over 5400 South (SR-173/Spartan Street).

Just northeast of the 5400 South crossing is the next station, Murray Central. This station is a transfer station to the TRAX Blue and Red Lines, and the first of only three transfer stations between the FrontRunner and TRAX. The FrontRunner part of this station is located at 140 West Vine Street (5990 South) and the TRAX part of the station is at 5144 South Cottonwood Street; both of which are just west of the Intermountain Medical Center. The TRAX platform is directly east of the FrontRunner platform. (The TRAX Blue line runs north to Downtown Salt Lake City and south to Draper. The TRAX Red Line runs north to the University of Utah and south to the Daybreak Community in South Jordan.)

After this station, the TRAX lines head further east while the FrontRunner continues north, and slightly to the east, as it crosses Vine Street and then curves back to the north. Continuing north it leaves Murray and enters unincorporated Salt Lake County before crossing over Little Cottonwood Creek and then crossing 4800 South (Murray Taylorsville Road) at 175 West. At 4500 South and 190 West it crosses 4500 South Frontage Road and immediately thereafter crosses over 4500 South (SR-266/Taylorville Expressway). It then curves to the north, and slightly to the west, until it crosses over Big Cottonwood Creek. After crossing over West Central Avenue at 250 West it crosses under 3900 South (Meadowbrook Expressway) at 300 West. Upon crossing under 3900 South it leaves unincorporated Salt Lake County and enters the city of South Salt Lake.

Continuing on a course to the north, and slightly to the west, the FrontRunner crosses back under I-15 and then crosses over 3300 South (SR-266) at 470 West. After crossing over Mill Creek it curves back to the north as it passes along the east side of the Union Pacific rail yard. At the north end of the rail yard in crosses under the TRAX Green Line at another flying junction before crossing under the Spaghetti Bowl (which includes SR-201 [21st South Freeway] eastbound on ramps to I-15/I-80 Northbound, the SR-201 eastbound on ramp to I-15 southbound/I-80 eastbound, the I-15 northbound/I-80 westbound on ramp to SR-201, the I-15/I-80 southbound on ramp to SR-201, and finally SR-201 [21st South Expressway]) at about 625 West. Upon crossing under SR-201, the FrontRunner leaves South Salt Lake and enters Salt Lake City.

Continuing north at 625 West, the FrontRunner crosses 1700 South, and then crosses under 1300 South before crossing under I-15/I-80 just before crossing 900 South. Still at 625 West, after crossing 800 South, it crosses under the I-15/I-80 northbound and the I-15 southbound/I-80 eastbound off ramps to 600 South (SR-269 eastbound/Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard) and then the 500 South (SR-269 westbound/Cesar E Chavez Boulevard) on ramp to I-15/I-80. It then crosses under 400 South (University Boulevard) just before curving slightly to the west and reaching Salt Lake Central (Salt Lake Intermodal Hub). This station is a transfer station to the TRAX Blue Line, and the second of only three transfer stations between the FrontRunner and TRAX. The FrontRunner part of this station is located at 250 South 600 West and the TRAX part at 325 South 600 West. The TRAX platform is directly east of the FrontRunner platform. (Salt Lake Central is the northern terminus for the TRAX Blue line, which runs south to Draper.) Salt Lake Central is also an Amtrak Station and another stop on Amtrak's California Zephyr.

FrontRunner passes under the TRAX passenger platform at the North Temple Bridge/Guadalupe Station

From Salt Lake Central, the FrontRunner continues north, and slightly to the west, and crosses 200 South at 660 West. At 100 South it turns sharply to the east, but slightly to the north, until it crosses 600 West at West South Temple Street. It then curves to the north to cross under West North Temple Street at 490 West. Immediately after crossing under the North Temple Street Viaduct it reaches the next station, North Temple Bridge/Guadalupe. (The name of this station is often shortened by UTA to simple North Temple).[40][41] This station is a transfer station to the TRAX Green Line, and the last of only three transfer stations between the FrontRunner and TRAX. Both platforms of this station are located at 500 West North Temple Street. However, the TRAX platform is located on top of the North Temple Street Viaduct and access between the two platforms is accomplished by using the stairs or escalators that connect north side of the North Temple Street Viaduct with the south end of the FrontRunner platform. Although both platforms are considered "at grade", the station is still considered a flying junction since the TRAX tracks pass over the FrontRunner and Union Pacific tracks. (The TRAX Green Line runs west to the Salt Lake City International Airport and southwest to West Valley City via Downtown Salt Lake City.)

From North Temple Bridge/Guadalupe, the FrontRunner continues north along the east side of 500 West as it crosses 300 North and 400 North. At 500 North, 500 West shifts to the east side of the tracks without actually crossing them. Continuing north, the FrontRunner crosses under 600 North (SR-268) and at 900 North it curves to the northwest as it passes on the northeast side of the Warm Springs Service Center (UTA's maintenance facility for the FrontRunner). On the north side of the Service Center is a non-public rail yard access road that crosses the FrontRunner tracks. Continuing northwest it runs along the east side of the Union Pacific rail yard until passes near the corner of Chicago Street and Duluth Avenue and curves back to the north. After crossing 1800 North it crosses back under I-15 once again as it briefly runs along the west side of southbound Beck Street (US-89) on the east. At about 2400 North it leaves Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County and crosses into Davis County.

Davis County[edit]

Upon entering Davis County, the FrontRunner also enters the city of North Salt Lake. Continuing north it crosses under eastbound I-215 and then westbound I-215 before curving slightly to the east and crossing West Center Street at 125 West. Maintaining a course to the north and slightly to the east, it runs very briefly along the west side of I-15 and then crosses North Main Street at 900 North and 1100 North/2600 South at 75 East. After crossing 2600 South it leaves North Salt Lake and enters the city of Woods Cross. Still maintaining its course to the north and slightly to the east, it crosses 1500 South at 900 West and then curves slightly more to the east before reaching the next station, Woods Cross, at 750 South 800 West. From this station it continues on its northeast course as it leaves Woods Cross and enters the city of West Bountiful.

Just after entering West Bountiful, the FrontRunner crosses 500 South (SR-68) at 800 West. It then crosses over Mill Creek and crosses a non-public utiity road before crossing under 400 North at 650 West. After crossing under 400 North and still closely paralleling the west side of I-15 it continues northeast and then curves north at about 1400 North. It then crosses West Pages Lane (1600 North) at 520 West. At 2200 North it leaves West Bountiful and enters the city of Centerville as it continues north along the west side of I-15 and crosses under Parrish Lane (400 North/SR-105). At about 1300 North, the Legacy Parkway (SR-67) begins running along the west side of the FrontRunner tracks. Continuing north (between the Legacy Parkway and I-15) it leaves Centerville and enters the city of Farmington at 2300 North (Centerville grid) /1700 South (Farmington grid).

After entering Farmington, the FrontRunner crosses under East Glovers Lane (925 South) at 210 West before curving slightly to the west. Continuing north and slightly to the west, but still between Legacy Parkway and I-15, it crosses under the Farmington Creek Trail and then under West State Street at 390 West. It then curves to the northwest as passes to the southwest of the I-15/Legacy Parkway/US-89 interchange as it crosses under northbound ramp from Legacy Parkway to US-89, southbound ramp from US-89 to Legacy Parkway, northbound Legacy Parkway, and southbound Legacy Parkway. After crossing under that interchange, it immediately reaches the next station, Farmington, at 450 West 800 North. At the northwest end of this station it crosses under the pedestrian bridge (which allows passengers to cross over the FrontRunner and Union Pacific tracks which run between the station's passenger platform and the station's parking lot). It then crosses under 1100 North at 825 West as it continues northwest along the west side of I-15 and crosses under West Shephard Lane (1200 North) at 1725 West.

Just after crossing under 1200 North, the FrontRunner leaves Farmington and enters the city of Kaysville. Continuing along the west side of I-15 it gradually curves back to an almost north course and crosses under South Burton Lane at about 100 West and 1350 South. While I-15 curves to the north the FrontRunner curves slightly more to the west as it crosses Old Mill Lane/West Center Street at 640 West. After crossing over Holmes Creek it crosses under 200 North at 670 West. Continuing northwest it briefly runs along the west side of I-15 as it crosses over North Fork Holmes Creek and leaves Kaysville before entering the city of Layton. Immediately after crossing under Layton Parkway it reaches the next station, Layton at 150 South Main Street. It then crosses over Kays Creek before crossing West Gentile Street at 220 West, King Street (650 West) at 260 North, Hill Field Road/Industrial Park Drive at 1120 West and 725 North, and West Gordon Avenue (1000 North) at 1450 West. After curving slightly more to the north it crosses 2200 West at 1700 North.

Front Runner crossing West Gentile in Layton, Utah.

Upon crossing 2200 West the FrontRunner leaves Layton and enters the city of Clearfield. Continuing northwest it crosses under Antelope Drive (2000 North/SR-108) at 750 West. Just northwest of Antelope Drive it reaches the next station, Clearfield, at 1250 South State Street (SR-126. From this station it continues northwest to cross 700 South at 255 East and then crosses under West Center Street at 125 West. After crossing under 300 North (SR-107) at 440 West it curves toward the north and crosses under 800 North at 515 West. Upon crossing under 800 North it leaves Clearfield and enters the city of Clinton. Heading north immediately west of the border between Clinton and the city of Sunset it crosses 1300 North, 1800 North (SR-37), and 2300 North, all at 480 West. After crossing 2300 North is curves slightly to the west and then leaves Clinton and Davis County and enters Weber County.

Weber County[edit]

Upon entering Weber County, the FrontRunner also enters the city of Roy, but briefly runs immediately west of the border between Roy and Sunset until it crosses 6000 South at 2450 West. Continuing north and slightly to the west, it crosses under 5600 South (SR-987) at 2550 West before curving back toward the north and very briefly running along the east side of 2700 West. After crossing 4800 South at 2700 West it curves to the northeast before reaching the next station, Roy, at 4155 South Sandridge Drive. Just after this station it crosses 4000 South at 2400 West and continues northeast to cross under Hinkley Drive (3600 South) at 2025 West and under 1900 West (SR-126) at 3460 North. Just after crossing 1900 West it leaves Roy and briefly enters unincorporated Weber County. Continuing northeast it crosses 3300 South at 1880 West and curves to the east as it leaves unincorporated Weber County and enters the city of Ogden.

Just after entering Ogden, the FrontRunner crosses under Pennsylvania Avenue (1100 West) at 3050 South. Continuing east it crosses under I-15/I-84 before crossing over the Weber River. Immediately after the Weber River it curves north and has two flying junctions that allow the FrontRunner to cross over the Union Pacific tracks. Briefly heading north it passes just to the west of Ogden's Unions Station and crosses under 24th Street (2400 South/SR-53) at 140 West. Immediately after crossing under 24th Street it curves to the northwest and reaches the Intermodal Transit Center at 2350 South Wall Avenue. This station is the last regular service stop on the northern end of the FrontRunner, with service north of this station being very limited (two southbound runs in the morning and two northbound runs in the evening).

Heading northwest from the Ogden Intermodal Transit Center the FrontRunner briefly runs southeast of Pacific Avenue before another non-public rail yard access road crosses the FrontRunner tracks as it curves back to the north, but slightly to the west. With more Union Pacific tracks on the immediate west, it crosses under eastbound and then westbound 21st Street (2100 South/SR-104) at 365 West and then crosses over the Ogden River. Just after crossing 17th Street (1700 South) at 450 West it curves back to the north again as the FrontRunner tracks merge onto ones owned and operated by Union Pacific. From this point north (except for a short stretch just prior to the last station) the FrontRunner operates on tracks belonging to Union Pacific rather than its own. Continuing north on the Union Pacific tracks, with A Avenue (500 West) briefly on the immediate east, FrontRuner crosses 12th Street (1200 South/SR-39) at 500 West. With the former Defense Depot Ogden (now Business Depot Ogden) on the immediate west, it crosses over Mill Creek at 600 North, and then crosses 2nd Street (200 South) at 500 West. Maintaining a northern course, with 520 West and then North Burns Street immediately to the west, it leaves Ogden and enters the city of Harrisville at 100 North. The tracks mark the border between Ogden and Harrisville from 100 North until Harrisville Road.

At 1000 North, immediately north of the Business Depot Ogden and immediately west of the tracks, are the Weber County Fairgrounds. The FrontRunner continues north, but begins curving slightly to the west and then crosses West Harrisville Road on the north end of the Fairgrounds at 710 West and 1400 North. It then crosses 750 West at 1525 North and crosses over the Western Canal at 835 West and 1750 North. Running along the eastern border of Harrisville (with a section of unincorporated Weber County immediately to the west until 2700 North) it continues its course north and slightly to the west. At 2075 North, the FrontRunner leaves Harrisville and enters the city of Pleasant View. At 2500 North the FrontRunner tracks diverge from the Union Pacific's before they cross 2700 North SR-134) at 1300 West. Immediately north of 1300 West is the last station and northern terminus, Pleasant View. Immediately north of the station's passenger platform the FrontRunner tracks end.

Fare Rates and Ridership[edit]

The current FrontRunner rates are one-way and distance-based. As of April 2013 the base fare is $2.50 (the same as regular bus fare) with an additional $0.60 for each additional stop. The maximum fare charged one-way is $10.30.[51] For seniors the base fare is $1.25 and $0.30 for each additional stop with a maximum fare of $5.15. There is also a promotional Group Pass which allows up to four riders of any age to ride together on FrontRunner, TRAX and local buses for $15.00. The Group Pass is valid starting at 8:30 a.m. and lasts the entire day. Monthly passes valid on the FrontRunner, TRAX, local buses, and express buses are available for $198.00, or $148.50 to students.

Equipment[edit]

The FrontRunner runs 11 MPXpress (MP36PH-3C)[52] locomotives from Motive Power International of Boise, Idaho, 22 new bi-level Bombardier cars, and has recently repainted 25 refurbished ex-New Jersey Transit Comet Is[53] which entered service on September 17, 2008.[54] Thirty ex-Metra gallery cars were given to UTA free of charge, but they were determined to be in too poor condition to refurbish, and are being scrapped and used for spare parts for the Comet cars.[55][56]

Two months into service UTA began receiving complaints about the number of bicycles on the trains. The Bombardier cars were designed to hold two bicycles near the rear doors of each train, but up to 15 bicycles per car were reported by some riders.[57] UTA is investigating options to increase capacity for bicycles, including more lockers at the stations.

The FrontRunner North is served by 20 Bombardier bi-level cars, and will soon be joined by 15 Comet Is, while the FrontRunner South will start with eighteen Bombardier bi-level cars on order at a cost of $2.2 million each, and the remaining 10 refurbished Comets.[56] A typical FrontRunner trainset is composed of five units: three cars and the locomotive. Typical orientation is: Locomotive, Comet I, Bilevel (2), and a Bilevel Cab Car.

Wireless internet, provided by Nomad Digital,[58] is available on all the FrontRunner cars, including the refurbished Comet cars[56] free of charge.[59]

Upper level of a bi-level Bombardier coach
A Bombardier bike-friendly car
FrontRunner Fleet[60]
Model Image Manufactured Road Numbers Number in Fleet Notes
MPXpress MP36PH-3C locomotives FrontRunnerLocomotive.jpg 2007 1-11, 15-21 18 Another locomotive, #12, was leased to Minnesota's Northstar Commuter Rail, and subsequently acquired by Northstar in June 2010.[61] #13 and #14 were sold to the MBTA in 2011.
Bi-level Bombardier cabs FrontRunnerPassengerCar.jpg 2006 101-112 12
Bi-level Bombardier coaches 2007 201-208 8
Comet I coaches FrontRunner Comet Train.JPG 1971–1973 301-325 25 Built by Pullman Standard and refurbished by Bombardier Transportation before entering service.
Former FrontRunner Fleet
Model Image Manufactured Road Numbers Number in Fleet Notes
Pullman bi-level gallery coaches UTA FrontRunner ex-Metra gallery cars.jpg 1960–1968 (Metra) 8749[62] & others 30 Acquired from Metra at no charge, deemed to be in too poor shape to refurbish, being scrapped for parts for the Comet cars.[55]

Maintenance[edit]

All maintenance for the FrontRunner fleet (locomotives and cars) is provided at the Warm Springs Service Center which is located just west of 500 West at 900 North in Salt Lake City.[63][64] The Service Center facility, which was purchased from Union Pacific in 2003, was originally built in 1955 at the location of the former Salt Lake City roadhouse. Union Pacific had previously stopped using the facility in 1998 after more than a decade of operating at less than capacity. Following the acquisition from Union Pacific the facility was modified and updated to meet UTA's current needs.[63]

Train schedule[Note 7][edit]

On weekdays the first northbound FrontRunner trains (to Ogden Intermodal Transit Center) leave Salt Lake Central Station at about 4:15 am and Provo Station at about 5:00 am. The first southbound trains (to Provo Station) leave both Pleasant View and North Temple Bridge/Guadalupe stations at about 5:00 am. The last northbound train leaves Provo Station at 10:20 pm and the last southbound train leaves Ogden Intermodal Tranist Center at 11:09. However, the last southbound train only goes as far as the Salt Lake Central Station. The last southbound train to Provo Station leaves Ogden Intermodal Transit Center at 10:39 pm.

On Saturdays the first southbound train leaves North Temple Bridge/Guadalupe Station at about 6:00 am and the first northbound train leaves Salt Lake Central at about 6:45 am. The first northbound train leaves Provo Station at about 7:45 am and the first southbound train leaves Ogden Intermodal Transit Center at about 8:15 am. The last southbound train leaves Ogden Intermodal Transit Center at 1:09 am (Sunday morning) and the last northbound train leaves Provo Station at 1:20 am (Sunday morning). However, the last trains only goes as far as Salt Lake Central Station. The last northbound train to Ogden Intermodal Transit Center leaves Provo Station at 10:50 pm and the last southbound train to Provo Station leaves Ogden Intermodal Transit Center at 10:09 pm.

The FrontRunner runs every hour Monday through Saturday, with additional runs on the half hour for the weekday morning and evening commutes. As of August 2013 the FrontRunner still does not run on Sundays or holidays.[65]

Stations[edit]

FrontRunner (Pleasant View–Salt Lake City–Provo)
Station[41] County Municipality Year
Opened
UTA Connections[66][Note 8] Park & Ride[41]
spaces
Notes & Other Connections
Bus (local) TRAX
(light rail)
Northern end of the line
Pleasant View Wheelchair symbol.svg Weber Pleasant View 2008 616 About
300
Very limited peak-hour commuter service only
Ogden Intermodal
Transit Center
Wheelchair symbol.svg
Ogden 455, 456, 470, 473, 603,
604, 613, 616, F618, 630,
650, 670, 675
476 Connection with Greyhound Lines bus service
Roy Wheelchair symbol.svg Roy 604 502
Clearfield Wheelchair symbol.svg Davis Clearfield 470, 640 561
Layton Wheelchair symbol.svg Layton 470, 477[Note 9] 383
Farmington Wheelchair symbol.svg Farmington 455, 456, 473, 667 874
Woods Cross Wheelchair symbol.svg Woods Cross 460, 461, 463 235
North Temple Bridge/Guadalupe
(North Temple) Wheelchair symbol.svg
Salt Lake Salt Lake City 2012 6, 209, 500, 516  704  Green Line Coming
soon[Note 1]
Salt Lake Central
(Salt Lake Intermodal Hub) Wheelchair symbol.svg
2008 2, 2X, 3, 11, 200, 205,
220, 500, 509, 513, 517,
519, 520, 901, 902
 701  Blue Line Limited Connection with Amtrak's California Zephyr
Connection with Greyhound Lines bus service
Murray Central Wheelchair symbol.svg Murray 2012 54, 200, 201  701  Blue Line
 703  Red Line
345
South Jordan Wheelchair symbol.svg South Jordan 218, F514 577 Both the  218  and  F514  routes connect
directly with the Sandy Civic Center TRAX
Station on the  701  Blue Line
Draper Wheelchair symbol.svg Draper F514, 526 600 The  F514  route connects with the
Sandy Civic Center TRAX Station on the
 701  Blue Line
Fee to park in parking structure[Note 2]
Lehi Wheelchair symbol.svg Utah Lehi 806, 807, 811, 850, 853,
F868
739 The  811  route connects directly with the
Kimballs Lane TRAX Station on the
 701  Blue Line
American Fork Wheelchair symbol.svg American Fork None 553
Vineyard Wheelchair symbol.svg Vineyard Planned station
Orem Wheelchair symbol.svg
(Orem Intermodal Center)
Orem 2012 830, 831, 842 498
Provo Wheelchair symbol.svg
(Provo Intermodal Center)
Provo 805, 821, 830, 831, 832,
833, 834, 836, 838, 850
811 Connection with Amtrak's California Zephyr
Southern end of the line

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b A Park and Ride Lot has been constructed at North Temple Bridge/Guadalupe Bridge Station. However, as of August 2013, it is still not open for use, nor has UTA provided an indication as to when the lot will be opened, other than "coming soon".
  2. ^ a b Recently UTA announced that beginning 1 July 2013 it will start a one year pilot program involving most of its TRAX and FrontRunner Park and Ride lots. The purpose of the new program is to make rider connections with the Salt Lake City International Airport more convenient by avoiding the need to park at the airport. The program allows UTA patrons to park for an "unlimited amount of time" in the designated Park and Ride lots. In addition, UTA will allow free parking in all of its parking garages. Previous UTA policy limited parking to no more than 24 hours, except at its parking garages. As part of the year long pilot program, "UTA will measure parking lot usage and monitor costs, maintenance requirements, impacts to snow removal and security issues before determining if the program will be extended." There are eight Park and Ride lots that are excluded from this test program and the 24-hour time limit will still apply to these lots. Salt Lake Central is the only FrontRunner station not included in this program.[10] Notwithstanding permission to park for extended periods in the applicable Park and Ride Lots, updated signage at the stations advises that the UTA Transit Police request that they be notified anytime a car is parked in one of the lots for more than seven days.
  3. ^ The Tintic Branch runs from about 400 South and 400 West in Springville to just west of I-15 on the north end of Spanish Fork and then continues along the west side of I-15 to 800 South in Payson. From Payson, it passes by the northern edge of Santaquin, before heading west to Eureka.
  4. ^ TRAX Red Line Mid-Jordan extension and Green Line West Valley extension both opened in August 2011
  5. ^ FrontRunner South extension opened in December 2012
  6. ^ TRAX Green Line Airport extension opened in April 2013, Blue Line Draper extension opened in August 2013, and S Line (formerly known as Sugar House Streetcar) opened in December 2013
  7. ^ Train schedule is current as of Change Day, 8 December 2013
  8. ^ Bus routes are current as of Change Day, 8 December 2013
  9. ^ Although there are stops for buses within the Layton station, no buses actually connect at the station itself. The connecting buses indicated stop about 2 blocks north of the FrontRunner station.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]