Las Vegas Sun

May 17, 2021

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Biden proposal would restore train service to Phoenix, Vegas

Amtrak Desert Wind route

AP Photo / Lennox McLendon

An Amtrak passenger train prepares to depart from downtown Las Vegas in this May 7, 1997 file photo. Amtrak dropped its Desert Wind route between Los Angeles and Ogden, Utah, via Las Vegas and Salt Lake City in 1997.

PHOENIX — President Joe Biden's infrastructure improvement program would include restoring Amtrak intercity rail passenger service to Phoenix and Las Vegas.

Both cities were dropped from Amtrak's network in the 1990s — Las Vegas because of the elimination of a train that stopped traveled between Los Angeles and Ogden, Utah, and Phoenix because of rerouting within Arizona of a different train that formerly went through Phoenix .

Since 1996, the Amtrak station in Maricopa, about 27 miles (43 kilometers) south of Phoenix, has been the stop closet to Arizona's most populous city.

A map released Wednesday to illustrate Biden's proposed expansion of Amtrak's national network shows a new route between Las Vegas and Los Angeles and restoration of the previously halted service through Phoenix on a route between Los Angeles and New Orleans.