FrontRunner celebrates 10 years in service

Utah's first commuter rail system, FrontRunner, celebrates being in service for a decade. (File Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) -- Utah's first commuter rail system, FrontRunner, celebrates being in service for a decade Thursday.

The red, white and blue trains of the Utah Transit Authority have been running from Utah County to Weber County six days a week since 2008.

The routes use 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.

The milestone is marked with the debut of new training simulator for operators.

"FrontRunner has come a long way in the past decade, and UTA is working hard to prepare for future population growth and anticipate service needs," stated UTA in a press release.

Since FrontRunner's inception:

  • More than 31 million riders transported over the last 10 years.
  • More than 180,000 trips provided.
  • More than 10 million total miles traveled.

The southern portion of FrontRunner opened in 2012, bringing eight new stations between Salt Lake and Provo.

Many small changes are continually being implemented as a result of customer feedback or employee suggestions, UTA said.

Unlike many commuter rail systems, FrontRunner operates on its own track. The trains themselves are also a unique mix of new and old – Bombardier BiLevel cars and vintage single-level “Comet” cars with iconic orange Naugahyde seats, the release said.

UTA said the cars get their name because they originally served on New Jersey Transit’s Raritan Valley Line, once home to the famous Blue Comet luxury train.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of UTA is the fact that the organization operates and maintains all of its services rather than contracting with third-party businesses, the release said.

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