People are increasingly riding the train.
During fiscal 1988 Amtrak set rec-ords nationally and saw small-to-moderate increases in ridership at major stations in Utah. Between October 1986 and September 1987, Amtrak ridership increased from 22.5 million over the previous year's ridership of 20.4 million, said Arthur Lloyd, Amtrak spokesman in San Francisco."More people are traveling on the train nationwide. While we can't compete with the airlines, because of speed, we can compete with automobiles. People would rather take the train than fight the highways," Lloyd said.
In Salt Lake City, the number of people who bought tickets at the Rio Grande Station rose 22 percent from 99,572 to 121,468 passengers.
In Provo, the number of passengers increased by 230 to 9,064. In Ogden, there was a 409 passenger increase to 3,672, but a route change in 1983 has kept the Ogden numbers low, Lloyd said.
The route adjustments have changed Ogden's role as a passenger hub. Now only one train, the Pioneer, runs through the Ogden en route to Seattle because of the merger of Union Pacific-Western Pacific.
The California Zephyr, which runs from Chicago to San Francisco, now stops in Salt Lake City and takes Western Pacific tracks instead of the Southern Pacific tracks across a Great Salt Lake causeway from Ogden. A third train, the Desert Wind, travels between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles.
Train tickets purchased
City Oct. 1986 Sept. 1987 Increase
Salt Lake City
(Rio Grande) 99,572 121,468 22 percent
Provo 8,834 9,064 3 percent
Ogden 3,263 3,672 13 percent