Bring Back Rail

Stay up-to-date on bringing rail to Boise.

Connecting Communities, Connecting People

To bring rail connection back to Boise, in partnership with Salt Lake City and others, the City of Boise has applied for the Corridor ID Program. There are 4.4 million people living between Caldwell and Salt Lake City. This corridor is also home to six colleges and universities. The connection of these two major metros will connect families, opportunities for education, recreation, commerce and so much more. With declining regional air service throughout southern Idaho, bringing back rail service means offering additional affordable transportation alternatives that better connect communities. 

The Federal Rail Administration’s (FRA) Corridor ID Program was designed to help create a pipeline of passenger rail projects across the country. If accepted into the program, we will be awarded $500,000 and technical support from the FRA to answer critical questions about the corridor. 

What are we hoping to learn through step one of the Corridor ID Program? 

  • Estimated capital investment and operational cost.
  • Expected ridership.
  • Economic impact to areas with stations/stops.

What's Next?

Boise Train Depot

Trains Are Boise's History


  • 1887 - Boise's first depot was constructed on the Bench, not far from its current location.
  • 1924 - New York architects prepare plans for a new station on the present site.
  • 1925 - A crowd gathered to witness the inaugural arrival of a transcontinental engine at the new station.
  • 1959 - Union Pacific donates locomotive #2295 to Julia Davis Park.
  • 1971 - The last Portland Rose passenger train departed.
  • 1974 - The Union Pacific Mainline Depot recognized as a historic landmark.
  • 1993 - Depot refurbished and reopens to the public.
  • 1997 - Amtrak's last passenger train bid farewell to Boise, marking the end of an era.

Your Rail Stories

As a part of our Corridor ID application process, we asked you to share what train service to Salt Lake City would mean to you. We heard stories of families visiting one another, hope for students wanting to travel back to hometowns, and seeing the amenities our region has to offer from a seat on the train.  

Share your rail story, email:  

Timpanogos Storytelling Festival

Every year we travel to Lehi, Utah for the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival. (The second largest in the nation.) It would be delightful to get there by train. And then, think of the stories we would tell about the travel.
-Don K.

Student Travel in the 70s

I rode the Amtrak frequently when I was a student at ISU in the late 70’s. I took it from Pocatello to Boise, where my folks lived, from Pocatello to Salt Lake City where my brother lived. I also utilized it from Boise to Portland... I have fond memories of traveling by train and support it 100%!
-Mary A.

Visiting Family

My husband and I would take the Amtrak round trip to SLC several times per year as we have a daughter who lives there and we love renting RVs to enjoy the Utah parks. She would also travel to Boise to visit several times per year by train to save wear and tear on her vehicle. We all very much prefer train travel over driving.
-Therese G.

What's Next?

Step one. Idaho Transportation Department submitted the initial application March 2023, and award notification will begin Fall 2023. If awarded, we’ll receive $500,000 to prepare a scope, schedule, and cost estimate for developing a Service Development Plan (SDP).

Step two. Creating the Service Development Plan (SDP). The SDP evaluates routes, stations, service, infrastructure, operations, costs, and financing. It also considers how to use existing rail infrastructure and community partnerships. 

Step three. This step will contain the project development work of preliminary engineering, the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), and other documentation for the corridor’s capital project(s) to advance to an implementation phase deemed sufficient by the Federal Railroad Administration. 

How Can You Help?

As the rail project moves through the process we will reach out with opportunities to get involved. Stay up-to-date on bringing rail back to Boise by signing up to receive Bring Back Rail emails.

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